Are There Any Benefits Of Soy For PCOS? Let’s Find Out
Wondering how soy products like Tempeh impact the health of someone affected by PCOS? Then you are in the right place.
In this article, we look to bust some myths and give you proof as to how Tempeh and other soy products can help with PCOS.
Hint: If you weren’t a Tempeh fan yet, you are about to have a new favourite ingredient. So let’s jump straight to it.
Tempeh, Soy And PCOS
Research has shown that consuming soy ( whole forms like Tempeh, edamame etc) can improve metabolic aspects of PCOS and female fertility. Metabolic aspects that soy can help improve include:
- Reducing total and LDL cholesterol
- Inflamatory markers
- Blood pressure
- Oxidative stress
Let’s break it down and see what the experts say.
Great for Gut Health
People with PCOS are more likely to have a damaged gut barrier considering all the stress and anxiety they face. This is made worse by poor eating habits, poor oestrogen production, and toxins in the body.
According to Dr. Felice Gersh, Medical Director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, Soy products like Tempeh are great for women with PCOS. That’s because of their isoflavone (phytoestrogen) content.
And in case you didn’t know, Isoflavones are great for gut health as they support the growth of healthy bacteria that help maintain the lining of the intestines, which play a crucial part in keeping toxins out and maintaining good gut health.
Tempeh plays a bigger role in gut health than other soy products. That’s because it is packed with probiotics thanks to fermentation and is also a great source of dietary fibre..
Phytoestrogens in soy products can also help in other ways like better mental health and more effective weight loss.
Helps Manage Cholesterol
Angela Grassi, RD, MS (an expert on PCOS and recently named one of the Top 10 incredible RDs making a difference by Today’s Dietitian), says that regularly consuming soy products like Tempeh can help manage cholesterol levels.
That’s because they help lower LDL cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol) and triglycerides. Furthermore, they also help reduce insulin resistance, ensuring your diabetes doesn't become worse either.
The antioxidants in soy products also lower oxidative damage in women with PCOS. She further goes on to say that women with PCOS looking to conceive can also benefit from soy products as they help improve fertility.
In case you didn’t know, Hello Tempayy’s Tempeh combos comes with zero cholesterol and a low fat profile. The fat and cholesterol content is much lower than popular food items like Paneer and Tofu, making Tempeh the healthiest of soy products.
Better IVF Outcomes
Hillary Wright, MS, RDN, LDN (Director of Nutrition for the Domar Center for Mind Body Health at Boston IVF in Boston, Massachusetts, and the author of The PCOS Diet Plan) also recommends including soy products like Tempeh in your diet.
According to her, there are results that show better IVF outcomes in women with PCOS.
She also reiterates that soy products like Tempeh have a better cholesterol profile than meat or dairy-based products like paneer. Plus, it helps better your insulin resistance, thus helping you keep diabetes at bay.
Furthermore, Judy Simon, MS, RDN, CD, CHES, FAND also suggests that soy isoflavones improve insulin resistance, reduce triglycerides, and oxidative stress, while supporting weight loss and reduction in androgens.
There are also studies to back these claims:
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism concluded that supplementation with Soy isoflavones showed decreased levels of insulin and significant reductions in free androgen index and triglycerides.
Shahain and colleagues did a fertility test on 147 random women on phytoestrogen supplement (120mg/day) or clomid alone. The results showed that pregnancy rate improved significantly i.e. by 36% compared to women who didn’t take these supplements (14.6%).
Unfer and colleagues tests on 213 women undergoing IVF, a isoflavone supplement (1,500mg/day) showed double the pregnancy and delivery rates compared to women on a placebo (30.3% vs. 15.2%).
Another study done to check the effects of soy phytoestrogen in women undergoing infertility treatment with assisted reproductive technology (ART) at Massachusetts General Hospital showed that soy improved both fertilization rate, pregnancy rates (52% vs. 41%) and live births (44% vs. 31%) compared to women who were on soy phytoestrogen.
Other studies investigating the use of Soy in women with PCOS have found soy improved total and LDL cholesterol.
Well, most of the myths about soy like it flares the cysts, it is bad for women with PCOS, etc. have been busted by studies and tests. It has been proved that soy products like Tempeh can be beneficial for PCOS and are great for the gut, cholesterol, and even diabetes.
Hello Tempayy also fortifies its Tempeh with Vitamin B12 and Iron. It also packs a healthy dose of calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium.
To top it all, Tempeh is super easy to cook with as it soaks flavours well, has a firmer texture and can take multiple forms. Plus, its neutral flavour means it absorbs the flavours of the condiments better. This means you not just have a healthy ingredient, but also a versatile one that you can use in a variety of recipes.