Phytoestrogens are a special group of phytonutrients that occur naturally in most plant foods. The two major classes are isoflavones in soy, and lignans in seeds, whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
They’re called phytoestrogens because they interact with estrogen receptors but they’re not estrogen. In fact, they bind so weakly to estrogen receptors that they effectively block estradiol and are therefore better classified as ANTI-estrogen.
If you follow my blog, you know how much I care about women and women’s health. I want women to be fully nourished and eat in a way that supports ovulation and hormones.
I am, therefore, concerned about any diet that seems to impair ovulation. That can include a low-carb or keto diet, which can stop ovulation and periods. That can also include an exclusively plant-based or vegan diet, which can stop ovulation, but more often seems to cause long cycles and progesterone deficiency.
If you’re vegan, I encourage you to keep reading and join the conversation in the comments. I particularly want to hear from anyone who has been vegan for at least a year. (And see below for a tally of the comments so far.)