Yes, lignans benefit the heart and the mind in the long run. A recent study has proven why this estrogen-rich molecule is beneficial for everybody above 30.
Paleo, Keto, Low-Carb, Atkin, Dukan, HCG, etc are the most famous diets. These diets provide different benefits depending on several factors like location, BMI, lifestyle, family traits, etc. But a lignan-rich diet can be beneficial regardless of these factors and here is why.
What Are Lignans?
Lignans molecules are similar to Estrogen, says Yang Hu, a research fellow at the Boston Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Estrogen balances the overall mental and physical health of both men and women. These hormones keep cholesterol levels under control and assist in bone health. Lack of estrogen will lead to chronic health issues regardless of gender differences. The present study published by Hu shows how lignans act at par with estrogen hormones in the body.
The study involved tracking the diet patterns of more than 200,000 men and women above the age of 30 years. Hu and his team made sure to involve a diverse category of men and women free of cancer/ heart diseases in the study to answer their food questionnaire every 2 years.
In the end, the study showed participants who consumed lignan-rich food were fitter, leaner, and had lower chances of acquiring High BP and cholesterol regardless of differences. Hu also shared that participants who took a little more fiber than the others saw a considerable increase in heart health.
How Can Lignans Benefit the Heart?
Lignans are a type of polyphenols found in plants known to act as a defense system for these organisms to prevent herbivores from consuming the seeds. They also protect the plant, especially its seeds from insects, microorganisms, or even other plants.
These lignans function in the same way as estrogen hormones in the human body when acquired from a plant-based diet. Lignans have several other health benefits apart from heart health like:
- Controlling post-menopause symptoms
- Reduce the risk of cancer
- Keeping BP and Cholesterol under control
- Balancing gut and bowel movements
- Sustaining uterus and prostate health
Researchers suggest that men with a family history of heart diseases and cancer can use lignans as an alternative for estrogen supplements to maintain their health and the balance of sex hormones.
How to Consume Lignans?
Eating healthy is essential but waiting for the weekend cheat day will affect your mental health. Plan your diet around these lignans and fiber-rich tasty plant-based foods:
- Whole Grains (Barley)
- Fruits (Grapes, Blueberries, Cherries, Strawberries, Peach)
- Vegetables (Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli)
- Seeds (Flaxseeds, Sesame, Sunflower)
- Nuts (Cashews, Peanuts)
- Red Wine
Consuming food enriched with lignans, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties regularly can benefit humans in the long run. Nutrition expert David J.A. Jenkins, MD, professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto recommends the consumption of whole fruits because processing the food into juice and smoothies can strip its nutritional values.
The researchers have expanded their boundaries at present to find out how the gut microbiota and increased consumption of fiber assist in the production of lignans. Hu and his team are currently working on finding out the various other functions of the lignan molecules.