HEALTH: Health benefits of soy milk to men

By Francis

It is no longer news that Soy milk is one of the most common and nutritious dairy alternatives. In addition to its general benefits, soy milk contains a number of compounds that are particularly important to men’s health. Its high content of isoflavones, protein, vitamins and minerals and minimal amount of saturated fats may help soy milk prevent and treat some of the leading health conditions for men. Despite these benefits, soy is one of the most common food allergens. As long as you are not allergic to soy, drinking as little as 1 cup of soy milk per day is a great way to gain some of its health benefits.

Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is one of the leading health issues for men. recommends that you eat a diet low in saturated fats and sodium and high in lean protein to prevent cardiovascular problems. A 1-cup serving of soy milk contains 3.6 grams of fat, 6.3 grams of protein, 104 calories and only 0.5 gram of saturated fat. In addition to being low in calories and total fat and high in protein, soy milk’s high unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio promotes healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Although soy milk also contains 0.5 gram of heart-healthy fiber, a 1 cup serving provides a relatively high 7.6 percent of your adequate daily intake of sodium.

Cancer Prevention

Cancer is the second biggest health issue for men, with leading cancers being prostate, lung, colorectal and skin. According to doctors Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno, soy’s high isoflavone content makes it the single best dietary factor in the prevention of prostate cancer. A 1-cup serving of soy milk contains approximately 30 percent of your daily calcium. As calcium helps to prevent colorectal and intestinal cancers, this adds to soy’s cancer-prevention properties. Additional benefits arise from soy milk’s antioxidants, which help to eliminate cancer-causing free radicals from your body. These include riboflavin and zinc, with 34.4 and 5.7 percent of your daily intake in a 1-cup serving, respectively.

Type 2 Diabetes
Another major health issue for men is Type 2 diabetes. Soy milk contains two micronutrients that may contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes: magnesium and vitamin D. Although they are not treatments for this condition, people with low levels of these nutrients are at a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A 1-cup serving of soy milk thus may help to prevent this condition by providing 8.6 percent of your magnesium and 18 percent of your vitamin D. In addition, soy milk is a safe food for people with Type 2 diabetes, with a low glycemic index of 31.

Mental Health

According to lists suicide as the 7th leading cause of death among men. Soy milk may help to reduce your risk, as it contains a number of micronutrients with potential mental health benefits. For example, a 1-cup serving contains 5.8 percent of your vitamin B-6, which helps your body to make the mood-enhancing neurochemical serotonin. Its magnesium content also helps to raise serotonin levels and may be as effective as some antidepressant medications among people with both depression and diabetes. The high vitamin D content in soy milk may also help to prevent and treat seasonal affective disorder, a depressive condition that affects people living at high latitudes during the winter months.


Taste of Home’s registered dietician, Peggy Woodward, suggests that using the same amount of soy milk as you would dairy milk has little impact on the flavor and texture of a dish. However, following this 1-to-1 ratio for dishes in which milk is the main ingredient may result in a finished product with a thin, watery texture. Using small amounts of flour or corn starch in your soy milk-based recipe can help to remedy this, adding thickness to dishes such as cream soups, cream curries and puddings.

Source: SFgate