Just studying for my food science exam tomorrow, and I came across some useful advice. Lots of it, actually, but here's a sampling:
Eat More Soy: Soy is damn good for you. First off, it gets you protein without any of the pesky extra cholesterol (which comes from animal products only). Second, soy contains phytoestrogen, which, like it sounds, is shaped a bit like estrogen, that hormone that both men and women have. The accumulated effects of estrogen in the ovaries or mammary glands (yes, for guys too--guys can and do get breast cancer) is related to increased rates of cancer in these areas.
So what can Soy do for you? Well those phytoestrogens, like I said, are shaped like estrogen, so they can get stuck in places where estrogen might normally stick, blocking the effects of estrogen. So they help reduce risks for ovarian and breast cancer.
By the way, I hate tofu, miso, and most soy-based sauces. And soy milk is nasty to me (what can I say? I like cow milk). So how does one get soy into one's diet when one does not like these things? Or how about healthy alternatives for picky kids?
For me the best way is edamame which is frankly delicious and super easy to make.
Delicious and Fun Soy for Kids (and Adults too!)
1 cup frozen soy beans in pod.
2+ cups of water.
Bring the water to a vigorous boil. Add the frozen soy beans (try to get the unsalted kind--like we need more sodium in our diet, right?) and bring it back to a boil. Boil for 7-10 minutes or until beans are no longer ... crunchy. Salt to taste (or don't--they're delicious without it!) and eat. Don't eat the shell. I mean, you can, they're not *deadly* or anything, they're just very fibrous and tough and not tasty at all.
Fun for kids 'cause you can pop them out of their little shells at each other like BB guns.
I absolutely love edamame--to the point where it's starting to take the place of snack foods like crackers and chips in my diet. Slowly but surely!