Oestrogen plays a huge role in the functioning of both female and male bodies and therefore, maintaining balanced oestrogen levels is key.
Oestrogen is responsible for many of the body’s functions and not only help to reduce the risk of colon cancer and heart disease but also help to control:
- Body temperature
- Muscle maintenance
- Healthy sleep
- Blood flow
- Collagen levels in your skin
- Memory function
- Libido (Sex Drive)
- Bone density
As we get older oestrogen production decreases naturally. In women this leads to menopause characterised by dramatically low levels of oestrogen. However, many women will experience hormonal conditions which are caused or exacerbated by oestrogen deficiency or an excess (compared to progesterone) in their system. Symptoms of low oestrogen can even include anxiety and low mood, which are also associated with menopause but can happen whenever the body is going through hormone withdrawal.
When an individual is looking to help naturally boost their oestrogen levels, certain foods can make a big difference. Foods can either directly support the creation of oestrogen or replicate the activity of oestrogen in the body.
7 Oestrogen Balancing Foods
Vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussel Sprouts, cavolo nero, watercress, turnips, radishes and rocket all come under this category. They contain sulphur containing compounds called indole-3-carbinols (l3C). Our Nutritional Therapist and celebrity favourite Dominique Ludwig explains: “When l3C hits the stomach, the stomach acid breaks it apart. Some of this becomes DIM or dindole-methane. Having good stomach acid is important to correctly use this compound. DIM directs your oestrogen down the less carcinogenic PHASE 1 detox pathway known as the 2-OH pathway and away from the more carcinogenic 4-OH.”
Edamame is a great source of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens mimic oestrogen in the body by binding to oestrogen receptors. Edamame makes an excellent snack and is a convenient and delicious way to eat oestrogen rich food.
These little seeds of goodliness also contain high amounts of phytoestrogens. The primary phytoestrogens in flax are lignans, which are beneficial in oestrogen metabolism. Flaxseed can be used to add nutrients to bread, salad, cereal or smoothies and therefore can be a simple and effective way of ensuring you are eating plenty of oestrogen boosting foods.
Chickpeas are also a good source of phytoestrogens so are great for oestrogen metabolism. They can be added to salad, soup and stews. Alternatively, it can be eaten as hummus which is ideal for snacking on with vegetables and provides a healthy and balanced way to add more phytoestrogens into your diet.
Alfalfa sprouts are a nutritious addition to salads, with high levels of vitamin K and vitamin C, they also have very high levels of phytoestrogens. The health benefits of alfalfa sprouts come as a result of being picked at the very early stages of growth.
Tofu is produced from soy milk which is naturally high in phytoestrogens, specifically isoflavones. Tofu is a very versatile ingredient and can be used in anything from soup to stir fry, making it an easy way to add to your diet. Looking for some Vegan-inspired recipe inspiration? Check out our beautiful friend, Chichester-based Feed me Momma.
Dry fruits are another healthy addition to our list, and they are known to boost oestrogen levels in the body. Dry fruits are healthy snacks since they are powerhouses of nutrients. They contain a significant amount of fibre and can be had at any time of the day. Some specific dry fruits that you should have are dried apricots, prunes, and dates. You can have a handful at breakfast with a bowl of milk, munch on a few between meals, or have them as a midday snack to add a nutritional boost to your meal.
If you would like more information on managing your hormones book in for a consultation – either in clinic or virtual – with one of our specialists. Our experts can create a personalised treatment plan which is tailored to help balance your hormones and improve quality of life.