Phytoestrogens are compounds that are found in plants as well as other plant-based foods that, when eaten, can also affect your body much as the same way that estrogen that is naturally produced in our system works.
We all know that estrogen plays a critical role in a woman’s body as it is the one responsible for regulating their menstrual cycle, development of their bodies, and the like. This hormone is produced by the endocrine system and must be at normal levels for them to be of use.
Phytoestrogens, on the other hand, copy estrogen in terms of chemical structure which is why the estrogen receptors in your body treat them normally. Phytoestrogens are also referred to as endocrine disruptors since they are chemical compounds that can interrupt the normal hormone function in your body. But since phytoestrogens are weaker compared to estrogen, their effects are miniscule.
Benefits of Phytoestrogens
Why is it important to consume phytoestrogens? This is a common question that is being asked by a lot of women. Phytoestrogens are necessary in women who need to rebalance the hormones in their body especially when they are approaching their menopausal stage. Here are a few benefits that you can get from it.
One of the benefits that is linked to phytoestrogens is that it protects you against osteoporosis. Once you have reached menopause, you are at risk of bone problems because of lack of estrogen. Consuming foods with phytoestrogens can help prevent this from happening.
Acne flareups can happen when the male hormones are higher than estrogen. Phytoestrogens can help regulate the hormones in your body which can aid in reducing your acne breakouts. Further studies are required to determine if phytoestrogens can be used to treat acne.
Improves heart health
It is also possible that plant-based estrogens can support better heart health by boosting arterial health in women who are in their postmenopausal stage.
Prevent or reduce certain kinds of cancer
When there are high amounts of estrogen in your body, you are at risk of getting estrogen-related cancer such as ovarian cancer and endometriosis. Consuming foods with phytoestrogens can help bring back your estrogen to a more normal level which can protect you.
Boosts health during menopausal stage
Although it is important that you regulate your consumption of foods that are high in estrogen and phytoestrogens, there are studies that show that they can be beneficial to women during menopause. This helps alleviate hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, and hunger just to name a few.
Risks of Phytoestrogens
Although there are several benefits linked to phytoestrogens, there are risks involved too. here are a few that you should take into consideration.
May stimulate growth of breast cancer cells
Although phytoestrogens are believed to inhibit the growth of certain cancers, there are studies that show that low doses of this plant-based hormone can speed up the growth of cancer cells in the breast.
Eating foods that are high in phytoestrogens may reduce your chances of becoming fertile. Those who reduced their consumption of foods containing phytoestrogens were able to get pregnant.
With the fluctuating hormones that women have to experience during their perimenopausal to menopausal stage, the effects of consuming phytoestrogens may also contribute to your weight gain.
It is believed that having phytoestrogen-rich foods in your diet may provide you with several health benefits, but there are also risks involved. If you want to get the assurance that adding foods with phytoestrogens is good for you, make sure that you consult your doctor first.