Most women have been warned about the horrors of menopause: the mood swings, the hot flashes, the night sweats. These symptoms almost all result from the decrease in estrogen that occurs in the body at the onset of menopause. The medical industry offers its own treatments for menopause symptoms, but side effects of hormone replacement therapy include increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers, stroke, heart disease and blood clots. When it comes to combating the negative effects of menopause, the safest route is to increase your body’s supply of estrogen in more natural ways.
Estrogen in Everyday Foods
There are plenty of food sources that offer natural doses of estrogen, many of which you are more than likely including in your diet on a daily basis already. Animal flesh, eggs, dairy products, wheat, oats, rice, apples, plums and a host of vegetables, including potatoes, peas, carrots, peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers are all good estrogen sources.
Foods to Incorporate
There are some foods with estrogen that may not be in your everyday diet but are easy to incorporate. Olive oil, for instance, can be drizzled on salads instead of salad dressing. Sunflower seeds and chickpeas can be tossed in with salads as well. Spices and herbs like garlic, parsley, sage, flax and anise seed can be mixed into soup and casserole recipes too.
Other Estrogen-Rich Foods
These foods are also high in estrogen: cherries, dates, papaya, pomegranates, alfalfa, barley, beets, eggplant, clover, licorice, fennel, sesame seeds, soybeans and soybean sprouts, red beans, rhubarb, olives, pumpkin and yams. Including these items in your menu more often will help boost your estrogen and combat symptoms.
Dangers for Sensitive Eaters
Estrogen-rich foods are generally inflammatory. Inflammatory foods can exacerbate conditions like epilepsy and other neurological disorders, such as migraines. If you add several of these foods to your diet in an effort to counteract the effects of menopause, it is possible you may experience an increase in the symptoms of one of these other medical conditions. If you do, you should cut these foods back out of your diet and consult your doctor.