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Editor's note: my personal experience with soya drink, soya milk and for that matter, soya flake (so called "dou hui" or bean curd) is that my digestive system is not very happy to handle them. Certain degree of bloatedness is felt almost immediately. And even the Western researchers recommended taking tofu instead, however, I don't think tofu is naturally fermented as well, so it is better to eat it sparingly. Whereas, Tempeh, Miso, naturally fermented Soy Sauce and Natto, will be the ideal way to consume the soy.

Here is another
excellent link to know more
on the controversy of soy:

Soy Alert

Here is a quote about soy from the book "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause" by Dr. John Lee.

"Please be wary of all the hype around soy. Although it does contain compounds that can help balance your hormones, it is far from a magic hormone balance solution. Soy contains compounds that block the absorption of needed nutrients like zinc and will disable enzymes your body needs to access other nutrients. It directly blocks thyroid function and protein absorption. Many people are allergic to soy products, and women who are extremely sensitive to estrogens of any kind may react negatively to them.

The traditional Asian processing methods used to make fermented soy products -- tofu, tempeh, and miso-get rid of most of the toxins and make the beneficial phyto- chemicals more available in the body. Tofu and tempeh are a nearly complete protein and as such are an excellent alternative to meat in a balanced meal. Miso stirred into hot water with a strip of kombu or nori (seaweeds) makes a satisfying soup base or beverage. To offset the negative side of soy, Dr. David Zava recommends eating fermented soy products and tofu as the Asians do, with a protein such as fish and a rich mineral source such as the sea-weeds.

Soy milks and soy protein powders aren't in the same league as the fermented soy products, so use them sparingly. There's a good chance that the soybean toxins are more concentrated in these products, and they may do you more harm than good over the long haul.

Please don't eat soy three times a day or even every day. That undermines your goal of balance. Aim for two or three times a week and get the rest of your phyto-chemicals from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables."

Prepared by Ms Ruth Tay
Certified Nutrition Consultant
Member, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine