Role of estrogen
Oestrogen is a hormone produced in both men and women, with its concentration being less in men than in women. Oestrogen is a sex hormone that occurs naturally in women and is necessary for promoting general health.
The hormone is beneficial for reducing cancer risk, controlling emotions and rendering bone health. One can also consume meals high in oestrogen to promote the synthesis of hormones.
Numerous foods raise the body’s oestrogen levels. Phytoestrogen, commonly referred to as dietary oestrogen, is a common and abundant source of these foods.
Oestrogen helps regulate the menstrual cycle, sexual desire and reproductive cycles. Irregular periods, mood swings, hot flashes or sudden weight gain are symptoms of a decline in oestrogen levels in the body.
Phytoestrogens, or dietary oestrogen, are compounds found in plants that can be consumed to compensate for the lack of oestrogen. They function similar to the oestrogen produced by the body.
What is phytoestrogen?
NCBI states phytoestrogens as substances derived from plants that are present in a wide range of foods, most notably soy. Phytoestrogens are regularly linked to a long list of health benefits, such as a decreased risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer and menopausal symptoms.
Numerous dietary supplements contain phytoestrogens, which are heavily promoted as a natural alternative to oestrogen replacement medication.
How do phytoestrogens affect health?
Oestrogen functions in the body are as follows.
- Controls nervous system functions
- Increases the impact of endorphins and controls body temperature
- Enhances skin texture and delays the signs of ageing
- Regulates hair growth
- Maintain bone density and reduces bone loss
- Regulates cholesterol production in the liver
- Increases vaginal acidity, which reduces the risk of bacterial infections.
Phytoestrogens may mimic the hormonal effects of oestrogen due to their similar chemical structure to oestrogen. The effect of oestrogen in our body is modified by phytoestrogens, which attach to oestrogen receptors in the cells.
Signs of Low estrogen
The following are a few usual symptoms of low oestrogen.
- Dry skin
- Weakened or fragile bones
- Tender breasts
- Difficulty focusing
- Vaginal atrophy or dryness
- Irritability and depression
- Irregular or no periods
- Sweats at night and hot flashes
Although it has been established that most foods listed below contain oestrogen or phytoestrogen, it is essential to bear in mind that there are many opposing theories. In rare circumstances, certain foods can lower the oestrogen levels in the body.
11 powerful natural foods to increase estrogen
Nuts are among the best foods for raising oestrogen levels in the body. Additionally, they contain abundant vitamins and minerals that have various positive health effects. Due to the high quantity of calories and fats they contain, be sure to restrict the portion size.
The following nuts contain the most oestrogen.
These nuts offer several essential vitamins and minerals, making them perfect for maintaining a healthy physique.
A package of mixed nuts can make a healthy snack. To maintain healthy levels of oestrogen, one needs to consume the right number of nuts.
Numerous nuts, including pistachios, cashews, walnuts and almonds, are good sources of phytoestrogens that are good for the heart. Although they are simple to incorporate into a diet, their high calorie and fat content restrict their consumption.
Of all the nuts, pistachios have the most phytoestrogens. The best way to eat them is raw or roasted. They can also be used with other nuts for additional benefits.
Walnuts are abundant in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a range of other crucial nutrients, in addition to phytoestrogens. Walnuts can be chopped and added to salads or sprinkled on top of the fruit, ice cream or frozen yoghurt. They can be consumed either alone or in combination with other nuts.
Peanuts, one of the most popular nuts on the market, are a good source of phytoestrogens. They give the salads some crunch. Peanuts can be consumed raw or made into peanut butter and used as a spread.
Flax seeds are among the highest oestrogen-content sources. They have the greatest phytoestrogen content of any food. Studies have shown that the phytoestrogen content in flax seeds may help lower the incidence of breast cancer, especially in postmenopausal women.
Being rich in dietary fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds help to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy digestive system.
Flax seeds can be blended into yoghurt or smoothies, added to salads, or sprinkled on porridge. One can top yoghurt, oatmeal, or breakfast cereals with ground flaxseeds. Additionally, before baking, they can be added to muffins and cookies.
- Sesame seeds
The small, high-fibre snack known as sesame seeds is frequently used in several Asian recipes. They give the meal a flavorful crunch and subtle nuttiness.
Phytoestrogen and other vital nutrients are also abundant in them. Postmenopausal women’s oestrogen levels are influenced by consuming sesame seeds in powder form.
They contain significant amounts of lignans, which are hormones that assist a woman in maintaining an optimum level of oestrogen. Several essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre are also present in abundance.
Making a sesame seed paste called tahini and using it as a dipping sauce is one of the greatest ways to incorporate sesame seeds into the diet. Also, one can include them in salads, soups, and stir-fried vegetable dishes. Sesame butter is another alternative.
Peaches, which are popularly known for their delectably sweet flavour, are yet another top source of lignans, which act as phytoestrogens, as well as other important vitamins and minerals. They are also one of the best foods high in oestrogen.
One or two servings of peaches per week can lower the incidence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women due to their high lignan content.
Peaches have smooth skin, yellowish-white flesh, and a sweet flavour. Peaches can be consumed raw or used as delicacies like peach cobblers or pies.
