I would like to share this delicious, and very easy to prepare hummus recipe with you. It’s a great source of phytoestrogens, compounds that naturally occur in plants that can be of particular benefit to perimenopausal or menopausal women. You are likely consuming phytoestrogens already and simply don’t know it – especially if you are vegan or vegetarian. A plant-based diet often contains phytoestrogen-rich foods to help with menopause, as phytoestrogens are often present in food used as meat substitutes, especially those derived from soya, such as tempeh and tofu.
When we eat phytoestrogens, our bodies may respond as if our own oestrogen were present. To a limited extent, phytoestrogens could serve as a type of natural hormone replacement therapy, so consuming them in foods, like this Happy Hormone Hummus, can help ease menopausal symptoms, especially low mood, and deliver other health benefits.
What are the potential benefits of phytoestrogens for women?
As well as their potential oestrogenic action, foods that contain phytoestrogens also offer other nutritional benefits including protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Soya protein may also help to lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Some studies have shown potential benefits of phytoestrogens in regard to cardiovascular risk, bone density and menopausal symptoms. About a third of women who eat a diet that delivers amounts of phytoestrogens typical of an Asian diet (particularly from soya-based foods) find that their menopausal symptoms improve.
Furthermore, a 2020 review of studies found that phytoestrogens may actually have a protective effect for the following cancers:
- breast cancer
- colorectal cancer
- endometrial cancer
Get your phytoestrogen fix by consuming these foods:
Soya products – tempeh, soya beans (edamame), tofu, miso, soya milk
Grains – oats, rice, barley, quinoa, rice bran, rye, wheat germ
Seeds and nuts – flaxseed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds
Legumes – chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, alfalfa sprouts, mung beans, split peas
It is important to remember that making lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, with a diet rich in phytoestrogens, can improve your quality of life and may make a difference if you are experiencing difficult menopause symptoms. However, if you are struggling severely with menopausal symptoms, you should visit a qualified medical professional to discuss and outline all your potential treatment options. Despite this, phytoestrogens offer some real benefits in helping treat the challenging symptoms of perimenopause and menopause and aiming for a diet that includes them could potentially do some real good. The Happy Hormone Hummus is a great place to start! I hope you enjoy it.
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