What is Soy?

Soybeans are a type of legume native to Asia. They can be eaten whole or processed into a variety of different forms. The least processed include soybeans themself, and edamame. Edamame appears green and is the “immature” soybean. A couple others made from whole soybeans are soy milk and tofu. Soy milk is  commonly used for those lactose intolerant. 

Soy is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids. Which comes to the reason why it is an important food staple for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. Another source of soy is through fermented soy products. What is fermented soy? It’s soy that has gone through a long fermentation process adding some digestive friendliness through prebiotic fiber. Top fermented soy foods include natto, tempeh, and miso. The friendly prebiotic is a friendly bacteria that helps nourish the gut and digestive flora, boosting digestion and the absorption of nutrients. 

However, soy has hit the headlines in the past years as  a controversial food. Some praise it’s health benefits while others say it could be bad. After knowing all these benefits of soy, where could the idea of it being harmful come from? 

That is isoflavones. Isoflavones are a form of plant estrogen, otherwise called phytoestrogen. They are released when you consume soy. They can imitate our bodies normal estrogen. High levels of estrogen have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in the paste, however through multiple researches and review of studies it was  indicated that isoflavones in soy can actually help reduce the risk of hormone associated cancers, including prostate cancer and some breast cancers. It is not clear if these benefits are the same through the consumption of more processed soy products, such as soy protein isolates or textured vegetable protein than that of whole soy products. 

Other Benefits 

The potential health benefits of isoflavones fall outside of cancer prevention as well. Soy has been linked to healthy cholesterol levels, which can lower the risk of heart disease. The mechanism of action between isoflavones may relieve osteoporosis and menstrual symptoms through antioxidant activity too.  

Overall, the benefits of incorporating soy into your diet most likely outweigh any potential risks. Next time feel free to eat t a source of whole or fermented soy in moderation.

Benefits of Tea

Tea is one of the most popular beverages across the world for many reasons. Relaxation, tradition, customs and pleasure. Britain likes to have a classic afternoon tea, you can’t visit Argentina without enjoying a cup of mate, and Peruvians swear by tea made by coca leaves. I was able to experience a couple of these first hand studying abroad.

To keep it simple, there are two main categories of tea. The first are the herbals teas that essentially consist of a blend of leaves, roots, flowers of edible plants for example chamomile or peppermint. The second is camellia sinensis plant derivatives, which consist of all black, green, and oolong tea. The difference between them is how long the leaves are left to dry and oxidize. The green teas tend to be the least processed although in them to have the highest number of polyphenols, aka antioxidants. 

Simply– Hydration 

Although plain water is the primary fluid for replenishing thirst after a morning workout or a long day at work, tea can be equally useful. Even despite the caffeine, it provides a source of flavorsome water. But tea’s benefits go beyond the refreshments. 


It is a rich source of flavonoids, most commonly found in green tea. Flavonoids are a natural source of phytochemicals. They act as antioxidants, which essentially you could protect our body from “rusting,” with anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. 

Heart Health

Tea drinkers may be protecting their heart health without even knowing. There is a lot of strong evidence in literature protecting this understanding. In fact, a study published in 2016 concluded that among those who drank one to three cups of green tea a day had a 20% reduction in risk of heart attack and 35% reduced risk of stroke. Those who drank four or more cups of tea a day had a 32% reduced risk of heart attack and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.

Weight Watcher 

Some studies suggest regular tea drinking keeps body fat down by speeding up your metabolism. Tea can also boost endurance. The antioxidants found in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel. If anything else we know it’s bound to be less fattening than sipping on a sugary pop.

Brain Power 

Some believe certain types of tea, such as green tea, strengthen memory cells. It also may be an effective agent in protection from neurological diseases such Dementia and Alzheimers. Although there are many factors that influence our brains, polyphenols found in tea can keep maintenance on the areas that regulate learning and memory.

Pretty Smiles 

Believe it or not, tea can strengthen your teeth. High acidity in your mouth is a large factor for tooth enamel. Tea changes the pH in your mouth to a more favorable environment to prevent cavities and well, to not erode tooth enamel. The antioxidants also fight against bacteria and gum disease. 

Have you heard of Matcha? Matcha is actually just the powdered form of green tea! One cup of matcha tea is said to be the nutritional equivalent of 10 cups of regular green tea. 

Most of these studies and findings have been found through habitual tea drinkers. That is, enjoying the beverage at least three times a week. However, it seems you can never go wrong with the great zero calorie alternative. Hot or cold, a dash of cinnamon or lemon juice, a squirt of honey, or plain as it is you can easily keep your palate pleased. There are plenty to try from brands such as Yogi Tea and Mountain Rose Herbs.