Lignans constitute a group of phytochemicals, which are produced by oxidative dimerization of two phenylpropanoid units. Furfuran type lignans such as secoisolariciresinol, matairesinol, lariciresinol or pinoresinol are widely distributed in edible plants, and most of those dietary lignans are metabolized by the gut microflora to enterolactone and enterodiol, also known as enterolignans, traditionally classified as phytoestrogens. The rich sources of lignans are flaxseed, sesame seeds, cereal products, and Brassica vegetables. There is a growing interest in biological functions of lignans from edible plants, since a higher intake of edible plants containing lignans is known to reduce the incidence of certain chronic diseases. This review deals with the isolation and preparation of furfuran type lignans from edible plants, and their bioactivities such as anticancer, antioxidant, cardiovasculoprotective, neuroprotective, and antiinflammatory activities, so that recent informations about bioactive lignans from edible plants may be available for the development of potential functional food agents. In this article, patents based information is also discussed.