Soy has never been more popular

but, the real question is ...

Ask the RD: Is Soy Good for me?

Many people have been skeptical of soy... but here is what the science tells us: 

Soy and soy products contain the highest amount of a group of natural plant chemicals called isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen that is 1,000 times weaker then human estrogen and does not act exactly like human estrogens in our bodies. In fact, insoflavones block some of human estrogen effects and mimic others, generally resulting in health benefits!

  • Soy isoflavones have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Soy is one of the only plant-based sources of complete protein (protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs).
  • Soy is a good source of fiber, potassium, calcium. magnesium and iron.
Crispy Tofu


Reboot with soy


Women's Health:

Isoflavones help regulate cell growth, which actually safeguards against some cancers. Soy is the main source of natural plant isoflavons and may provide protection against ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, multiple myeloma and breast cancer. In fact, one 2008 review study showed a regular consumption of just one cup of soy milk or 1/2 cup tofu daily decreased women's risk of getting breast cancer by 30% vs. women who avoided soy. Studies have also shown a reduced risk of reassurance in breast cancer survivors by lowering overall mortality among patients by up to 21% over the course of the 9-year study compared to low soy consumers. Furthermore, multiple studies on soy have associated lower rates of cancer in Asian countries, where diets are higher in soy.

In addition, menopausal adult women who increase their phytoestrogen intake by eating soy foods may help reduce hot flashes and young girls who consume soy may help delay the onset of premature menarche and puberty.

Men's Health:

A large 2010 systematic review showed that soy does not affect testosterone levels, sperm concentration, or sperm quality. Soy may lower the risk of prostate cancer by up to 50%.

Thyroid Health:

The available research suggests that soy may not affect thyroid function, especially in those who have a normal thyroid and iodine levels. However, soy may be harmful for those who already have an existing thyroid problem and take medications for their thyroid. This is because soy products may interfere with how the body absorbs the medication in the GI tract, making it less effective. A general tip for those taking thyroid medication would be to wait a few hours between taking your thyroid medication and consuming any soy products as soy tends to alter how your intestines absorb the medication. You may need the dose adjusted if you change your soy intake. Always consult your physician first about soy and any thyroid medications you may be taking. 

cardiovascular health:

Soy is actually good for your heart! Clinical studies suggests that eating foods that contain isoflavones, soy being one of the highest sources, every day may help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, It is thought that the isoflavones work by encouraging your body to produce nitric oxide, which helps to dilate blood vessels and reduce the pressure created by blood against the vessel walls.

Also. whole soy foods contain no cholesterol, high levels of healthy protein and fiber being plant-based. Soy is high in fiber which helps to reduce your bad (HDL) cholesterol. Plus, soy is a much healthier source of protein for your heart than saturated-fat-rich, high cholesterol, animal-derived foods.

Bone health:

Soy may prevent or improve osteoarthritis symptoms. Soy phytoestrogens seem to significantly boost bone mineral density. Genistein, the soy phytoestrogen, has shown to prevent bone loss and accelerate new bone formation. Soy food consumption is also associated with lower bone fracture risk.

One to two servings of whole and fermented soy foods is recommended per day. One serving is a half-cup of tofu or 1 cup of soy milk. 


Ask the RD: what Soy foods are healthiest to buy?

Whole soy foods are your best option.

They are not processed, so they retain all of the most nutritional benefits soy has to offer! Popular whole foods you most likely are already familiar with are:

  • Tofu, soft and firm blocks of coagulated soymilk, is an Asian staple, is easy to prepare and packed with calcium. It's also high in omega-3 fats, which ensure normal brain function and lower the risk of dementia. 
  • Edamame, or young green soybeans, are also a great source of protein. Just one, half-cup serving of edamame provides 8 grams of protein which is triple the amount of protein you’d get from most other vegetables. Edamame are perfect to eat as a snack or add to a salad.

However, soybeans are naturally hard to digest. Fermentation and "sprouted" soy products makes soybeans much more digestible, provides added gut health benefits and adds flavor to a meal! 

  • Fermented soy include varieties like tempeh, miso, tamari, shoyu and natto. The fermentation allows nutrients to be more easily absorbed into the body, as fermented foods are packed with good probiotics, which help keep our gut flora healthy and boost your mood!

