Posts Tagged ‘soy’

Avoid Ruining Your Testosterone Levels

Avoid Ruining Your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is a hugely important hormone for not only men but women also. We all need it to survive and it is especially important as we age when our levels start to steadily decline if we do not look after ourselves. Besides being a potent aphrodisiac testosterone provides us with a stable emotional state, controlling our mood and allowing us to avoid becoming a “grumpy old man” with age. For Women testosterone helps with decision making and providing general enjoyment of life. Along with this Testosterone holds several other benefits for both men and women:

  • Keeps bones solid and dense
  • Allows you to maintain a good level of muscle mass
  • Fends off excess fat gain
  • Keep disease at bay
  • Provide vigor and mental sharpness

So basically it is pretty good stuff and something we want to keep at a solid level throughout our lives. And while testosterone declines naturally with age there are a few things that can be taken into account……

Avoid Plastic

There is no need to become militant about getting plastic out of your life but every little helps. Studies are showing that the estrogenic compounds leached by fluids and food from plastic packaging can have a pretty detrimental effect on human health.

“We must have identified just the tip of the iceberg in that plastic packaging may be a major source of xenohormone* contamination of many other edibles. Our findings provide an insight into the potential exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals due to unexpected sources of contamination.”

Now Estrogen itself is not bad and it is needed to compliment testosterone. The problem comes with the man made Xenohormones which have a testosterone lowering and oestrogen triggering effect. This is bad news for both men and women…. Try avoiding some of the following common sources of Xenohormones:

  • § Microwaving or cooking food in plastic containers
  • § Drinking water from plastic
  • § Plastic cups and plates at home
  • § Plastic spoons for cooking food

Remember every little helps in this department so the more you can do to remove plastic from your life the better.

Processed Soy

The oestrogenic effects of processed Soy and well documented, mice have shown to have significantly lower testosterone levels when eating soy products.

These results suggest that in adult males, genistein induces the typical estrogenic effects in doses comparable to those present in soy-based diets.

Sadly processed soy products are documented as a health food, which they certainly are not. Avoid things like Soy Milk, Tofu and pretty much any food with Soy in the ingredients (it seems to be sneaking it into health/protein bars very often now). This point is especially applicable to female readers who are more to likely to be using some sort of Soy products as they are more promoted and aimed toward the female market. Soy is fine used in its traditional context, so things like tempeh, edamame, miso and other natural soy products. These may even hold benefits……

Drink

I am not talking about drinking water but rather alcohol, especially binge drinking. We can get away with this to some extent when younger but with age alcohols detrimental effects when over consumed catch up with the human body. Drinking large amounts also has a detrimental effect on the immune system and can de-regulate our sleep cycles and ability to manage body composition (causing stored fat and muscle loss). Studies show that exercising before drinking alcoholic beverages has one of the biggest testosterone blunting effects:

“Physical stress immediately before alcohol administration prolonged the depressant effect of alcohol on testosterone secretion.”

Take into account these subjects drank quite a bit of alcohol. So do not worry about having a glass of wine or a beer with your post dinner run or gym session…… Also let’s not forget that some alcohol has been shown to have an anti-oestrogenic effect to some extent, this is thanks to the polyphenols resveratrol found mainly in red wine. So again this one comes down to a fine balance in that drinking moderately probably will not affect testosterone and it is binge drinking that we should worry about…..

Over Exercising and Stress

Over exercising is a real deal breaker in terms of hormones. Running your body down in any sense is likely to have a detrimental effect on not only testosterone but your body’s immune function and mood. Essentially exercise is stress on the body, it is something we do to break ourselves down to get stronger and fitter. We need to rest after bouts of exercise especially “High Intensity” stuff which is everywhere now. As the old adage goes “Muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym” so make sure you get plenty of rest between exercise sessions. If you are exhibiting any signs of overtraining:

  • Feeling “Blah” or down
  • Persistent muscle soreness, taking longer to recover
  • Irritability
  • Reduced heart rate upon waking
  • Constant infections, reduced immunity

Then it is probably a good idea to back off training of any kind for a week. Maybe limiting things to some Long Walks, Yard Work, Stretching and maybe Light Cycling. Once you start to feel better and vigor returns, your body is ready to go again. Remember to eat well during times of stress as calorie restriction (which often happens without noticing when stressed) acts as another stressor on your body.

Everything in Moderation including Moderation itself….

These 4 points should serves as an indication of things that have a detrimental effect on not only testosterone but probably our general endocrine system having a knock on effect on many hormones. Like everything do not get too caught up. Use this post as a guide as to what to avoid to maintain a healthy hormonal system. Unfortunately many of these things are hard to avoid in today’s world especially plastics. So just keep things in mind and do the best you can…..

Written by Chris of Zen to Fitness.

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Should you eat veggie burgers???

Which Veggie Burgers Were Made With a Neurotoxin?

