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Phytoestrogen Supplements vs. a Phytoestrogen Diet
Menopause hitting you hard? You know all the other benefits eating fruits and a vegetable provides—fiber, vitamins, minerals—but they also have a range of benefits for your menopausal and post-menopausal body. Plants offer certain chemicals that protect your body’s health and well-being. They are known as phytoestrogens and are similar in structure to estrogen (very familiar female hormones!). Phytoestrogen may trick your body into believing it has more estrogen than it actually does, relieving some of the symptoms of menopause and lowering cholesterol levels. You can take phytoestrogen supplements, or eat a diet rich in these plant estrogens.
In addition to fruits and veggies, you can find phytoestrogens in plant-based foods like soy products, including tofu, soymilk and soybeans. Scientists believe these substances work like a weak form of estrogen in the body, helping to relieve hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms of menopause. Moreover, eating a high-soy diet during the first 10 years after menopause has been shown to strengthen bones, which tend to weaken with the lower female hormones (estrogen) levels after menopause.
Although pill or powder phytoestrogen supplements are convenient and easy to take, the isoflavones found in food (a form of phytoestrogen) offer a more complete, nutritious form of these beneficial nutrients, as well as provide other important vitamins and minerals. If you have or recently had estrogen-dependent cancer, be cautious consuming phytoestrogen-rich foods too frequently as there may be a link between phytoestrogens and the growth of estrogen-sensitive cancers. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of phytoestrogens supplements and breast cancer facts.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Diets17 Nov 2009|