RD TIP: I purchase organic sprouted tofu and love this brand here fortified with calcium, vitamin D and K from Costco (3 oz of tofu: 100 kcals, 10gm protein, 20% DV of vitamin D and calcium, USDA organic, non-GMO, GF, cholesterol free, vegan).

More highly processed soy foods are not the best choice.

Watch out for processed soy products such as soy burgers and soy energy barsIngredients such as: "soy protein," "isolated soy protein" or "soy flour" on the label are processed forms of soy. This means that most of the nutrients are essentially stripped away in the processing. Other highly processed soy to avoid are "frankensoy" products. They may look and taste just like frankfurters, steak strips, cheese and other foods however, they are also likely to be loaded with added sugars, fats and refined flours to make up for the flavor and texture.

When purchasing soy, buy organic.

Not all soy products are created equal. Unfortunately, thanks to savvy marketing and nutritional buzzwords, not all soy foods are a good thing. Make the right selections to ensure you’re getting the best and most natural forms of nutrition from soy foods and soy products! 92% of the soybeans grown in the United States today are genetically modified (GM). To avoid genetically modified foods, choose certified organic soy products. The USDA National Organic Standards prohibit genetically modified ingredients in certified organic foods.

  • Genetically modified soybeans have significantly less protein and phenylalanine, an essential amino acid.
  • Genetically modified soybeans have more allergenic properties.
  • Soy lecithin made from genetically modified soy has 29% less choline, a brain-boosting vitamin.
  • Genetically modified soybeans produce different fat, carbohydrate and ash levels.

Bottom line for those who may worry about estrogen, GMO's and pesticides from soy: Most dietary estrogen comes from dairy and meat products. Unlike soy phytoestrogens, animal estrogens DO mimic human estrogen in our bodies. Similarly, most GMO soy is used to feed chicken, pigs and cattle, which are then eaten by consumers. Much of the soy grown for human consumption is non=GMO. 

Crispy sesame Tofu BUddha Bowls

Recipe By Dietitian: Taylor Johnson, RD, LDN

Recipe Type: Dinner
Serves: 4

Dietary restrictions: Gluten Free (choose GF soy sauce), Diary Free, Vegetarian, Vegan



    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the tofu from sticking.
    2. To prepare the tofu, drain the tofu. Slice the tofu into thirds lengthwise so you have 3 even slabs. Stack the tofu on top of each other and slice through them lengthwise to make 3 even columns, then slice across to make 5 even rows. Place the tofu on paper towels to absorb the excess water. Fold the towel over the cubed tofu and place something heavy on top (like another cutting board) to help absorb the excess water in the tofu before cooking. Let the tofu rest for at least 10 minutes (preferably more like 30 minutes, if you have the time).
    3. Transfer the pressed tofu into a mixing bowl and drizzle with oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and tamari. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu (and panko/chickpea breadcrumbs), and toss until the starch has evenly coated the tofu.
    4. Tip the bowl of tofu over onto your prepared baking sheet and arrange the tofu in an even layer.
    5. Chop your broccoli and cauliflower and assemble on another baking sheet. Drizzle your vegetables with EVOO, minced garlic, pink sea salt and cracked pepper.
    6. Bake both baking sheets, tofu and vegetables, for 30 minutes, tossing the tofu halfway, until the tofu is golden brown and crispy on the edges. I will typically turn the oven to a high broil for the last 3 minutes to get it really nice and crispy!
    7. While the tofu and vegetables are baking, prepare and cook the forbidden rice with vegetable broth according to package directions.
    8. Once the tofu and vegetables are done, arrange your bowl with 1/2 plate vegetables, 1/4th crispy tofu, and 1/4 rice. Top with sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, chopped green onion or cilantro! Reboot and Enjoy!

