Foods Low in Estrogen

Hormone health is very important for the well-being of a person. Hormones play an important role through every life stage and participate in various body processes. Hormones regulate almost everything like reproduction, growth, sex drive, skin health, and many other body functions.

This hormone also controls the time when a certain process should happen in the body. These all hormones are susceptible and can be easily affected by various lifestyle factors like stress, sleep, exercise, and many others. Estrogen is also one of these hormones that can be affected by lifestyles, especially diet.

How To Fix Hormonal Imbalances Naturally and Why Is Stress Management Important?

What Is Estrogen?

Estrogen is mainly known as the female sex hormone because of its prominent role in women’s reproductive system. This hormone regulates the process of menstruation, menopause, secondary sex characteristics, and many other functions of a woman’s body.

Estrogen plays an important role in men’s bodies as well. This hormone affects the urinary tract, bones, skin, hair, brain, heart, and blood in both men and women. In women’s bodies, different types of estrogen are produced.

The first one is estradiol, the most common type in women of childbearing age. The second one is estriol, the type of estrogen involved in pregnancy. And the third one is estrone, the only estrogen produced by the body after menopause.

Estrogen Dominance: Signs and Symptoms

Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen levels are chronically high in men or women. Women are more common to have estrogen dominance. If estrogen dominance is not treated, it can lead to some unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Low sex drive
  • Digestive issues
  • Poor sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Depression
  • Non-cancerous lumps in the breast
  • Tender or swollen breast

Not only these, but high levels of estrogen along with other hormonal imbalances can also cause PCOS, irregular menstruation, and uterine fibroids in women.

Causes of Estrogen Dominance

Several factors can cause estrogen dominance. These factors can work in different ways. Like some factors just cause overproduction of estrogen, some change how the body breaks down estrogen, while some change the process of estrogen excretion by the body. Any of these processes can lead to chronic hormonal imbalance.

Estrogen dominance in women occurs when the estrogen level increases from progesterone in the body. The following factors can contribute to estrogen dominance:

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Dysbiosis
  • Certain medication
  • Xenoestrogen exposure
  • Certain Medical condition

Estrogen dominance in men occurs when the estrogen level becomes higher than testosterone in the body.

Impact of Diet on Estrogen Dominance

Overall diet of a person has a great effect on his hormonal levels. An unhealthy diet can cause hormonal imbalance. According to research (MaríaSánchez-Zamorano, 2016), a Western-type diet high in processed fat, added sugar, and animal foods are linked with higher estrogen levels.

Scientists believe that the high estrogen level in the Western diet is that foods like eggs and red meat, which are part of this diet, are high in cholesterol. Cholesterol works as a precursor to estrogen. So, a diet high in cholesterol levels can lead to a high estrogen level in the body.

Another review of 32 small studies  (Xiao, 2019) found that this western diet is linked with an 18 percent increased risk of estrogen-mediated or progesterone-mediated breast cancers.

Moreover, body weight also plays an important role in developing the level of estrogen. High body fat and increased risk of estrogen dominance. This level of estrogen cancan is reduced with the help of a proper diet and a healthy lifestyle.

10 Foods That Lower Estrogen

Diet has a great impact on the level of hormones, including estrogen. Studies (Shapira, 2017) have shown that adding a high fiber and plant-based diet into your routine is linked with a decreased risk of estrogen-related health conditions.

Several foods can aid in removing the excess estrogen from the body and work as a building block for producing other hormones necessary for proper functioning.

1.   Arugula:

arugula on a white background

Certain cruciferous vegetables can help in lowering the level of estrogen. Arugula is one of these. Most people avoid adding this vegetable into their diet due to its bitter load. But this vegetable has several properties which can make it a healthy option.

Arugula has both anti-cancer and estrogen-blocking properties. It is also high in vitamin C, which works as an immunity booster and protects the body against various diseases. Studies (Bhargava, 2020) have also shown that the antioxidant properties of arugula can protect the cells against any damage which can lead to cancer.

These green vegetables’ fiber and antioxidant content are also good for heart health and managing diabetes.

Like broccoli, there are various ways to cook arugula as well. Although it is a bitter green vegetable, massaging it with lemon and coconut oil before cooking can help remove some bitterness.

2.   Avocados:

Avocado cut into half

Avocados have recently gained popularity due to their various health benefits and role in weight loss. Avocados are a source of good fats, which work as hormone building blocks. And reduce the hormonal imbalance. Various studies have also shown the role of avocado in reducing the absorption of estrogen in boosting the level of testosterone in men.

In addition to healthy fats, avocados also have plant sterols that can block estrogen absorption. According to a study  (Gylling, 2014) on atherosclerosis, avocados are high in plant sterols, and 100 grams of this fruit contains 75 mg of plant sterols, which is more than the same amount of oranges and broccoli contain.

These plant sterols are also known as phytosterols and are present within the plant cell membrane. These plant compounds also block cholesterol absorption, reducing blood cholesterol levels.

3.   Broccoli:

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower can significantly affect estrogen and help reduce its extra production. Broccoli is not only beneficial in aiding hormonal balance but also packed with various valuable vitamins, minerals, plant compounds, and amino acids.

A single serving of broccoli can provide a high amount of vitamins like vitamins A, C, K, B6, E, and many others. Moreover, this vegetable is rich in iron, potassium, manganese, calcium, and selenium. All these minerals take part in some important human body functions.

Apart from this nutrient, broccoli contains a high amount of phytochemicals and plant-based chemicals, which help in blocking the production of estrogen in the male body. This chemical can also decrease the currently circulating estrogen in men’s bodies.

