Soybeans or soya bean (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia, consumed as an edible bean or processed into various products.
Soy products come in unfermented and fermented versions. Unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk and tofu. Fermented soy foods include soy sauce, bean paste, and tempeh. Soybean is also used as a meat and dairy substitute known as textured vegetable protein (TVP).
Soybeans are more often eaten boiled, fried or roasted. Soy flour is commonly used as an ingredient in processed foods and condiments.
Soy allergy is a common allergy and is often reported among younger children. Only a few limited studies have attempted to confirm allergy to soy under controlled conditions.
Soy proteins that are the cause of soy allergies are less potent at triggering allergy symptoms than other common allergens such as peanut or shellfish. A positive allergy test that demonstrates an immune response and raise IgE level to soy proteins should be referred to a medical practitioner.
Soy is also a common trigger for symptoms where no allergic reaction occurs and is more likely to be a soy intolerance or soy sensitivity due to the digestive nature of the symptoms.
Symptoms of Soy Allergy can include:
- Rash or hives
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Narrowing of the throat
- Swelling of the face or lips
- Anaphylaxis (very rarely)
Soy sensitivity or intolerance is where a person may present different digestive symptoms after the consumption of related products. A less severe condition than an allergy, this condition can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the individual.
Symptoms of soy intolerance or soy sensitivity include:
Soybeans and many soy products are low in saturated fats and high in protein, vitamin C and folate. Soybeans also provide a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Replacing key nutrients when eliminating soy
It is important to use alternative items in your diet when undertaking either a short or long term elimination diet to maintain nutrient balance.
Below a good examples or nutritional alternatives when eliminating soy:
Orange, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, leafy greens.
Dried apricots, salmon, mackerel, tuna, monkfish, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Lemons, bananas, melons, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, beans, peas, lentils
Watercress, kale, broccoli, pak choi, tofu, sugar snap peas, almonds, sardines
Brown rice, oats, rye, whole wheat, quinoa, poultry, pork, liver, sardines, scallops, salmon, mackerel, crab, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chicken, oysters, mussels, clams, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, beef, lamb, lentils, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans, spinach, swiss chard, kale
Intolerance and sensitivity tests
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IgE antibody blood-spot tests for acute or immediate symptoms. Which test is for you?