Phytoestrogen foods

Phytoestrogens are an often misunderstood field of diet and estrogen research. Offering many of the effects of estrogen, they’re believed to have effects in reducing various cancers, heart diseases and cardiovascular conditions, and menopausal effects. As plant compounds, phytoestrogens are found in many food sources, including common use as a relatively low cost protein form in fast foods and ready-made meals. The effects of a diet high in phytoestrogen in men and women is still being readily researched and discussed, and hasn’t been completely finalized.

This article goes into detail on the risks and rewards of phytoestrogens, the benefits and downsides or their consumptions and reasons to avoid or embrace them. With their presence in many different food types, it’s of high important to understand just how they can effect people and make sure that they’re either consumed for good or avoided for their possible side effects and negative causes.

Phytoestrogens are most commonly found in various nuts and seeds. While soy is often renowned with estrogen-boosting characteristics, it typically contains less phytoestrogens than seeds, legumes and some types of bread. However, you need to take into account the amount of soy that often finds its way into other forms of food such as bread and other baked goods, and also the prevalence of soy in various pre-made meals and dishes. For concentrated phytoestrogens, it’s hard to top flax seed oil, tofu, and products containing soy beans. It’s worthwhile to note that the different foods containing phytoestrogens get them from different sources — nuts and seeds from lignans, and soy products from Isoflavones.

There’s panic on either side of the fence surrounding phytoestrogens, with some people embracing them for their believed health benefits and others avoiding them for the possible decreases in male fertility. This is a divide that’s very much centered around gender lines. While phytoestrogens are highly effective in producing health in females, particularly in minimizing the effects of menopause, they’re regarded as unhealthy for men and run the possibility of causing a decrease in fertility. However, this research is largely debated and ongoing, and phytoestrogens are also claimed to offer health benefits for men. At this point it’s very difficult to judge whether phytoestrogens cause a net benefit or problem for men.

The major benefit of phytoestrogens is in their ability to actively prevent breast cancer, particularly in menopausal women. In scientific split-testing, women with a large intake of phytoestrogens have just one quarter the chance of developing breast cancer that a group of low phytoestrogen intake women recorded. Because of this, it’s wise for women to take in a reasonable consumption of phytoestrogens, particularly from breads and grain products. It becomes even more important if there is a family history of breast cancer.

However, women with hormonal issues need to weigh up the pros and cons of the situation. Amongst women without ovaries, phytoestrogen consumption and its effects is still widely debated and uncertain. To minimize risk, it’s best to consult with your doctor or dietitian whenever you’re considering a change in diet to take in more nutrients (although phytoestrogens aren’t considered nutrients). Consult with professionals before making any major dietary changes, and be sure to survey every option before deciding on any specific one.

Likewise, even if used as a preventative measure for menstrual and menopausal problems, it’s important to get professional opinions and advice on phytoestrogens. As an area of science that’s widely debated and researched, the best solution for anyone looking to incorporate large amounts of phytoestrogens into their diet is to consult skilled medical professionals, look at the resources available and make the best decision for themselves.

Last updated on Jun 20th, 2010 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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