Diet and Nutrition 2022

Foods rich in phytoestrogensêniums (and their benefitsícios)

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Foods rich in phytoestrogensêniums (and their benefitsícios)
Foods rich in phytoestrogensêniums (and their benefitsícios)

There are some foods of plant origin, such as nuts, oilseeds or soy products, which contain compounds very similar to human estrogens and, therefore, perform a similar function. These compounds are compounds known as phytoestrogens.

Some examples of phytoestrogens present in foods include isoflavones, flavones, terpenoids, quercetins, resveratrol and lignins.

Consumption of this type of food can have several he alth benefits, especially during menopause or in women who suffer from premenstrual tension, popularly known as PMS.

The main benefits of including this type of food in the diet are:

1. Reduces menopausal and PMS symptoms

Phytoestrogens help relieve menopausal symptoms, especially night sweats and hot flashes. In addition, they also allow you to better control the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, as they regulate and balance estrogen levels in the body.

2. Maintains bone he alth

Estrogen deficiency increases the risk of suffering from osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal women. This is because estrogens are primarily responsible for counteracting the action of other hormones that promote bone resorption, in addition to preventing calcium loss, which keeps bones strong and he althy.

Thus, eating foods rich in phytoestrogens can be a good strategy to try to keep estrogen levels better regulated, preventing osteoporosis.

3. Prevents cardiovascular disease

Phytoestrogens also help prevent cardiovascular diseases, as they improve the concentration of lipids in the blood, reduce clot formation, improve blood pressure and have antioxidant action.

Some studies suggest that isoflavones are primarily responsible for the antioxidant action, reducing bad cholesterol (LDL), preventing its accumulation in the arteries and thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

4. Prevents memory problems

Memory is usually affected after menopause, due to the decrease in estrogen levels in a woman's body. Thus, some studies indicate that the consumption of phytoestrogens can help to treat memory loss, if it is related to the decrease of estrogens, in addition to appearing to decrease the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia.

5. Prevents cancer

Phytoestrogens, especially lignans, have potential anticancer activity as they have strong antioxidant action that helps to reduce inflammation and protect the body's cells from the effect of free radicals.Thus, this type of phytoestrogens has been linked, in certain studies, to a reduced risk of breast, uterus and prostate cancer.

Lignans can be found in foods such as flaxseeds, soybeans, nuts and seeds. It is recommended the consumption of 1 spoon of flaxseed, per day, to obtain this type of effect, being able to be added to yogurts, smoothies, salads or on the fruits.

6. Prevents diabetes and obesity

Phytoestrogens have an effect on the production of insulin, helping to keep it regulated and facilitating the control of blood sugar levels, which can therefore prevent the onset of diabetes.

In addition, some studies suggest that phytoestrogens can also modulate adipose tissue, favoring its reduction and preventing obesity.

Composition of phytoestrogens in foods

The following table shows the amount of phytoestrogens per 100 grams of food:

Food (100g) Amount of phytoestrogens (μg) Food (100g) Amount of phytoestrogens (μg)
Flaxseeds 379380 Broccoli 94
Soybeans 103920 Cabbage 80
Tofu 27151 Peach 65
Soy yogurt 10275 Red wine 54
Sesame seeds 8008 Strawberry 52
Linseed Bread 7540 Raspberry 48
Multi-grain bread 4799 Lentils 37
Soy milk 2958 Peanuts 34, 5
Humus 993 Onion 32
Garlic 604 Blueberries 17, 5
Alfalfa 442 Green tea 13
Pistachio 383 White wine 12, 7
Sunflower seeds 216 Corn 9
Prune 184 Black tea 8, 9
Olive oil 181 Coffee 6, 3
Almond 131 Watermelon 2, 9
Cashew nuts 122 Beer 2, 7
Hazelnut 108 Cow's milk 1, 2
Pea 106

Other foods

In addition to soy and flaxseed, other foods that are also sources of phytoestrogens are:

  • Fruits: apple, pomegranates, strawberry, cranberries, grape;
  • Vegetables: carrots, yams;
  • Grains: oats, barley, wheat germ;
  • Oils: sunflower oil, soybean oil, almond oil.

In addition, many industrialized foods such as cookies, pasta, bread and cakes also contain soy derivatives, such as oil or soy extract in their composition.

Consumption of phytoestrogens in men

There is no solid scientific evidence associated with the intake of phytoestrogens in men and infertility problems, altered testosterone levels or decreased semen quality, however, further studies are needed.

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