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.
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.
Soy milk is not bad for you, and contains several ingredients that are beneficial to health, including protein, fiber and isoflavones. Soy is also high in protein and contains all the essential amino acids required for good health.
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.
Soy milk is healthy for adults, but children should drink dairy milk unless they are lactose intolerant, according to FitDay. In terms of other milk alternatives, such as rice and almond milk, soy milk is the closest to offering the same nutritional value of dairy milk.
Some basic side effects of consuming soy foods include constipation, bloating and nausea, according to WebMD. More serious side effects include itching and a rash. Soy milk not designed specifically for infants may lead to nutrition deficiencies in newborn babies. Using soy as a substitute for milk
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.
In moderation, soy milk is safe for men to consume. Although some people are concerned that soy milk may lower testosterone levels and induce female characteristics, soy milk does not significantly influence a man’s hormone levels. In fact, soy may protect men against prostate cancer.