Oestrogen is a hormone comprised of three compounds: estrone, estradiol and estriol. Both men and women need a certain amount of this hormone to be healthy. People who have low oestrogen levels can increase oestrogen naturally by eating certain types of foods and refraining from other foods that inhibit oestrogen production.
Significance of Low Estrogen
Women who are experienceing premenopausal or post-menopausal sypmtoms may have low levels of oestrogen in the body. Natural oestrogen is a female sex hormone and is an essential steroid in the reproductive process. Healthy oestrogen levels help regulate the menstrual cycle and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Foods that increase oestrogen production either contain a compound known as di-indolylmethane, or naturally contain high levels of oestrogen that are readily absorbed by the body. Di-indolylmethane increases the level of estradiol in the body, a specific type of oestrogen that the body produces naturally.
Foods That Boost Estrogen Production
Foods that increase oestrogen in the body include: soybean products such as tofu and soy milk, lima beans, berries, apples, papaya, dates, plums, pomegranates, beets, eggplant, tomatoes, yams, olives, potatoes, barley, rice, hops, oats, wheat, flaxseeds, chickpeas, garlic, parsley, clover, split peas, sprouts and liquorice.
Effects of Estrogen Replacement
Increasing the consumption of oestrogen-enhancing foods can have several effects on the hormones and the emotions. Oestrogen-enhancing foods have been linked to reducing pre-menopausal and post-menopausal symptoms, increasing energy, improving memory problems and increasing bone density.
If oestrogen-enhancing foods cannot be absorbed readily by the body, a doctor may recommend oestrogen hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle or dietary changes to ensure little to no further loss of natural oestrogen.
Some foods can inhibit oestrogen production and should be avoided when consuming more oestrogen-producing foods. Foods that inhibit oestrogen production include melons, pineapple, berries, figs, grapes, cabbage, green beans, corn, squash, broccoli, white rice and white flour.
In addition to eating more oestrogen-producing foods, a person looking to increase oestrogen should maintain a low-fat, high-fibre diet that will help accommodate changing hormonal levels. Whole grains, fresh vegetables, tempeh, nuts and seeds, beans, and seaweed are recommended foods to eat in conjunction with oestrogen-enhancing foods.
Too much oestrogen in the body can be harmful to your health, so it's important to be evaluated by a physician before making any drastic changes to the diet. Symptoms of too much oestrogen in the body include irregular periods, craving for sweets, loss of sex drive, water retention, fatigue, swollen or painful breasts, endometriosis, severe menstrual cramps and weight gain. Foods that increase oestrogen may need to be reduced or removed from the diet until oestrogen levels are restored to a healthy level.