Soy is known for being full of healthy antioxidants and protein, but there are questions as to whether it is safe for breast cancer patients. The medical community questions the safety of soy foods because they are rich in isoflavones, compounds with estrogen-like and antiestrogenic properties. Estrogen plays a role in stimulating breast cell division and supports the growth of estrogen-responsive tumors.
The study, conducted in China, is the largest on this issue to date, and followed 5,042 breast cancer survivors ranging in age from 20 to 75. They were put in two groups based on how much soy they ate per day. The women consuming more soy, or more than 15.3 grams per day, had a lower incidence of death from cancer four years after diagnosis and a lower incidence of recurrence.
Soy can be found in meat imitation foods like veggie burgers and soy “chicken” nuggets, soy milk and ice cream, edamame, tofu, and tempeh. Here are some recipes using soy products from Delicious Living: