Medically Reviewed by Dr. George Touliatos
Estrogen is a vital naturally-occuring hormone and it plays a key role in maintaining a women’s sexual and reproductuve health. Research also shows that good levels are equally important in men’s health. If you want to increase your natural estrogen levels keep reading. Here is the list of the 10 best foods that you should consider to boost your serum estrogen levels. If you are struggling with your hormones and think you require a professional assessment, considering taking our hormone screening quiz below.
Phytoestrogens are the naturally occurring compounds present in plants. “Phyto” means plant, and “estrogen” is the female sex hormone. Phytoestrogen got their name because of their chemical resemblance with the estrogen hormone. Due to this resemblance, they are often considered estrogen by the estrogen receptors present in the human body and thus perform the same functions as the human estrogen do.
Women that are low in estrogen eat foods rich in phytoestrogen. It helps them improve their activity level despite the deficiency of estrogen. Many studies report the positive effects of phytoestrogen in women. Some of these effects include reduction in menopause symptoms, lower risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis, and lower breast cancer chances.
Even though phytoestrogen is very beneficial, it should still be taken in moderation. Its high intake can cause hormonal imbalance in the body. Below is the list of the best estrogen rich foods.
A peach is a delicious option on the list. It is not only rich in healthy vitamins but also contains many phytoestrogens called lignans. Due to the high concentration of lignin, studies show that taking two peaches per week can reduce breast cancer risk in menopausal women by 15%. Therefore, take two or more than two peaches per week to boost your lignan levels and lower your breast cancer chances.
Vegetables like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are a few examples of cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables come in various textures and tastes. They are rich in two kinds of phytoestrogen called lignan and coumestrol. These phytoestrogens have anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer properties. Studies also show that people who have a cruciferous vegetable-rich diet have a lower risk of chronic illnesses.
So, if you are low in estrogen, then make these vegetables a part of your regular meals. The good thing is you can also make a vegetable salad by using them. So, there is no need to spend time on cooking to have this phytoestrogen.
Garlic is a popular ingredient used in various dishes for flavour. People have long been using it in traditional medicines for its health benefits. Studies show that taking it in moderation on a daily basis increases blood estrogen levels. It is also known for reducing blood pressure, preventing blood clot formation in arteries, and lowering blood cholesterol level.
Garlic can also slow down age-related bone loss in women. It shows its effectiveness and usefulness. So, increase its intake if you want to increase your estrogen levels. If you like drinking teas, then why not try garlic teas.
Flax seeds are also very popular for their various health benefits. They are small and golden to brownish in colour. It is very rich in lignans. In facts, its level of lignan is around 800 times more than the lignan level in other popular food items. Many studies show its advantages for menopausal women, particularly in decreasing their chance of developing breast cancer.
Soy or soya bean is a kind of legumes that are used to make a variety of food items like tempeh and tofu. In its whole form, it is called edamame. These are the immature soya beans that are available in the market in unshelled as well as frozen form.
Soy and edamame have many minerals, vitamins, and proteins in abundance. Due to this reason, they have many health benefits. They also contain many phytoestrogens. The phytoestrogen that is abundant is soya beans called isoflavones.
This chemical compound tends to mimic estrogen and help in the activities that are managed by natural estrogen. That is why many women take it to boost their estrogen levels. However, some studies show that it decreases estrogen levels in the blood. Therefore, more research needs to be done on this food item to understand its effectiveness properly.
Sesame seeds are used in many Asian dishes to add a nutty flavour to them. They are small in size and contain many dietary fibres. In addition to fibres, they are also very rich in phytoestrogen. In one study, researchers found out that taking sesame seed powder on a regular basis can improve symptoms of menopause by increasing levels of estrogen in postmenopausal women. In the same study, participants also noticed a significant reduction in blood cholesterol levels which shows why it is a healthy food that you should consider.
Nuts like peanuts and almonds are also natural sources of phytoestrogen. They are very healthy, but still, they contain many calories and fats. That is why eat them in moderation; otherwise, you may put your health at risk.
Dried fruits are nutrient-rich as they contain a variety of nutrients such as fibres, proteins, and phytoestrogens. Dates and dried apricots are considered the best choices for phytoestrogen-rich dried fruits. Nuts and dried fruits are easy to add to your meals. You can even eat them as snacks whenever you have untimely hunger cravings.
Wheat bran is a popular source of dietary fibres. It also contains many phytoestrogens (particularly lignan) in abundance. That is why consuming food items made up of wheat bran may help you increase your blood estrogen levels.
In one study, researchers concluded that wheat bran helped participants increase their estrogen levels. However, it is believed that this increase in estrogen levels was mainly due to the fibres present in wheat bran and not the lignan. Therefore, more research should be done on it to make a solid conclusion about its effectiveness.
Tofu is a popular food item among people who follow a vegan diet. It has plant proteins in abundance. Coagulated soy milk is used to make tofu. It contains isoflavones in abundance. In fact, among all the soy food items, tofu has the highest concentration of isoflavones. So, make it a part of your regular meals and take it in moderation to increase your estrogen levels naturally.
Alfalfa sprouts are a healthy food item that contains many vitamins, particularly vitamin K and different forms of phytoestrogen. You can add it to your salad to make it more nutritious and healthy. Take it regularly and enjoy the benefits of normal estrogen levels.
In addition to eating estrogen rich foods, there are many other means of increasing your estrogen levels and naturally balancing hormones. Some of these methods include:
Stress can cause abnormal fluctuations in your hormonal level. When your body is under stress, it naturally starts making cortisol more compared to the other hormones. Sometimes other hormones are converted to cortisol to meet increasing cortisol demands which then reduce the levels of those hormones. So, try to reduce your stress levels. Exercise daily, as it also helps in stress reduction.
Increased body fat and weight can lead to decreased production of estrogen. Therefore, keep yourself active and perform different exercises regularly to maintain healthy body weight.
Vitamin D helps increase the concentration of serum estrogen. So, spend more time in sum to increase your vitamin D levels and eventually estrogen levels.
Hormone replacement therapy is another method of increasing your serum estrogen levels. In this treatment option, women are given bioidentical estrogen (estrogen that has a chemical as well as physical composition similar to the natural estrogen) to restore their estrogen levels. This estrogen can be given in different forms such as injections, pills, patches, etc.
Your doctor will suggest you the best estrogen form according to your condition and basic need. HRT is very effective for menopausal women who have low estrogen as well as progesterone levels. This treatment helps them reduce signs of menopause and enjoy their life more.
Even though HRT has helped several women to increase their estrogen levels, it has some side effects that you should know before going for it. These side effects may include headaches, mood swings, etc. You should talk to your doctor to learn whether this treatment is suitable for you or not.
Estrogen is an important hormone that influences many sex functions in both men and women. Its deficiency can disturb your mental and physical health in various ways. The best way to get rid of this deficiency is by eating estrogen rich foods. If they do not make any difference, then treatments like HRT may help.
This article has been researched and written based on scientific evidence and fact sheets that have then been crossed checked by our team of doctors and subject matter experts.
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