    Crispy Tofu

    • 1 block, 12 ounces, of organic, extra-firm tofu (I use this "sprouted" brand here)
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium tamari* (fermented GF soy sauce) or soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch
    • 2 minced garlic cloves
    • 1 tsp sesame seeds
    • Optional: red pepper flakes
    • Optional: whole wheat panko bread crumbs or chickpea breadcrumbs 
    • Pink sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

    Grain Bowl

    • 2 cups chopped broccoli
    • 2 cups chopped cauliflower
    • 1 tbsp. EVOO
    • 2 minced garlic cloves
    • 2 cups cooked forbidden rice
    • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
    • 3 chopped green onion
    • Optional: red pepper flakes
    • Optional: cilantro
    • Optional: drizzle spicy peanut sauce overtop (see recipe below)
    • Pink sea salt and ground pepper to taste

    What to do with your Buddha Bowl leftovers? ...



    recipe remix


    Crispy Tofu Wraps + Spicy peanut dipping sauce

    Recipe By Dietitian: Taylor Johnson, RD, LDN

    Recipe Type: lunch or dinner

    Dietary restrictions: Gluten Free (choose GF soy sauce), Diary Free, Vegetarian, Vegan

    Save yourself TIME, MONEY + FOOD WASTE 

    by Rebooting your leftover Crispy Sesame Tofu Buddha Bowl ingredients into Crispy Tofu Wraps with a spicy peanut dipping sauce for lunch or dinner the next day!

     Don't reinvent the wheel! This recipe is not only healthy but packed with flavor and is a great utilization of leftovers - saving you time, money, food waste, and the headache of coming up with another recipe to entertain yourself or the family! I am not a big fan of eating the exact same thing twice so, I love reinventing and getting creative with pre-made ingredients into other delicious dishes. This also helps to free up my time for other things I have planned throughout the week. Therefore, I love to batch cook and make extra crispy tofu from the Buddha Bowl recipe so that I can fill the leftovers into these delicious seaweed wraps or make into spring rolls for dinner or lunch the next day. These are super light, fresh, flavorful and healthful - perfect for Summer!




    1. Prep/cook the tofu beforehand or use leftovers from your crispy tofu grain bowl like I did above!
    2. Cut your veggies or buy pre-cut to make this step super easy.
    3. Make a rolling station. if you're doing spring rolls, you’ll need space for soaking the rice paper (I like to use a large plate with a little bit of water) and a cutting board with all the veggies/fillings laid out, a flat surface to roll the wraps or rolls on PLUS a separate plate/dish lined with a wet paper towel if you're doing spring rolls to keep the finished spring rolls from sticking together.
    4. For the Peanut Sauce: Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender (I use my Vitamix) and blend until smooth. Add 1 tbsp (or more) of water to thin out the consistency into a smooth, creamy sauce.
    5. For spring rolls: soak the rice paper in lukewarm water, not hot or freezing cold water. It also helps if your hands are wet while rolling the rice paper, which prevents the paper from sticking to your fingers and potentially tearing. RD TIP: I normally wrap them twice because I like to pack in a lot of veggies and the rice paper can tear easily so, twice is key!
    6. Assemble your seaweed wraps or spring rolls by first laying down romaine leaves  to create a bed for the filling, rice, crispy sesame tofu, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, carrots, purple cabbage, and peppers. Top with green onions and sprinkle sesame seeds. 
    7. Dip finished wraps or spring rolls into the peanut sauce. Reboot and enjoy!

    Crispy Tofu Wraps / Spring Rolls

    • Pre-cooked crispy sesame tofu (see recipe above)
    • Pre-cooked forbidden rice
    • Pre-cooked broccoli and cauliflower (see recipe above)
    • 3 romaine leaves, cut to size (to create a bed for the filling)
    • 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
    • 1 cup sliced red, orange or yellow sweet pepper
    • 1 cup shredded carrots (I purchase pre-cut matchstick carrots to save myself time)
    • 1/2 cup bean sprouts (or any other sprout/micro green)
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
    • 6 seaweed wraps or 12 rice paper rolls (to wrap each roll twice)
    • chopped green onion for topping
    • Sesame seeds for topping

    Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce (vegan)

    • 3/4 cup soaked cashews (2 or more hrs to soften)
    • 2 tbsp. peanut butter powder (I use PB2 powder)
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp. tamari (GF, fermented soy sauce)
    • Dash of red pepper flakes (more of less depending on how spicy you'd like it)
    • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
    • Dash pink sea salt and ground black pepper to taste


    If you make these recipes, we would love to see it! Tag us in your photo @rootsreboot with #RootsReboot or #RebootAndTurnip to our INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK



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