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May protect against: Breast and prostate cancers

Works because: The isoflavones contained in soy beans have a gently estrogen-mimicking effect in the body. This may help block the effects of stronger estrogens, both natural and those from environmental chemicals from sources such as plastics and pesticides. This may reduce the risk of hormone-linked cancers in both women and men. Asian populations who eat tofu regularly have lower risks of these cancers. Tofu also contains powerful antioxidants that may help keep other cancers at bay. Tofu and other whole soy foods seem to offer protection, but highly processed soy, such as in supplements, has not been shown to reduce cancer risk.

(CREDIT: GYRO PHOTOGRAPHY/amanaimagesRF/Getty Images)
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