Eating a diet rich in soy foods potentially reduces the risk for some cancers, reduces cholesterol and improves bone retention. The benefits of soy are reported in several nutrition and medical research journals.
A soy-free diet allows people with soy allergies to avoid allergens and the symptoms that they cause. According to the World Health Organization, soy is one of the most significant food allergens, and the prevalence of soy allergies is estimated to be 6 percent.
Soy contains chemical compounds that inhibit the body's utilization of certain nutrients, such as iron, zinc, calcium and iodine. Soy also contains tripsyn inhibitors, which prevent the proper digestion of protein.
Soy milk is a dairy-free alternative to cow's milk that is made from soy, according to Mayo Clinic. The plant comes from the subtropical regions of southeastern Asia.
Natural soy milk is full of protein, vitamins and minerals. However, soy does have a bad reputation for being unhealthy. It is up to consumers to weigh the benefits and negative effects and choose whether they wish to consume soy milk or not.
Soy milk is made by soaking soy beans in water for several hours, blending the soaked beans with water and then filtering the liquid to remove any solid particles. The finished product contains zero lactose, meaning it is not actually milk, but is instead a blended soy drink.
Many foods, including bean sprouts, tofu, soy sauce and miso, have soy as their primary ingredient. However, manufacturers are likely to include soy in ice cream, imitation dairy foods, meats with fillers, vegetable broth and bullion cubes. Fresh fruit sometimes has a soy-based wax coating.
The most common foods that are rich in soy include soybeans, tofu and tempeh. All of these foods are rich in soy because soybeans are the original form of soy. Tofu is made of curdled soy milk and tempeh consists of fermented pressed soybeans.
While there are some health benefits associated with soy milk and other soy-food products, the hormones found in soy beans can be harmful in large amounts. Soy milk isn't necessarily dangerous to adults, but it should be consumed in moderation, according to Baseline of Health Foundation.
The soy sauce brewing process involves making "koji," brine fermentation and refining. Making non-brewed soy sauce is an entirely different process that is much more simple and takes significantly less time.