Should You Go Soy?

There’s some compelling evidence that soy may be a great way reduce PMS symptoms. Soy products, made from soybeans, contain compounds called isoflavones, which have a chemical structure similar to that of estrogen. A small study in 2005 by researchers the University of Leeds, England, have found that consuming soy isoflavones reduced the women’s PMS symptoms, in particular headache, breast tenderness, cramps, and swelling, as compared to milk-based placebo.

Soy foods range from vegetables, fiber, and oil, to textured soy protein, such as tofu, soy protein concentrates, and milk and cheese. Here’s a brief overview of available soy products:

  • Soy fibers

  • Soy flour

  • Soy protein concentrate

  • Soy protein isolates

  • Textured soy protein

  • Soymilk, made from soaked, ground, and strained soybeans

  • Tofu, a cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk

  • Edamame, also known as soybeans

  • Tempeh, a chunky soybean cake

  • Soy oil

  • Soy nuts

  • Soy yogurt

  • Soy sauce

Soy fibers, soy protein, textured soy, and tofu can be added to recipes, while soymilk, soy yogurt, and soy butter can replace the dairy versions of these foods.

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