Estrogen is an extremely essential hormone for women. Estrogen is found in both men and women. The level of estrogen decreases due to stress, medications and natural aging. It is very important to maintain the levels of estrogen in the body. Increased estrogen level cause breast cancer while decreased level can cause menopause, ability to reproduce, night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, anxiety, loss of libido, irregular menstrual cycles, hair loss, osteoarthritis and mood swings. Women who have low estrogen level should include estrogen rich foods in their diets. Consuming estrogen rich foods increase estrogen levels as well as support the natural systems of the body. Refer the article to know the list of estrogen rich foods.
Estrogens speed up metabolism, enhance uterine growth, increase fat storage, boost vaginal lubrication, amplify bone formation, decrease muscle mass making you look feminine, create female secondary sex characteristics, stimulate endometrial growth, and thicken the vaginal wall. Estrogen occurs naturally in many foods recognized as phytoestrogen. Many foods slow down the production of estrogen so it is essential to know which foods increase estrogen and which decrease estrogen. Women who suffer from cancer, PMS, ovarian cysts, fibroid cysts, breast feeding mothers, fibroids or have a high risk of breast cancer should consume foods which inhibit estrogen production in the body.
Estrogen Rich Foods
Soy Beans and Soy Products
Soybeans and soy products such as milk, soy flour, soy cheese, soy noodles, soy yogurt, tofu, miso, etc contain high amount of Isoflovones. During menopause (low level of estrogen) isoflavones join to the receptors and thereby ease the symptoms. While there is high estrogen level, isoflavones inhibits the activity of estrogen by joining with the estrogen receptors competitively. As per studies, women who consumed isoflavone supplements and milk for 1 month experienced longer menstrual cycles which are advantageous as they result in reduced lifetime exposure to estrogen and decrease the risk for breast cancer. Other beans which boost estrogen level are chickpeas, split peas, limabeans, black eyed peas and Navy beans.
Flaxseed contains highest amount of phytoestrogen which naturally adjust estrogen levels so you must eat it during and after menopause. Flaxseed has 3 times more phytoestrogen than soy beans. Daily consumption of flaxseed decreases the risk of heart disease as well as improves liver function and the condition of dry & itchy skin. To avoid blockage it must be consumed with a lot of water. Flax seed is also good for overall health as it makes the hair shiny, treat depression, eczema & psoriasis, reduces certain cancers risk, alleviates some allergies, decreases the levels of LDL cholesterol, helps in weight loss as well as improves energy & mental functioning. Other seeds that increase estrogen level are sunflower seeds, fennel seeds and alfalfa.
Whole grains such as barley, hops, oats, wheat and rice also increase estrogen levels. Whole grains contain phytoestrogen known as lignans. Whole grains also contain fibre in high amount. Lignans imitate estrogen effects so when there are low levels of estrogen in the body lignans act as a weak estrogen and while there are higher levels lignans attach to the estrogen receptors and thereby decrease the effect of estrogen. Therefore include these whole grains in diet.
Spear Mint Tea
Spearmint tea is very helpful to increase the level of estrogen. Spearmint tea reduces testosterone production in the body as well as act as an anti-androgen. So drink 2 cups spearmint tea regularly.
Fruits and vegetables
Some fruits and vegetables also have estrogen in high amount. Fruits such as cherries, red raspberries, apples, dates, papaya, pears, plums and pomegranates while vegetables such as beets, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, celery, peppers, yams, tomatoes, cauliflower, olives, sweet potatoes and potatoes are rich in estrogen. Fruits and vegetables contain phytoestrogen recognized as lignans.
Herbs and spices
Herbs and spices such as garlic, licorice, oregano, parsley, fennel, ginger, clover and thyme contain estrogen like properties which boost the levels of estrogen in the body. So include these herbs and spices in your diet to add flavor and estrogen.
Nuts such as chestnuts, pistachios, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts contain phytoestrogen which increase estrogen levels body. Per 100 g pistachios contain 383 mcg phytoestrogen which is the highest amount among the nuts.
Foods that inhibit Estrogen
Berries, citrus fruits, figs, grapes, pineapples and melons
Cabbage, onions, green beans, corn, broccoli and squash
Millet, buckwheat, white flour, and white rice
Video of Eating Estrogen Rich Foods during Menopause from youtube: