Stress, medications and natural aging are all major contributing factors to decreased estrogen in women. It is what makes women the women they are, according to Dr. V Craig Jordan, O.B.E., PhD., D.Sc., and Vice President of the Medical Science at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Without the proper levels of estrogen women, and even men to a lesser degree, can’t function as well. Eating the right foods can help increase estrogen levels and support the body’s natural systems.
Vegetables and Legumes
Beets, carrots, cucumbers, peas, peppers, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, yams, garlic and eggplant. Red beans, soybeans and split peas.
Fruits and Herbs
Estrogen-rich fruits are tomatoes, apples, cherries, plums, pomegranate, papaya and rhubarb. Herbs include fennel, hops, anise and parsley.
Seeds and Dairy
Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and eggs.
Soybeans are a very good source of estrogen and while listed in the chart above, they are not easily incorporated from the raw state into the average person’s menu plans. Good sources of soybeans are from foods created with them such as soy noodles, soy hot dogs, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy flour, soy cheese and tofu.
Not a category in itself, but flax seed is one of the most efficient estrogen resources. It helps improve liver function, combats dry skin and brittle nails associated with a lack of estrogen in women, helps treat eczema or psoriasis, and even has been credited with reducing the risk of some types of cancers and heart disease. Flax seed improves mental functions and relieves asthma.
Incorporating Estrogen Rich Foods
Adding estrogen sources to your diet should be done slowly in order to assess the improvements or potential problems. Plan to add 30 to 50 milligrams per day, the equivalent of a cup of soy yogurt with one tablespoon of fresh ground flax seed added to your menu each day.
When NOT to Eat Estrogen Rich Foods
Women going through menopause, suffering with PMS, or diagnosed with breast cancer, fibroids or ovarian cysts should avoid foods rich in estrogen because it can aggravate the symptoms. Some foods actually block estrogen levels, both the body’s own natural creation and additive estrogen. Foods that block estrogen include broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, citrus fruits, corn, fruit (other than apples, cherries, dates and pomegranates), grapes, green beans, melons, onions, pears, pineapples, squash, white rice, white flour and tapioca.