Phytoestrogens are natural plant substances. Their chemical structure is similar to oestrogen. They have a wonderful balancing effect on oestrogen levels. Foods that are naturally high in phytoestrogens include; flaxseeds/linseeds, soy beans and soy products, sesame seeds, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and wholegrains particularly rye.
Phytoestrogenic foods are beneficial in menopause when a women's level of oestrogen declines. The amount of phytoestrogens (called isoflavones in soy) needed daily to achieve therapeutic effects is contained in about 2 servings per day (50mg isoflavones). Some examples include:
2 tablespoons flaxseeds (whole)
2 cups of soymilk
1 cup soybeans, 200g tofu
20g of soy protein powder.
Phytoestrogens are balancing in that they can also be beneficial when the level of oestrogen is too high. Increased oestrogen levels underlie many health conditions. For example; fibroids, endometriosis, PMS, thyroid conditions and breast cancer. The oestrogenic effects of phytoestrogens are gentle, when compared to oestrogen and its harmful metabolites. Phytoestrogens block receptor sites, which means oestrogen is less able to bind and render its effects.
Men can benefit from phytoestrogens too! Maintaining a healthy prostate! :)
It's important to purchase organic soy. Genetically modified (GM) soy beans do not have the same nutritional benefits as organic non-GM soy.
Soy - is it harmful? is it safe?
To put your mind at rest. My research on the topic has revealed little alarm when it comes to soy and adverse health affects. I wouldn't recommend consuming more than 2-3 servings of soy products per day unless you have low oestrogen levels. Balance is key.
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cacao powder
- 250mL organic soy milk
- 100mL chilled water
- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 1 Medjool date, pitted
- 2 Tbsp linseed meal
- 4 ice cubes
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
Add ingredients to a blender.
Blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!