A popular oestrogen-rich food for PCOS is berries. Berries, including strawberries, cranberries and raspberries, are bursting with essential vitamins, minerals, fibres, and other health-promoting substances.
They have numerous health advantages, one of which is that they cause the body to produce phytoestrogens. Our favourite berries are utilised to enhance food’s flavour, beauty and nutritional value.
The berries can be consumed raw as a snack between meals or used in various dessert recipes.
- Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables must be included on any list of foods high in oestrogen. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage are just a few of the wide varieties of green leafy vegetables that are available.
These vegetables are all high in phytoestrogen. They lessen the risk of various chronic diseases, including cardiac disorders, and also have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
- Other vegetables
Sprouted moong beans
Along with other minerals like folate, iron, vitamin B-complex, and fibre, they are a fantastic source of phytoestrogens.
Sprouted moong beans can be eaten raw or boiled alone or in salads or soups.
Green beans possess a lot of nutrients and very few calories. Being rich in iron, green beans help reduce the incidence of ovulatory infertility. They can be included in stir-fries or vegetable salads. Furthermore, they can be prepared as a curry and served with rice.
They are among the best options for increasing oestrogen levels. These sprouts are exceptionally nutritious and low in calories and carbs. Alfalfa sprouts can be used to improve the nutritional value of salads, soups and sandwiches.
- Dried fruits
Dry fruits are highly effective oestrogen-producing food, which is also one of the tastiest and most convenient snacks. It is also packed with tons of vital nutrients.
They contain high fibre in addition to being a powerful source of phytoestrogens. These fruits have substantially higher phytoestrogen concentrations than prunes, dates and dried apricots. Their optimum use is as a mid-afternoon snack. To snack on between meals, these can be carried along.
- Red wine
Red wine is a potent source of oestrogen. The powerful phytoestrogen resveratrol can be found in large quantities in red wine. Red wine, when consumed in moderation, not only raises oestrogen levels but also helps control cholesterol levels, prevents the growth of cancerous cells and lowers the risk of heart disease.
The ideal way to drink red wine is straight up or with a small snack like roasted peanuts or post-dinner.
For men, it is advisable to consume no more than two servings of red wine per day, and for women, no more than one serving per day.
- Whole grain
Whole grain bread made from grains like wheat, barley, oats and rye has naturally high levels of lignans, a kind of phytoestrogen that can help increase oestrogen levels.
For breakfast or a snack, one can toast multigrain bread and spread it with peanut butter or cheese to form a sandwich.
Garlic is a common ingredient known for its potent flavour. It provides a variety of culinary qualities as well as health advantages. Garlic is extremely high in phytoestrogen, which may help prevent bone loss caused due to a lack of oestrogen in the body.
There are numerous health benefits due to garlic’s high isoflavone content. It has a reputation for lowering cholesterol and warding off both cancer and heart disease. Chopped garlic can be added to increase the flavour of dishes like soups, salads, stir-fries, spaghetti and stews.
In addition to having many additional health advantages, soybeans are incredibly rich in the protein, minerals and vitamins that the human body requires. Additionally, they contain a lot of isoflavones, which are phytoestrogens.
To help prevent breast cancer, soy isoflavones may have an impact on the body’s blood oestrogen levels. The soy plant’s edamame pods have an effect on the metabolism of oestrogen.
One can boost the amount of oestrogen in the body by increasing the intake of soy products, including tofu, edamame, tempeh, soy yoghurt, and soymilk. A study found a correlation between increased soy consumption and a reduced risk of breast cancer-related death.
Risk of consuming estrogen-rich foods
Phytoestrogens might have some negative consequences.
Children are more sensitive to oestrogen chemicals than adults. Occasionally, breastfeeding infants are exposed to phytoestrogens through foods like soy milk.
Oestrogens may have an impact on compounds known as endocrine disruptors, which can influence the endocrine systems. These changes can bring on congenital impairments, malignant tumours, and other developmental diseases.
When an individual is allergic to any of the substances listed above, it is advisable to avoid soy and soy products as a source of oestrogen, as some people are intolerant of them.
Hormonal balance depends greatly on a well-balanced diet, and women can benefit from including foods high in oestrogen. Consuming foods high in oestrogen can help control the imbalance of reproductive hormones in PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), a hormonal condition that affects many women of reproductive age. However, the secret is moderation. Foods high in oestrogen can cause major side effects like infertility and reduced thyroid function if consumed excessively.
What happens when estrogen levels are low?
Low oestrogen levels can hamper sexual function and development. A person with low oestrogen levels is likely to develop cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and obesity.
How can I raise my estrogen levels quickly?
The nutrients required by the body for progesterone metabolism can be supplied by eating various foods. This includes foods like whole grains, cruciferous vegetables and nuts. Additionally, hormone balance can be maintained by maintaining a healthy weight, adhering to a regular sleep pattern and managing stress
Can low estrogen levels be fixed?
Low oestrogen is frequently treated with hormone replacement therapy (HT), particularly during menopause and postmenopause. When using HT, one can raise their levels by taking synthetic progesterone or oestrogen.
Which food is highest in oestrogen?
Flax seeds are one of the top foods high in oestrogen. Of all the foods high in phytoestrogen, their phytoestrogen content is the greatest. Dietary fibre, which lowers cholesterol and balances the digestive system, is another beneficial component of flax seeds.