Is It Safe To Eat Soybeans During Pregnancy?

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Are you expecting? Congratulations!!

Yes, this is indeed a time to be happy, but apart from happiness you must take extra care to make sure the little life developing inside you gets proper nutrition. You must minimize, and if necessary, completely avoid taking substances that have an adverse effect on your fetus.

Soybean is often considered a healthy alternative to plenty of common daily food. During pregnancy you must consider the effects of all the foods you take.

The Debate On Consumption Of Soybeans During Pregnancy

Some of the substances contained in soybean have raised concerns among healthcare professionals, whether they should be consumed in pregnancy or not. The research findings may keep you wondering are soybeans safe during pregnancy. Here is our take on the pros and cons.

Cons of Taking Soybean During Pregnancy

First, lets see the cons of taking soybean during pregnancy:

1. Reproductive Issues:

The fetus developing inside you gets sensitive to estrogen in certain phases of pregnancy.

  • Research studies conducted on animals have shown risks associated with exposure to estrogenic substances from isoflavones and phytoestrogens in soy.
  • Exposure to phytoestrogen in pregnancy results in long term complications in reproduction. The research findings were published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine in the January 2004 issue.

[ Read: Chickpeas During Pregnancy ]

2. Risk Of Breast Cancer:

According to the reports published in “Oncology Reports” journal in September 2009, it has been found that increase in estrogen levels, increases the chances of breast cancer. Here is what the research studies conclude:

  • Research studies suggest intake of soybeans increases risk of breast cancer.
  • Experiments conducted on animals showed an increase risk of mammary tumors.

3. Phytoestrogen Concern:

A fetus is extremely sensitive to the growing hormone levels during pregnancy. Concerns for soybean intake during pregnancy increase with substances like phytoestrogens.

  • The substances tend to mimic estrogen hormone.
  • Phytoestrogens have a similar structure to estrogen and they tend to attach to estrogen receptor sites in different parts of the body.
  • According to the New York University Langone Medical Center the action tends to reduce or increase estrogen effects in the body.

[ Read: Can Pregnant Women Eat Mango ]

Vital Things For Consideration

In the Experimental Biology and Medicine study, the researchers conducted experiments on female rats and found the following:

  • The isoflavones levels were found similar to what humans were exposed through their diet.
  • Results from animals do not translate exactly to humans.
  • You must consult with your obstetrician, whenever you have concerns about what you eat.
  • Research findings suggest that babies are sensitive to increases in estrogen levels during the late gestation period.
  • So, you may not need to avoid soybean or soy products all through your pregnancy.

Even though soybean is a healthy food, you may often be asked to avoid taking some of the “healthy” foods in your pregnancy. According to the studies conducted by American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it was found that consumption of soybeans in large amounts affected fetal development and increased risks of cancer as well. However, the study was conducted on only 7 women.

[ Read: Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding ]

Soybeans: A Major Source Of Protein

Soy contains about 40% of protein, which is the highest content among different plant products.

  • Since animal protein contains essential amino acids and lacks pulse protein, soy is used as a replacement for animal proteins.
  • Soybean is processed into different soy products like soy milk, soy flour, cottage cheese such as tofu and fermented products like miso and tempeh.
  • Protein requirements increase during pregnancy to meet the daily requirements of you as well as your developing unborn baby.
  • Soy foods contribute smartly to your increased protein need. Thus, incorporation of soy products can be a good choice during pregnancy.

[ Read: Guava During Pregnancy ]

You need to keep in mind that you must consult your healthcare expert for answers to your queries and medical diagnosis.

Hope you liked our post on eating soybeans during pregnancy. Do tell us what you do to ensure a healthy pregnancy in the comment section below.

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