The Relationship Between Phytoestrogens and Cardiovascular Health

Relationship Between

Phytoestrogens are natural compounds that occur in a variety of plants, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, that have similar effects to the body’s estrogen hormones. Studies suggest that these plant compounds may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and may provide protection against coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.

What are Phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens are compounds found in certain plants that mimic the body’s naturally occurring estrogen hormones. They are believed to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health by lowering the levels of “bad” cholesterol and raising levels of “good” cholesterol. Additionally, they may reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease and heart attack. Some phytoestrogens, such as soy isoflavones, can also reduce inflammation in the body and aid in decreasing blood pressure.

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Which Foods Contain Phytoestrogens?

Phytoestrogens can be found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. Some of the most common sources of phytoestrogens include soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, flaxseeds, and blueberries, as well as other plant-based foods such as spinach and broccoli.

How do Phytoestrogens Affect Cardiovascular Health?

There is evidence to suggest that consuming foods rich in phytoestrogens can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that phytoestrogens reduce the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), while increasing levels of the protective good cholesterol (HDL). Additionally, they may aid in reducing inflammation in the body, which may help in decreasing blood pressure.

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The Bottom Line

Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds found in a variety of plants that may offer beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that incorporating more phytoestrogen-rich foods, such as soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, flaxseeds and blueberries, into your diet can help to reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke. By eating more of these nutrient-rich foods, you can improve your overall cardiovascular health and heart health.