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Soy Sensation: Unveiling the Power of Plant-Based Goodness for Menopausal Wellness

Unlocking the Power of Soy: A Comprehensive Guide

 

Soy, a versatile plant-based protein, has charmed its way into the hearts of many worldwide. Often associated with Asian cuisine, soy offers a wide array of health benefits perfect for inclusion in any diet. Let's delve into the wonders of soy, uncover its benefits, and explore its significance, particularly for menopausal women.

 

What Makes Soy Special?

Soy contains isoflavones, compounds akin to estrogen, which can effectively alleviate menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, acting almost like a natural hormone replacement therapy. So, why should one consider incorporating soy into their diet?

 

The Menopausal Connection

In clinical studies, postmenopausal women who eat high amounts of dietary soy protein (20 to 60 g per day)  found soy particularly beneficial due to its potential to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes, while also promoting bone density and reducing the risk of heart disease. By including soy-based foods such as tofu, soy milk, edamame, tempeh, or soybeans in their daily meals, menopausal women can enjoy these benefits seamlessly. 

 

Recipes to Spice Up Your Diet

For an added bonus, here are three simple and delectable soy-based recipes to elevate your dining experience:

 

1. Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon: Marinate salmon fillets in a luscious blend of soy sauce, ginger, honey, and more, then bake to perfection. Serve over a bed of quinoa or brown rice for a wholesome meal.

2. Edamame Hummus: Blend cooked edamame beans with tahini, lemon juice, and spices for a scrumptious dip or spread, perfect for pairing with veggies or pita bread.

3.  Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry in Sweet Ginger Sauce

SERVINGS:4 SERVINGS PREP TIME:20MINUTES MINSCOOK TIME:20MINUTES MINSTOTAL TIME:40MINUTES MINS

This Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry is perfect for a weeknight dinner or easy meal prep lunches!

Ingredients

SWEET GINGER SAUCE

4 tablespoons soy sauce,

2 tablespoons maple syrup, or agave

1 teaspoon minced ginger

3-4 cloves of finely minced garlic

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

STIR FRY

1 lb block of firm tofu, pressed, (454g)

pinch sea salt and pepper

2 teaspoons oil , neutral and high smoke point (eg. avocado oil)

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 heads broccoli, (168g) large stem removed and chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

2 teaspoons cornstarch + 2 teaspoon water for a cornstarch slurry

Instructions

SWEET GINGER SAUCE

Stir all the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

TOFU and Stir fry

In a pan over medium high, add both oils. When hot add in the tofu and 2 tablespoons of the sauce and crisp on each side for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until all sides are crisped up and browned. This helps to infuse the tofu with some sauce while it is cooking. Season with a sprinkle of sea salt and ground black pepper. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, add the broccoli and carrot and toss for about 2 minutes heat. Then add in a few tablespoons of water and cover pan. Allow to steam for about 2 minutes. Remove cover, lower heat to medium and add in the tofu and the sauce. Pour in the cornstarch slurry here. Stir to coat everything in the sauce, then and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes in the sauce.

Remove from heat and top with extra sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serve and enjoy!

Calories: 177kcal, Carbohydrates: 16.1g, Protein: 12.1g, Fat: 9.4g, Fiber: 2.2g, Sugar: 10g

 

How Much Soy is Just Right?

The recommended intake of soy varies based on individual health goals, but generally, consuming 1-2 servings daily can provide ample benefits. A serving size may include items like soy milk, tofu, tempeh, or edamame, ensuring a balanced soy consumption over time for optimal health.


A serving of soy can vary depending on the form it's consumed in. For example:

- 1 cup of soy milk

- 1/2 cup of cooked soybeans

- 1/2 cup of tofu

- 1/2 cup of tempeh

- 1/2 cup of edamame

 

Additional Benefits and Considerations

Apart from aiding in menopausal symptoms, soy offers a nutrient-rich protein source beneficial for heart health and bone strength. Aside from their isoflavone content, soy foods are rich in nutrients including B vitamins, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and high-quality protein. Unlike some plant proteins, soy protein is considered a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot make which must be obtained from the diet. Incorporating soy in moderation can be a wise dietary choice.

 

Enjoy the Richness of Soy

If you're intrigued by the health benefits of soy, consider adding soy-based foods like edamame, tofu, miso, or soy milk to your diet. While the research on soy's effects during menopause is promising, individual responses may vary. However, for those with a history of breast cancer, caution is advised when considering soy supplements.

 

Have a Taste of Tofu

Tofu, which originated in China, is made of condensed soy milk that’s pressed into solid white blocks in a process similar to cheese making.

Nigari, a mineral-rich coagulant that’s left over after salt is extracted from seawater, is used to help tofu solidify and keep its form. Tofu is high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids your body needs. It also provides fats, carbs, and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.

Each 100-gram (g), serving of firm, calcium-set tofu offers:

  • Calories: 144

  • Protein: 17 g

  • Carbs: 3 g

  • Fiber: 2 g

  • Fat: 9 g

  • Calcium: 53% of the Daily Value (DV)

  • Manganese: 51% of the DV

  • Copper: 42% of the DV

  • Selenium: 32% of the DV

  • Vitamin A: 18% of the DV

  • Phosphorus: 15% of the DV

  • Iron: 15% of the DV

  • Magnesium: 14% of the DV

  • Zinc: 14% of the DV

Since tofu has a lot of nutrients in relatively few calories, it’s very nutrient-dense.Tofu, a soy-based delight popular in vegan recipes, offers a versatile meat substitute perfect for various dishes. Try out a delightful Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry in Sweet Ginger Sauce for a flavorsome and nutritious meal option.

 

In conclusion, soy stands as a nutritional powerhouse with numerous benefits for overall health, specifically targeting menopausal symptoms. As you explore the diverse world of soy, embrace its potential to enhance your well-being and culinary adventures.


Thanks to my friend Sue (or vegan friend), I discovered the most amazing lemongrass tofu! It's now my favorite quick meal when I don't feel like cooking (especially when my husband is away traveling). I've been enjoying it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sometimes multiple times a week. If you're in RAK, you should definitely check out the Vietnamese Corner Restaurant for more great dishes like this!


Share some other soy recipes with us.

Enjoy!

LOMA

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