What are lignans?

Plant lignans are phytoestrogens found in plants

What are lignans? - Kræftens Bekæmpelse

Lignans are bioactive, diphenolic plant compounds that are non-nutritive and non-caloric; they are found in high concentrations in seeds and in lower amounts in grains, fruits and vegetables.

In the Nordic countries, whole grains and vegetables are the main sources of plant lignans.

Table 1: Content of lignans in selected foods
(Fineli) database

Food Total lignan (ug/100g)
Rye 95
Wheat 25
Oats and barley 18
Rice 27
Potato 3
Root vegetables 18
Leafy vegetables 31
Cabbages 31
Onion vegetables 24
Pulses 5
Nuts and seeds 300
Citrus fruits 15
Apples, prunes 70
Berries 188
Wine 62

Tetens et al.: Dietary intake and main sources of plant lignans in five European countries. Food Nutr Res. 2013 Jun 11;57. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v57i0.19805. Link to article in PubMed