4.   Turnip:

Turnip is another green vegetable with a great source of fiber that improves overall digestive health. Turnips are also a great source of vitamins like vitamin K, C, E, A, and B. This vegetable’s higher amount of vitamins and minerals make it a healthy food option.

This vegetable also provides a high dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of diabetes,

Apart from all these beneficial nutrients, turnip can also block the excess production of estrogen. This is because of the high amount of phytochemicals present within the turnip.

5.   Carrots:

Carrots contain a high amount of indigestible fibers, which helps in detoxing excess estrogen from the body. The fiber in raw carrots also prevents estrogen from being absorbed into the intestine.

When a person eats a raw carrot, its fiber binds with the excess estrogen hormone and safely pulls it out from the body. This excretion of estrogen is important because too much can lead to hormonal disruption like PMS, acne, and mood disorders.

According to a study of 75,929 women (Fung, 2013), an overall intake of fruits and vegetables, including carrots, can reduce the high estrogen level and prevent the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

6.   Coconut Oil:

Coconut contains many different beneficial compounds like minerals and medium-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil also has been shown to protect the liver from excess estrogen. This oil can reduce the level of estrogen.

 Coconut oil can also remove the buildup of toxins, resulting in estrogen dominance. Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient and can be added to the diet in many ways. You can add this into your morning matcha, incorporate it into your baking, or use it as healthy fats in soup.

But to get all the benefits of coconut oil, it’s important that you buy only organic and unrefined coconut oil because the refined form contains additives and added sugar as well.

7.   Mushrooms:

Mushrooms, especially oyster mushrooms, can reduce the production of estrogen. This type of mushroom contains various compounds that may block aromatase, an enzyme responsible for estrogen production. Therefore, Mushrooms can help reduce estrogen levels.

Not only culinary mushrooms but functional mushrooms also help balance hormones in the body. A dietitian also recommends mushrooms for people suffering from a high estrogen level.

There are different types of mushrooms like enoki, wood ear, Portobello, oyster, morel, chanterelle, and white. Each of these types has its nutritional value. But there are also some types of mushrooms that contain fatal toxins. So, seek professional help to know what type of mushrooms are good for you.

8.   Pomegranates:

Pomegranate seeds are rich in antioxidants and a natural compound that can inhibit the enzyme which converts estrone into estradiol. In other words, pomegranate can help in reducing the excess estrogen present within the body.

Studies  (Schwarcz, 2017) have also found that extracting pomegranate seeds or juice can reduce the activity of 17-beta-estradiol, an estrogen that can cause the risk of breast cancer in women. This study also found that the cancer cells with this estrogen reduction due to pomegranate juice died more frequently than normal cells.

Also, pomegranate is rich in antioxidants, improving the uterine lining by increasing the blood flow to the uterus. Some pomegranate vitamins like C, E, and Folic acid benefit a healthy pregnancy.

9.   Red Grapes:

 

 

Red grapes consist of a compound known as resveratrol. This compound can block the excess production of estrogen. Foods that are rich in resveratrol can also reduce the level of testosterone.

There are many different types of grapes with different colors. But red grapes are the only ones that are supposed to eat to a reduction of estrogen levels. These grapes also contain fiber which improves cardiovascular health. Moreover, the presence of polyphenols in these grapes reduces the risk of various cancers.

But the high water and fiber content in red grapes can cause constipation in some people. So consult your dietitian before adding any new food into your diet.

10.  Whole Grains:

whole grain oats in sack

Whenever you are choosing grains, the best thing you can do for your health is to buy 100% whole grain. For example, you can buy quinoa seeds or whole oats instead of wheat bread or instant oatmeal.

Whole grains have an excellent nutritional profile and are also ranked among the foods that can lower estrogen levels in men and women. This can be because replacing all the refined grains from your diet with whole grains can help you lose weight.

Whole grains can provide numerous health benefits as well. According to a study  (Zelman, 2021), brown rice can lower the level of bad cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of obesity, various heart diseases and type 2 diabetes,

Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Estrogen Levels

Certain things can influence the level of estrogen out of control. Getting a balanced diet and active lifestyle with the right medical right is important to keep a healthy estrogen level.

Here are a few things to help keep your hormones balanced and support healthy estrogen levels.

  • Eat A lot of Plant Foods: plant-based diets are high in fiber and low in cholesterol; these two factors can help maintain a healthy estrogen level.
  • Cut Back Certain Animal Foods: A diet high in red and processed meat can increase the estrogen level in the body. So try to replace meat with a plant-based protein like beans.
  • Maintain a Healthy Body Fat Level: According to a study (Rock, 2014), fat tissue produces estrogen, and losing excess fat from the body can reduce the estrogen level.
  • Keep Yourself Active: It has been recommended (Roon, 2018) that an active lifestyle can help build a healthy estrogen level.
  • High Fiber Carbs: Fiber-rich carbs like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans make a better choice than refined carbs like white bread.

Bottom line

Estrogen plays an important role in overall human health. But if the level of this hormone gets too high, it can cause various negative impacts on health. But this level can be maintained by a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle.

Certain foods like avocadoes, pomegranate, red grapes, whole grains, and many others can not only help reduce the level of estrogen but can also provide various other health benefits.

The only way you can get to know if your hormone is off is to undergo testing. You should never self-diagnose your hormone imbalance because specific symptoms that you link with high estrogen levels may be caused by something unrelated, which could be. Therefore, discussing your symptoms and body changes with a healthcare professional is important.

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