Many health-conscious consumers are being misled with every veggie burger that passes through their lips. Most are contaminated with hexane, a noted neurotoxin that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also classifies as a “hazardous air pollutant.

This chemical is not only used as a cleaning agent and solvent for glue and varnish, it’s also used to extract oils from soybeans, peanuts, corn and other seed and vegetable crops.

Makers of many soy-based burgers submerge the soybeans in hexane to separate the oil from the protein and reduce the amount of fat in the product.

If a non-organic burger contains soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, or texturized vegetable protein, it was likely made using hexane.

In their “Behind the Bean” report, the Cornucopia Institute calls “the widespread use of a toxic and environmentally damaging chemical, hexane, in the manufacturing of “natural” soyfoods such as vegetarian burgers, nutrition bars, and protein shakes” a “dirty little secret.”

Veggie burgers made with hexane include:

  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Boca Burger, conventional
  • Franklin Farms
  • Garden Burger
  • It’s All Good Lightlife
  • Morningstar Farms
  • President’s Choice
  • Taste Above
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Yves Veggie Cuisine

 “Products labeled ‘organic’ aren’t allowed to contain any hexane-derived ingredients, but that rule doesn’t apply to foods that are labeled ‘made with organic ingredients.’”

What are the Risks of Eating Hexane-Tainted Food?

Hexane is a known toxin, although most of the research is on exposure via inhalation, which is thought to be the primary route of exposure. The EPA reports:

“Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure of humans to high levels of hexane causes mild central nervous system (CNS) effects, including dizziness, giddiness, slight nausea, and headache.

Chronic (long-term) exposure to hexane in air is associated with polyneuropathy in humans, with numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headache, and fatigue observed. Neurotoxic effects have also been exhibited in rats.”

Beware: Hexane is Even in Organic Infant Formula!

One of these is a form of soy lecithin, which is produced using hexane and acetone, another toxic chemical. Outrageously, another example is a form of DHA and ARA oils that are commonly used in organic infant formulas! According to the Cornucopia Institute’s report:

“Other hexane-extracted ingredients that many industry experts believe should not be present in organic foods, especially organic infant formula, are algal DHA and fungal ARA oils.

These oils—nutritional supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids—are produced by Martek Biosciences Corporation by way of a process that immerses fermented algae and soil fungus in a hexane bath.

So if you eat non-organic or even some organic varieties of processed soy foods, you can be fairly certain you are also eating hexane residues. This chemical is also likely present in virtually every processed food that contains edible oils from soy, peanuts and corn (which would be the vast majority of processed foods on the market).

More Reasons to Ditch Veggie Burgers and Other Forms of Processed Soy

First of all, you probably know that I am not a major fan of non-fermented soy, which is the primary protein most of these burgers are made from.

Over 91% of soy in the United States is GMO, which means it is LOADED with pesticides because that is why it is GMO in the first place — so Monsanto can sell loads of their toxic Roundup pesticides to kill the weeds around the GMO soy, but the GMO soy survives as it can tolerate the pesticide. It is loaded with it when it is finally harvested.

When you add up all the health risks of processed soy, trying to find a hexane-free veggie burger becomes a moot point (unless you can find the rare variety that may also be soy-free).

The truth is that even without the hexane issue, any soy that is unfermented — soy milk, tofu, soybean oil, soy veggie burgers, soy infant formula and all the other processed soy products out there all belong to this category — is not a health food and in fact is not a food I would advise eating at all. This is true whether it is “organic” or not.

Unlike the Asian culture, where people eat small amounts of fermented, whole soybean products, western food processors separate the soybean into two golden commodities — protein and oil. And there is nothing natural or safe about these products.

Says Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story

“Today’s high-tech processing methods not only fail to remove the anti-nutrients and toxins that are naturally present in soybeans but leave toxic and carcinogenic residues created by the high temperatures, high pressure, alkali and acid baths and petroleum solvents.”

Dr. Daniel also points out the findings of numerous studies reviewed by her and other colleagues — that soy does not reliably lower cholesterol, and in fact raises homocysteine levels in many people, which has been found to increase your risk of stroke, birth defects, and yes: heart disease.

Unfermented soy products have been linked to everything from reproductive disorders and infertility to cancer as well.

Further, unfermented soy contains isoflavones that are clearly associated with reduced thyroid function. Eating unfermented soy products is likely the single largest cause of hypothyroidism in women.

Another major problem with unfermented soy is that it contains natural toxins known as “antinutrients.” This includes a large quantity of inhibitors that deter your enzymes needed for protein digestion. While a small amount of these antinutrients would likely not be a problem, the amount of soy that many Americans are now eating (and drinking in the form of soy milk) is quite significant.

The result of consuming too many of soy’s antinutrients is extensive gastric distress and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake, which can result in pancreatic impairment and cancer.

