When it comes to women’s health, estrogen is one of the most important aspects. When you take into account problems that relate to women, such as breast cancer, PMS, hormonal imbalance or fertility, estrogen is a chemical that is always present. This is because estrogen is a hormone that is primarily produced in the ovaries, though other organs like the adrenal glands can also produce them (which is also why men can also produce estrogen in their bodies). Many organs in the body have receptors that bind to estrogen, such as the kidneys, bones, the heart, the brain and the lungs among others. Therefore, when there is a hormonal imbalance, the entire body tends to be affected. A person who has estrogen dominance in their body has higher than ideal levels of estrogen in their body when compared to progesterone. Estrogen can contribute to symptoms like breast tenderness, mood swings, weight gain, food cravings, irregular periods, migraines and more. Women who have issues with their fertility can also have hormonal imbalances that can be traced back to estrogen dominance. Moreover, women with this issue can also be more prone to developing tissue overgrowth on their reproductive organs, such as cysts and polyps, as well as have a higher risk of developing breast and uterine cancer. Estrogen is a chemical that is imperative for healthy body functioning, which makes it important to balance it out. A good diet can help, and these foods are important for anyone that has estrogen dominance:
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflowers, broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts are not only delicious, but play an important role when it comes to reducing estrogen. This family of vegetables contain sulfur compounds, which can form gas, and also contain indole-3-carbinol. These compounds are great because they bind to estrogen and can escort it out of the body, thus reducing the amount of estrogen that goes around. Having three servings of these vegetables a day can be a great and natural way to help with estrogen dominance. They can be eaten both raw and cooked.
2. Citrus Fruits
Citric fruits are a favorite among a lot of people, and have so many varieties like oranges, tangerines, limes, lemons, grapefruits, mandarins, pomelos and gooseberries. These fruits contain d-limonene, which is a compound that helps to detoxify estrogen in the body. Even one serving a day can help to alleviate estrogen dominance. There are so many ways you can enjoy these fruits, from eating them raw to crushing and blending them into juices and smoothies. Fruits like the lemon can be used in cooking or as an ingredient, and can hep you get the most out of any dish. However, check for the use of pesticides in any fruits, as they can become absorbed into the fruit through the peel. Pesticides can actually make estrogen dominance worse, so it would be best to avoid anything that contains pesticides and opt for organic produce.
3. Leafy Greens And Plant-Based Products
Leafy greens promote healthy liver functioning, and the liver can help to eliminate any broken down estrogen from the body. This can keep the body functioning smoothly, and balance out hormonal discrepancies. Plant based products that affect female hormones are known as phytoestrogens. These are important because they claim a spot on the estrogen receptors in the body and prevent stronger estrogen from binding to those receptors. This helps to balance out the estrogen levels in the body. Foods that are plant based and contain phytoestrogens are licorice root, alfalfa, legumes, clovers, flaxseeds and other types of seeds like pumpkin seeds. Though soy is a plant based food that can be helpful, research has shown that consuming it with caution is important.
4. Insoluble Fibers
Insoluble fibers like apples, oats and berries are important because they bind to estrogen in the small intestine and stop it from being absorbed. This especially is important to reduce the effect of xeno-estrogens, which are synthetic compounds that are similar in chemical structure to naturally produced hormones. They can elevate hormone levels without needing estrogen t be naturally produced in the body, and are often found in cosmetics, lotions, plastics and pesticides.