In moderate amounts, soy products can be a healthy source of protein, especially for vegetarians. However, soy also contains high amounts of phytic acid, which binds to certain minerals and makes it harder for the body to absorb them. Moreover, some anecdotal reports indicate that soy may interfere with hormones, though no adequate clinical trials have tested this claim. In addition, many people suffer from soy allergies, which can cause hives, itching and abdominal pain.
Eliminate soy from your diet for at least one month. Pay careful attention to every food you eat, especially packaged foods, and read the nutrition labels carefully.
Reintroduce soy into your diet, starting with a small amount. Keep a food journal to track what you eat, what symptoms you have and when those symptoms occur.
See your doctor to have a soy allergy test. If you discover you are allergic, stop eating soy. If not, talk with your doctor about how much soy you should be consuming.
Eat fermented soy products such as soy sauce and miso instead of unfermented products such as soy milk and tofu. When soy is fermented, its phytic acid is destroyed.
Have your doctor run a test to check your mineral levels. Excess soy can block the absorption of minerals, especially calcium, iron, iodine, copper, magnesium and zinc. A mineral deficiency can cause many symptoms, from delayed menses to sudden weight fluctuations. If you are low on a mineral, take a supplement. Your doctor will be able to determine the best dosage and the best time to take the supplement.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. If you are a vegetarian, consume eggs and other legumes, such as beans and peanuts, to ensure you have adequate protein.