I wrote an article this morning about the effects of exercise on your skin. In that article I mentioned I have a cow’s milk allergy and that I drink soy milk or soya milk instead. I’m never sure it has an ‘a’ on the end or not! The taste of soy milk is ok in my opinion and it changes depending on which brand you buy. I didn’t realise that more and more people are switching to soy milk because of the added health benefits. I’ve listed a few of them below. A big thank-you to the soya.be website for some of the facts and figures used in this article.
The presence of isoflavones is the most important and unique benefit of soy milk. Each cup of soy milk contains about 20mg isoflavones (mainly genistein and daidzein). Cow’s milk does not contain isoflavones. Isoflavones have many health benefits including reduction of cholesterol, easing of menopause symptoms, prevention of osteoporosis and reduction of risk for certain cancers (prostate cancer and breast cancer). Incidents of these cancers are very low in countries with high intake of soy products, including soy milk. Isoflavones are also antioxidants which protect our cells and DNA against oxidation.
Only 0.5 percent of children are allergic to soy milk, whereas 2.5 percent are allergic to cow’s milk.
Vegetable proteins have a great advantage in that there’s a lower loss of calcium through the kidneys. Research has also shown that a diet rich in animal (and dairy protein) creates a higher risk for osteoporosis.
Although this is not confirmed, some studies have shown an association between drinking cow’s milk in early life and the development of insulin dependent diabetes. This association does not exist with soy milk.
About 75 percent of the world population cannot tolerate lactose. Some ethnic groups are more affected than others. For example 75 percent of Africans and 90 percent of Asians have lactose intolerance. As an additional benefit, soy milk contains the prebiotic sugars stachyose and raffinose. These prebiotic sugars boost immunity and help decrease toxic substances in the body.
The saturated fats in cow’s milk are unhealthy and increase your cholesterol. The protein in cow’s milk has no benefits for the cholesterol. Soy protein can decrease cholesterol levels. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration of US) confirms that soy protein, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart. The FDA recommends to incorporate 25 grams of soy protein in your daily meals.
Cow’s milk contains natural hormones (from the cow) but also synthetic hormones, which can influence the good working of our own body. The synthetic hormone rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) increase milk production by as much as 20 percent.
If you don’t drink it already, maybe give it a try. If you like it, you could try introducing it into your diet. Try drinking it alongside cow’s milk so you get the best of both worlds.