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The people of China, Japan and Indonesia have been eating soyfoods for centuries, and know the health benefits of soy products. Although the United States is the world’s largest soybean producer, soybean usage here in the past was mainly by vegetarians. But new awareness of the remarkable health benefits of soy based foods is now changing all that.

In Japan, where soy based Miso and Tofu are a daily part of the diet, cancer rates for both men and women are significantly lower. Some believe the reason is soy. Soy is rich in hormonelike compounds called isoflavons. Isoflavons are similar to hormones produced by the body, with an important difference. Isoflavons found in soy normalize hormone levels and stop the growth of hormone-dependent cancers.

The strong evidence these days shows that lifestyle and diet are mostly responsible for different cancer rates around the world. The National Cancer Institute feels that one out of every three cancers in this country are diet related.

Soyfoods are rich in a powerful natural substance called genistein, or isoflavon. Isoflavons are a potential weapon against cancer. Research shows that raw soybeans inhibit cancer in animals. Soyfoods inhibit cancer by decreasing estrogen levels. Soyfood consumption seems to reduce colon, rectal, lung and stomach cancers.

Soyfoods contain antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by free radicals.

Soyfoods are rich in betacarotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body.

Soyfoods lower cholesterol in the body.

Soyfoods significantly reduced the rates of colon cancer for people who ate them regularly.

Soy protein containing isoflavons effectively prevent bone loss in postmenopausal women, even during short treatment periods.

Within weeks of soy protein consumption, postmenopausal women experienced a 25 percent drop in hot flashes.

The amino acids in soybeans known as peptides show the ability to boost the immune system, helping the body fight disease.

Soy protein is easy on the kidneys, and may slow or prevent kidney damage in people with impaired kidney functions.

People who consume soy products regularly show lower rates of lung cancer.

A major study of Japanese men found a direct link between soyfood consumption and lower prostate cancer.

The FDA has recently approved the use of “Heart Healthy” labeling for foods containing soy protein, because the consumption of soy protein has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

The American Heart association is encouraging people to add soy protein to their diet because studies found a connection between high soy diets and the reduction of LDL, or bad cholesterol.

Soy nutrients contain all three macro-nutrients for good nutrition: protein, carbohydrates and fat, as well as the micro-nutrients, including-vitamins, minerals, calcium, folic acid and iron.

Soy consumption provides excellent health benefits. But besides all that, soy is delicious as well, and can be fixed in a variety of ways. Soyfoods are joyfoods indeed!