Phytoestrogens are divided into three groups: isoflavones, lignans and coumestanes. Their effect is similar to that of female sex hormones, particularly such as the oestradiol hormone. However, their effect is over 100 times less, whereas the human body depends on the actual mechanism of the hormonal balance amount. Thus, phytoestrogens have both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects.
- Antioxidant (meaning, they prevent sensitive molecules’ reaction with oxygen)
- Stimulate the immune system
- Lower blood pressure
May reduce the risk of:
- Cardiovascular diseases (improves blood vessel function)
- Cancer diseases and cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms.
Isoflavones: soybeans and soy products such as tofu, soy milk, etc.
Lignans: linseed/flax seed, pumpkin seeds, whole grain cereals, beans, asparagus, broccoli, red and white wines.
Coumestanes play a minor role in people’s nutrition, because they are contained in only a few plant based foods, such as alfalfa sprouts, clover sprouts and soybean sprouts.
It should be noted that:
Isoflavones are sensitive to heat.
Recommendations for daily requirements have not yet been scientifically determined.
Phytochemicals should not be taken as isolated in tablets because this may cause undesirable side effects. The numerous other ingredients in food are most likely essential, in order that they can exert healthy effects on the body.