Today is all about soy and how it affects your skin and your health.
A lot of people have been led to believe that soy is actually a health food because of its relation to its pea cousin and a high protein content.
A lot of vegan and vegetarian food is made with soy… which makes me shudder.
Saying soy is a health food is like saying that whole grain bread is a health food — compared to what? White bread?
Yes, whole grain bread is technically a smidge more healthy than white bread because it’s less refined, however, it spikes your insulin levels the way white bread does, and comes with toxic compounds that are totally undigestible and ruin the integrity of your gut just as white bread does.
NEW IN 2017!
So soy can be good for you if you start with a totally garbage diet full of pizza and donuts… But if you’re already eating well, then there’s just no reason to be adding soy to your diet.
To be fair, there are two types of soy: unfermented and fermented. Fermented soy is to soy what yogurt is to milk, it is loaded with probiotics and vitamin K2. Examples of fermented soy include natto beans and tempeh.
If you’re going to eat fermented soy, then please choose organic — because at least this way it won’t be genetically modified.
But in our “Western” diet, we mostly eat conventional unfermented soy like tofu — it’s not organic, it’s GENETICALLY MODIFIED, and it’s toxic to your system.
Genetically modified foods seem to wreak havoc on the digestive tract, killing the good bacteria in there that you need to survive.
The Real Issue With Soy
Besides the fact that the soy in most of the food stuffs available to us is GMO, the real issue with soy is that it is high in isoflavones — which is a plant-made estrogen otherwise known as phytoestrogen.
In fact, soy products are the highest source of isoflavones in the human diet (according to this).
As you know, a woman’s estrogen balance is basically her life — if the balance gets whacky you can start experiencing a host of side effects, acne is just one of them.
Alarmingly, some research shows a link between consuming phytoestrogens (soy) and increased risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, PCOS, and other hormonal imbalance disorders.
Phytoestrogens can both mimic estrogens, or block the action of the real estrogen in your system. Neither of which is a good thing.
There is something to be said for soy’s impact on your hormonal balance.
As someone who had acne, I learned early on to avoid soy at all costs. I did not want anything messing with my hormones because I know how vital hormonal balance is to my mood, mental health, energy levels, and pretty much every aspect of my health.
What About Birth Control Pills
I know this is a seemingly random tangent, but since we’re on the subject of hormones, I’m going to touch on my experience with birth control pills so that you can understand why I’m so against anything that messes with your natural hormone balance.
I learned this lesson the hard way.
When I was 18, I went on birth control pills for the first time. I didn’t think about the side effects as anything I’d ever experience…
But the side effects were VERY real. I have never felt as bad as I did when I was taking birth control pills. They messed with my sense of well-being in a big way — I had mood swings, I cried a lot, and I got constant migraines — up to 1-2 times a week some weeks.
If you don’t know, migraines are the most debilitating type of headache where you become so sensitive to light and sound that it feels like torture. Sometimes the pain was bad enough to make me throw up.
Though my skin was clear on birth control pills, I was the least happy I’ve ever been. But what’s worse, is that I didn’t make the connection between the pills and the side effects until living with the side effects became “normal” for me.
I thought that the moods I was in were who I was — a terrible person. But I was under the control of birth control pills.
But it’s not just me. Every woman has her own (negative) experiences with birth control.
A client of mine got a huge case of severe cystic acne with her birth control pills. Hormonal imbalances affect us all differently, and it’s important not to chase the “quick fix” because there’s no such thing.
To me, the side effects of birth control are not worth it and I would never ever recommend that someone try them.
Today, so many foods contain soy and a processed version of soy called soy lecithin. If you read the back of most chocolate bars, they contain soy lecithin.
It’s used as a filler ingredient and as an emulsifier, but let me tell you — soy lecithin is a completely unnecessary ingredient as far as chocolate is concerned. The dark chocolate I eat is smooth, melts in my mouth, and tastes incredible WITHOUT soy lecithin.
The bottom line: if you want to be healthy and have clear skin then try to avoid soy. This is especially important if you’re dealing with any kind of gut issues because soy will keep you from healing.
P.S. I’ve shared my best 28 hacks for clear skin in my 28 Days Of Clear Skin video series. You can sign up to get every single hack in your inbox here!