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Foods and Hormones: Phytoestrogens in edible plants and human reproductive health

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Foods and Hormones is a necessary book for every family as it concerns the health and well being of women, men, and teenagers. The author, Dr. Joy Odimegwu has been working in the area of interactions of hormones, phytoestrogens in food and herbal medicines for years. The necessity of the book stems from the author’s desire to make scientific findings that are not intellectually accessible to the vast majority of the society available and clearer through a book that is easy to read and understand.

As new scientific discoveries are made, several things become clear, one of which is that humans need to be more intentional in their nourishment and diets bearing in mind the myriads of compounds in the food one is eating that protects from diseases and kills invaders of the living system, the other is that the natural is extremely powerful and is armed with an arsenal to fight any causes of imbalance in the living system.

Foods and Hormones is an educational book that explains the interplay between foods we eat and the compounds they contain that affect our bodies and minds sometimes unsuspectingly. The book brings awareness of the richness of our foods and how to gain more from them.

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Dr. Wanda Alli-Balogun MD, Medical Director, Fertility Care Centers of Africa commented on the foreword: “The interesting aspect of Foods and Hormones is the emphasis on Phytoestrogens in the context of fertility and well being. Everybody, women in various stages of their life, men and even teenagers can find a practical and useful guide for healthy food choices and the development of new healthy eating habits in this book.”

The book proper is divided into Four chapters; Chapter 1; introduces phytoestrogens and their characteristics, discussing their effects on daily living and the human brain. It is necessary to note that the food one eats can sometimes affect one’s thinking and decision-making abilities.

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Chapter 2; is about fertility; male and female. The discussion here is about the best foods to eat at ovulation time, foods for pregnancy, foods for improved sperm production and increased volume, foods for hormonal balance.

Chapter 3; introduces menopause; what it is and what happens in the human system undergoing this natural process and also discusses the little known andropause that affects men of middle age and older and usually is rarely discussed. Many men are undergoing the so-called middle-age crisis because of andropause and they are unaware of how to ameliorate its negative symptoms like depression, lowered libido, restlessness, etc. Foods and hormones bring clarity to the issue and the author makes some suggestions on how to ameliorate the distressing symptoms with food.

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In this chapter also, Foods for perimenopause, foods for menopause, foods for post menopause and foods for andropause are discussed for a better understanding of natural processes.

Chapter four is about making our food, our medicine. You are what you eat. Scientific findings of food plants and their components have made it essential for each person to be intentional in their diets; eating for energy, well being and also for pleasure, why not.

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Dr. Joy Odimegwu is passionate about herbal medicine research especially to do with gynaecological ailments. Her Ph.D. research was on increasing medicinal phytoestrogen in yam, diosgenin, which is a steroidal sapogenins that is implicated in human fertility and also has proven anticancer principles against hard to treat cancers. She has gone on to prove that our edible yams can kill breast cancer cells.

She teaches and carries out research at the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine Campus, University of Lagos. She is an African Women in Agricultural Research and Development FELLOW (2008-2010), Organisation of Women in Science in the Developing World OWSD Ph.D. FELLOW (2010-2011) and TWAS-UNESCO ASSOCIATE 2017-2019 at Laboratory of Tumor Immunopharmacology, Center for Pharmacological and Botanical Studies (CEFYBO)-CONICET, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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