Soy milk is made by soaking dried soy beans in water, then grinding, heating and pressing them. The fluid is then strained and packaged as "milk" Among its many benefits, soy milk:
- Can substitute for cow's milk in many culinary applications, thus avoiding the butterfat, which is unhealthy
- Does not contain milk protein (casein), which can increase mucus production and irritate the immune system in some people
- Does not contain milk sugar (lactose), which can cause digestive distress in those that are lactose intolerant.
- Is a good source of protein - one cup contains four to 10 grams of soy protein.
When choosing soy milk, opt for a brand that is:
- Fortified with calcium - while soy milk is naturally a good source of calcium, it doesn't have as much as cow's milk
- Organic - many soy crops are heavily treated with pesticides
- Free of the thickening agent carrageenan, a seaweed derivative, which I believe may be harmful, especially to the intestinal tract
- A low-fat version, especially if you are watching your weight.
I recommend one to two one-cup servings daily.
Don't believe the many sensationalist negative claims about soy. Like any healthy food, enjoy it in moderation for optimal health.