There was a time in childhood when whatever we ate was digestible. In the times of our ancestors quality of food grains was said to be better. The modern age has resulted in environment deterioration and thus food items as well do not provide requisite nutrients. There is a direct connect between health and nutrition. In this regard, Phytoestrogens are present in many commonly consumed vegetables as bio-active molecules with nutritional values. They can be found in fruits like pears and plums as well as vegetable such as cabbage and sprouts. Phytoestrogens help generate an anti-estrogenic or estrogenic reaction in tissues as they are able to attach to the estrogen receptors.
- Soya beans, many herbs and even nuts are known to have phytoestrogens. One of its benefits considering popular research findings is delay of Menopause. It was found that fermented soy as a part of diet substantially reduced the hot flashes of menopause. It offers a better way than hormone therapy through drugs like Premarin.
- Further, Black Cohosh provides respite during monthlies and is also used to treat cycle related issues. Primary phytonutrients which have been studied for their many good qualities are lignans and isoflavonoids. Genistein and daidzien are types of isoflavonoids found in soybeans and lignans in flax seeds and nuts.
- Phytochemicals or polyphenols are commonly found chemical versions of phytoestrogens. In plants, polyphenols help protect the plant from bacteria, fungi etc. and are also considered to play a role in the colour of the plant or its flowers. Flavonoids are also a type of phytochemicals and provide flavanones, antocyanidins and flavones.
- Soy based food items as well as legumes have a lot of isoflavonoids in them. As per popular research, flavonoids have anti-allergic and anti-carcinogenic qualitiesamong others. Lignans, also a type of phytoestrogens are present largely in items such as flaxseeds, seeds, vegetables, legumes and grains. Popular research shows that lignans are produced more when on a vegetable diet as opposed to a non-veg diet in humans. Coumestans are types of phytoestrogens and found primarily in legumes.
- Phytonutrients are believed to be there in large sums in many herbs. Some of these plants are alfalfa, licorice, Korean ginseng and black cohosh among others. Phytoestrogen is not present in Mexican wild yam, however the phytonutrient in it is very beneficial for the glandular system of women. It basically aids the reproductive system in women. It is also said to have a positive effect on the nervous and urinary systems.
- Phytoestrogens also help in reducing the chances of having life threatening diseases such as cancer in the future. It helps have a positive impact on cell growth and protein combining as well as intracellular enzymes. As per popular research, it reduces the chances of cancer by 54% in women having a diet rich in phytonutrients and also provides protection against endometrial cancer.
- Some food items which are full of phytoestrogensare flax and sesame seeds and pistachios. Soy nuts and tofu also have high amounts of isoflavones while flax and multi-grain breads also have high amounts of phytoestrogens. Blackbean sauce and hummus are believed to have good amounts of phytoestrogens in the legume food group. Alcohol especially red wine is considered to have substantial density of phytoestrogens. Dried apricots in fruits and V8 juice in beverages are considered other sources of the estrogen.
- Phytoestrogens are also believed to aid loss of weight. Popular studies and research shows that it aids regulation of obesity. There are also researches which show that phytoestrogens will help libido. The ones in beer and bourbon for instance are said to enhance the partner pleasing time.
Phytoestrogens are not made by the human endocrine system and need to be consumed. Phytoestrogens are used to control animal fertility by plants, especially those likely to eat them. They are a type of xenoestrogens and have man-made versions. They can be found in pharmaceutical products, pesticides as well as beauty products. However, these estrogens have a negative effect on the endocrine system. Hence, phytoestrogens in natural plant form is suitable for humans. Researchers feel that they can only temporarily raise the estrogen levels in the human body, however, for such time it appears that the body is itself producing more of the same. The concentration of phytoestrogens in plants varies depending on age and growth of the plant as well as soil quality.