Soya is a food source rich in genistein and daidzein, two phytoestrogens. They have a significant oestrogenic effect and are thought to help regulate hormonal imbalances in women. It has also been claimed that they can help to prevent osteoporosis and recent research in Italy has suggested that taking daily supplements for a period of three months can halve the number of hot flushes suffered.
Where soya is a staple part of the diet, for instance in Japan, it can mean that fewer than 25% of women going through the menopause complain of hot flushes; in the US and UK it is closer to 85%. It has also been shown that that there is a much lower incidence of oestrogen dependent cancer development in these countries.
Finally soya is also an excellent source of protein, containing more protein than milk, no saturated fats or cholesterol and all eight essential amino acids.