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Is Eating Soy Safe During Pregnancy?

Alison Wood |30, May 2013


Soy protein powders and flavored milks are quite popular among women. But is this favorite source of nutrition safe to consume during baby bump days?

The most recent studies show that isoflavones found in soy can be transferred through breast milk from mothers to infants. Isoflavones are estrogen-like properties and when given to pregnant animals have resulted in reproductive changes in offspring as well as tumors. The effects of above average consumption of soy in pregnant women or women in general have not yet been tested.

One study was performed on pregnant human women who ingested soymilk or soy products during their nine months of pregnancy. The results? Women who had consumed soy were more likely to have a male baby with an abnormal position of the opening from which urine passes. On the other hand, other studies of both humans and animals that had ingested milk as babies showed no health issues associated with soy consumption.

Soy is actually a superb source of needed protein in a pregnant woman's diet. Doctors say it can be safely consumed through the entire duration of pregnancy.

A definite positive about consuming soy products is that a 1991 study in the publication "The Journal of the National Cancer Institute" by Dr. Mark Messina proved that people who eat soy products on a regular basis tend to have lower rates of cancer than people who never consume soy products. So don't be alarmed if someone states you may be posing a risk of cancer to your baby if you ingest soy during pregnancy. Quite the opposite is true.

If you are trying to add some more soy protein to your diet during pregnancy, here are a few simple recipes for your baby bump days.

Berry Banana Shake


1 cup Vanilla Soymilk
1 cup Frozen blueberries or frozen berry mix
1 Banana, sliced
1 tablespoon Soy protein powder
1/2 cup Ice cubes
1 teaspoon Honey

Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve chilled. Yields one serving.

Chocolate Tofu Cheese cake


1/4 cup toasted honey wheat germ
2 packages (8 ounces each) light cream cheese, softened
1 container (8 ounces) firm tofu, well drained, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Splenda
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Directions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Then, coat a 9" spring form pan with cooking spray. Now, dust the pan with the wheat germ while turning the pan to coat the sides and bottom of the pan. Place pan in freezer while preparing the batter. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, tofu, sugar, and Splenda in a food processor and process until smooth. Next, add the egg, egg whites and vanilla. Process again. Now, add the sour cream and cocoa powder until just blended. Then, gently pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool and then refrigerate for at least eight hours. Enjoy!

Sources:Mayo Clinic, LiveStrong

Alison Wood is a stay-at-home mom of six and freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys raising her six children and desires to share her experiences to help other mothers.

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