So Long, Soy?


Some of our customers at Soupure ask us if any of our soups contain soy. They say they want to avoid consuming any soy products. Some of our soups do, in fact, contain soy.  But, before banishing soy from your diet, understand the difference between processed soy and unprocessed and fermented soy made from non-GMO soybeans.  If you understand the difference, you might just welcome soy back into your diet.

Processed Soy:  The challenge with soy is that much of it has been highly processed (think “isolated soy,” which you will find on the label of most processed foods). Another problem is that many of the non-organic soy crops in the United States have been genetically modified and are often sprayed with herbicides. This can contribute to a host of health challenges. First, there is the issue of phytic acid found in soy, a toxic compound that is challenging for the body to digest (but see below how fermentation helps with digestion). It can inhibit the body from absorbing iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. Soy also has protease inhibitors, which can block some of the enzymes the body needs in order to digest protein. Then there’s the phytoestrogen issue. Research has shown that the estrogen in soy can act as an endocrine disruptor, which can interfere with your body’s hormonal function and lead to things like cancer.  And additionally consider that soy is what they feed to pigs and cows to make them fat. Think about that anytime you reach for ice cream, yogurt, chips, soy “burgers” or any processed product that warns “made with soy.”

Unprocessed Soy:  Having said all that, unprocessed and fermented soy made from non-GMO soybeans is a traditionally healing food (think tempeh and miso (fermented soybean paste) used in two of our soups!). Miso, has been a staple in Chinese and Japanese diets for approximately twenty-five hundred years (though they consume it in much smaller amounts than we do in America). Today, most of the Japanese population starts their day with a warm bowl of miso soup believed to stimulate digestion and energize the body. This is why we include miso in our chicken bone broth (Soothe) with miso as our cleanse morning starter!   Miso also contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein; stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach; restores beneficial probiotics to the intestines; strengthens the quality of the blood and lymph fluid; reduces the risk for breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers; protects against radiation; strengthens the immune system; lowers cholesterol; and is high in antioxidants that protect against free radicals.  Though soy can be difficult to digest, fermenting it changes the way the body can assimilate its nutrients. That makes for an enormous difference between live-enzyme miso and soy chips. Just make sure you buy a non-pasteurized version, which you can find in the refrigerated case at the grocery).

If all this information has led you to put unprocessed soy back on your “food friend list”, try it on our delicious chicken bone broth (Soothe) (with miso).  We guarantee you will never taste a chicken bone broth like this one!  Or, try it in our super yummy Boost (Japanese Pumpkin Miso) soup.  Or, if you want to incorporate it yourself into foods you prepare, make sure to buy a live-enzyme version (in order to harness miso’s full power), which you’ll find in the refrigerated aisle in the grocery store. To add miso to your own broths, simply whisk in a teaspoon of miso paste for every three cups of liquid, then simmer for 10 minutes. Be sure the soup does not reach a boil, as high heat will kill the miso’s live enzymes.

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