Unfermented soy is also loaded with phytoestrogens (isoflavones) genistein and daidzein. These compounds mimic and sometimes block the hormone estrogen, and have been found to have adverse effects on various human tissues.

Drinking even two glasses of soy milk daily for one month has enough of the chemical to alter a woman’s menstrual cycle, and although the FDA regulates estrogen-containing products, no warnings exist on soy or soy milk. Soy phytoestrogens are also known to disrupt endocrine function, may cause infertility and may promote breast cancer in women.

Why You Want to be Very Careful With Veggie burgers

Given the fact that most veggie burgers on the market are made with processed soy and contaminated with hexane, I do not recommend you eat them.

You might want to try tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor. Even though tempeh is a form of soy, it is a healthy form because it is fermented.

After a long fermentation process, the phytic acid and antinutrient levels of the soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties — such as the creation of natural probiotics — become available to your digestive system. It also greatly reduces the levels of dangerous isoflavones, which are similar to estrogen in their chemical structure, and can interfere with the action of your own estrogen production.

The vast majority of the soy sold in the natural food industry is most likely non GMO. Please be aware however, that this doesn’t necessarily apply to the oriental market. It’s possible that no one knows for sure. Unless you can confirm that the source of the soy is non GMO, would probably be best to avoid it.

Adapted from an article by Dr. Mercola

Here is a delicious way to enjoy tempeh…

 Tempeh Fajitas

Serving Size  : 4    

   1      oz            tempeh — cut into thin strips

   1                    small lime — juiced

   2      Tbs           tamari soy sauce

   1      Tbs           mexican seasoning

   1      tsp           coconut oil

   3      Tbs           coconut oil

   1                    medium red onion — cut into strips

   2                    medium zucchini — cut into strips

   1                    red bell pepper — cut into strips

   2                    cloves garlic — chopped

   1                    ripe avocado — cut into strips

                        organic greens

                        whole wheat or brown rice tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Mix lime juice, tamari, mexican seasoning

and 1 teaspoon of oil.  Pour over tempeh and marinate at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons coconut oil.  Add

tempeh, saute each side for 3 to 4 minutes, being careful not to burn.

3. In a baking pan, add 1 tablespoon oil, red onion, zucchini, red pepper,

garlic and a dash of sea salt, mix well.  Place pan in oven and cook for 20

minutes or until vegetables are tender.

4. Fill each tortilla with strips of tempeh, some vegetables, avocado, some

greens and salsa.

For more recipe ideas, tap here.

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Soy is it good for you??

Since it is breast cancer awareness month and so many people still believe soy helps fight breast cancer, I thought it was important to post this article…

Soy: In the Pink? soy yogurt

By Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel

Does soy prevent breast cancer or increase the risk? The debate heats up every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Sadly, soy is not the ticket to breast cancer prevention or reversal. Indeed, numerous studies suggest that it can cause, contribute to, or accelerate the growth of cancer — especially breast cancer. Of course, this hasn’t stopped the soy industry from stepping up its efforts to feed women’s fears while urging health-conscious women to feed on soy foods, soy milk, energy bars and other products. Witness how Vitasoy will give away its soy milk in bright pink containers – called “Pinkies” – to women attending Komen Races for the Cure.

All soybeans – organic, commercial and GM – contain the phytoestrogens known as isoflavones. Although not identical to human estrogens, these plant estrogens are similar enough to fool the body, and can cause significant endocrine disruption. That can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, including thyroid disorders, reproductive problems, breast cell proliferation (a widely acknowledged marker of breast cancer risk), and even cancer itself.

The idea that soy isoflavones could prevent cancer is ludicrous given the fact that they are listed as “carcinogens” in many toxicology and chemistry textbooks. Furthermore, modern industrial processing techniques used to make soy protein isolate, textured vegetable protein and other modern soy products leave toxic and carcinogenic residues. Despite these well-known hazards, the soy industry makes the improbable claim that soybeans are the key to cancer prevention and reversal. After all, Asians have lower rates of breast cancer and “everyone knows” they eat a lot of soy.

In fact, Asians eat soy in very small quantities, as a condiment in the diet and not as a staple food. What’s more, they eat old-fashioned whole soy bean products such as miso, tempeh, natto and tofu, not the new heavily processed products sold by the soy industry such as soy milk, veggie burgers, shakes and energy bars.

The Israeli Health Ministry, French Food Agency, German Institute of Risk Assessment and Cornell University’s Center for Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors have all warned women to “exercise caution” regarding soy consumption if they’ve been diagnosed with, or have a family history of, breast cancer. Clearly, possible benefits are far outweighed by proven risks.

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, is known as The Naughty NutritionistTM because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths. She is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food

Need ideas on foods that help prevent cancer or dairy free substitutes????  I would love to help!  Conact me at wendy@fitfoodcoach.com.