Coumestan: Phytochemicals called “coumestans” contain a compound called “coumestrol.” Coumestrol is known to elicit estrogenic effects and is considered a phytoestrogen. Examples of foods with coumestrol include: alfalfa, legumes, pinto beans, soybeans, chick peas, and clovers.
Phytoestrogens are compounds which are derived from plants, and they are found in many different foods. There is a lot of controversy over phytoestrogens, as while there are many studies showing their health benefits, there are also potential risks involved.
The most well-studied of the types of phytoestrogen compounds are isoflavones, also commonly referred to as soy isoflavones because most are found in soy and red clover. The estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects of phytoestrogens have often been thought of as overwhelmingly negative.
Common examples of legumes include: peas, beans, lentils, and alfalfa. In the rankings of phytoestrogens per serving, black bean sauce was ranked as the highest, followed by hummus. Lentils had a relatively low amount per serving by comparison.
Dietary lignan compounds are found in many food sources. Among all, flax seed is high in lignan content, perhaps the richest source of lignans. Some of the same lignan food sources are also good sources of dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants and other nutritional elements. In the following table is a list of food stuffs and beverages and their total lignan content.
But phytoestrogens from plants can definitely impact hormonal metabolism in humans—in both males and females. Because much of the research on phytoestrogens has been related to breast cancer there has been a natural emphasis on the role of phytoestrogens in women's health. But men are affected by phytoestrogens as well, even though the research in this area is a little more scattered and a little less conclusive.
There is no one way street but soy, tofu, edamame, are usually on the top 5, with almost a factor 100, above other common foods with a high content of Isoflavones. the problem with phytoestrogen vs animal estrogen is that phytoestrogen provokes the body to produce more estrogen.
Actually, phytoestrogens from flax and sesame seeds lower estrogen in the body (however some say in large amounts they may do the opposite). Lignans are powerfully anticancerogenic. Cruciferous vegetables also lower estrogen in the body, as well as help it detox.
Soy formula is one of the most phytoestrogen-rich soy foods around, and babies who live on soy formula get a much higher dose of phytoestrogens than even a typical Asian soy-based diet would provide. In rats, an equivalent exposure to phytoestrogens causes brain and reproductive abnormalities in both male and female rats.
Tempeh is a highly nutritious soybean product popular in Indonesia and many places in Asia. Unlike tofu, tempeh is fermented, which allows easier digestion of its protein and reduces the harmful affect of its phytic acid. Like all soy products, tempeh contains plant hormones known as phytoestrogens ...
According to one study of nine common phytoestrogens in a Western diet, foods with the highest relative phytoestrogen content were nuts and oilseeds, followed by soy products, cereals and breads, legumes, meat products, and other processed foods that may contain soy, vegetables, fruits, alcoholic, and nonalcoholic beverages.
A phytoestrogen is a naturally-occurring plant nutrient that exerts an estrogen-like action on the body. Scientists have discovered hundreds of phytoestrogens including soybeans, whole grains, seeds (especially flax), nuts (especially walnuts) and many herbs.