Hormones can either be a woman’s best friend or her worst enemy in certain stages of her life.
The female body is mostly ruled by its hormones and estrogen hormones play a vital leadership role.
A diet rich in estrogen or estrogenic food keeps these hormones in a happy state.
Estrogenic foods are food rich in phytoestrogens or plant estrogens that resemble the chemical structure of the female sex hormone.estrogen. Women’s bodies change over certain periods in their lifespan and most often, hormones are to blame. Estrogen deficiency can wreak havoc in a woman’s body and estrogenic foods offer a myriad of benefits to allow a harmonious balance of hormonal levels
What is Estrogen?
Estrogen is a fundamental contributing sex hormone in a woman’s reproductive system and its tissue functions. As it courses through the body, it sends instructions to cells and tissues that dictate how they function and behave. To maintain good sexual health and body metabolism, the body needs adequate levels of estrogen.
As a woman starts to age, her hormone levels decline and go batty. Although we can’t do much about aging, there are ways to maintain a balance of hormones and keep it from going out of whack. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone need to equally work together. Once this balance is off, it encourages the onset of obesity, osteoporosis and cardiovascular issues that come alongside other annoying issues like acne, mood swings, hair loss or overgrowth in places you don’t want hair to grow.
Estrogenic Foods to Include in Your Diet
Nutrition is your best ally in promoting good hormone levels and correcting estrogen deficiencies. Estrogenic foods benefit the body in many ways that affect a woman’s quality of life as she ages. Make sure your grocery list includes these 7 estrogenic foods and reap the other great benefits they offer:
Flax seeds, sesame seeds/tahini: Aside from increasing levels of estrogen, these super seeds also lower cholesterol as they contain dietary fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. Top your daily breakfast smoothie and oatmeal with flax seeds or power up your lunch salad with tahini dressing and tahini butter on your chip dips.
Peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds: These phytoestrogens are also a minefield of isoflavones that may also provide protection against age-related diseases such as
Osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Have them any way you like! On salads, crunch bars, trail mix, with yogurt or use them for nut butter, on toast or cookies.
Tofu, miso, soy milk: Soy has been the trendy alternative to many dairy and gluten products for Vegans. It fills your tummy and with the perfect recipe, it satiates your craving for dairy and meats, It lowers cholesterol, reduces weight and prevents diabetes.
Chickpeas, lentils, beans, peas, edamame: Because they are low in fat but high in protein – legumes fill in for the dietary supplements of red meat. It is also a good source of B-vitamins, and folate and rich in fiber. It provides energy for the body, brain and nervous system without the fat and extra carbs which also lowers, blood sugar and regulates blood pressure. Bake them, saute them, refry them and make a bowl of chili or a huge hummus platter with veggies!
Fruits and Veggies
Fresh or dried – apricots, oranges, strawberries, peaches, prunes, dates, kale, celery, alfalfa, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage
Fruits and veggies are the best snacks that curb your sweet cravings. Moreso, veggies should fill half your dinner plate. Rich in antioxidants these also promote healthy blood pressure, regulates bowel movement, and helps in cell and tissue repair.
Pale ales, hoppy beers: Although beer may seem like a manly drink compared to a glass of red wine — this may be the key to bigger breasts…in men ! Hops has been known to be a healing medicinal flower high in phytoestrogens that help with insomnia, endometriosis and eases the symptoms of menopause Drink moderately with friends and family on weekends !
Dark wheat/ rye bread, oats, barley: multi-grains are the sweepers and cleaners of the human body. Rich in nutrients and high fiber content they help lower cholesterol, regulates blood pressure and bowel movement, prevents stroke and diabetes. Substitute your white bread with multigrain bread, replace your sugary cereal with oatmeal + flax seeds or chia seeds, bake with wheat flour instead of white flour. You may even explore green barley and wheatgrass supplement drinks.
Estrogenic foods have their benefits in increasing deficient levels of estrogen in women, However, the goal here is to maintain a balance of all the hormones we need to achieve an optimum state of health and body functions. Balance is always the key. Having an excess of what our body needs always leads to health consequences
High levels of estrogen in the body affect both men and women differently. There are early telltale onset signs of hormonal imbalance. Check yourself for the following symptoms:
- Unexplained fatigue
- Sudden weight gain
- Low sex drive
Left unchecked, women may experience heavy bleeding, pronounced PMS symptoms, mood swings, headaches, swollen breasts, non-cancerous breast lumps, and uterine fibroids.
Men, on the other hand, will notice a level of erectile dysfunction, enlarged breasts, and even infertility.
Whether you are young, middle-aged, pre-menopause or postmenopause, it is best to undergo hormonal tests. Your OBGYN will recommend a blood test procedure called the Female Hormone Panel. It will measure the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and FSH ( Follicle Stimulating Hormone). Your results should yield these in the normal range:
- Estradiol or Estrogen: normal range is 27 and 123 pg/mL
- Progesterone: normal range is 5 to 20 ng/ml
- FSH < 15: anything higher is an indication of irregular ovulation and possible risk of infertility
It is best to consult your doctor to determine if you are estrogen deficient before indulging yourself in estrogenic foods. Never assume the symptoms always match the real problem
We all know the golden rule that everything should always be taken in moderation. Anything that was done in excess always ends in a huge mess. And so, however, beneficial estrogenic foods may be in improving a woman’s reproductive system, these foods can also promote and aggravate a roster of issues you may already have that pose more health risks than estrogen deficiency like thyroid diseases and the development of reproductive cancer cells.