Two food sources are by far the highest in plant estrogens. These are soybeans and flaxseeds. Other foods contain less phytoestrogen. Remember that when we speak of estrogen in foods, we’re referring to a large group of different types of chemicals made by plants that have an estrogen-like effect in humans.
Here is an alphabetical list of foods that contain various plant estrogens. For each food listed the amount of three major types of phytoestrogen is shown. These are isoflavones, coumestrol, and lignans.
The amounts are shown as a range. This is because the amount of phytonutrient in a particular food can and does vary. For instance, a variety of soybeans found in one part of the world may have higher phytoestrogen content than one grown somewhere else. Or the same variety of soybean may have a different phytoestrogen content depending on the soil it was grown in and the climate where it was grown.
|Beans||0 – 1.5||0 – 3.6||0.05 – 0.18|
|Bean sprouts, alfalfa||0||4.7||0|
|Bread, brown, white||0 – 0.8||0||0|
|Cereals (wheat bran, corn flour, maize, oatmeal)||Less than 0.1||0||0.5|
|Fruit (apples, banana, oranges, etc.)||Less than 0.1||0||0.1|
|Legumes||0 – 0.58||0||0|
|Flaxseed||0||0||60 – 370|
|Nuts (peanuts, hazel nuts, etc.)||Less than 0.1||0||0.2 – 0.33|
|Peas (lentil, split peas)||0.1 – 2.5||0||0 – 0.2|
|Seeds (sunflower, alfalfa, clover)||0.01 – 0.6||72 – 561|
|Soy milk||5 – 10||0||0|
|Soy sauces||0.1 – 1.6||0||0.03|
|Soy flour||131 – 198||0||0.13|
|Soy beans||14 – 153||0.05||0.01 – 0.27|
|Teas (black, green)||0.04 – 0.05||0||2.04|
|Tempeh||29 – 53||0||0|
|Tofu||13.5 – 67||0||0|
The foods with the highest phytoestrogen contents have been bolded. It shows that soy products (soy milk, soy flour, soybeans, tempeh, and tofu), flaxseed and some other specific seeds (sunflower, alfalfa, and clover) contain the highest amounts of one or the other of these major classes of phytonutrients.
The key to benefiting from estrogen rich foods is incorporating them into your diet so that they are delicious to eat and you look forward to them. This can take some time. It starts with good recipes. Learn more on our recipes page.