Oestrogen is a hormone that plays a major role in the healthy functioning of a woman's body. It controls the growth and development of female sexual characteristics. Chemically similar to oestrogen, phytoestrogen is a naturally occurring compound found in plants. Phytoestrogen activates and binds to human oestrogen receptors in the same way that oestrogen does, enabling phytoestrogen to behave as oestrogen in the body. Since fruit, vegetables, grains and seeds contain phytoestrogen, a diet rich in these foods will have the effect of increasing the amount of oestrogen in a woman's body.
Legumes and Nuts
According to DietaryFiberFood.com, 110g of soya beans contain 103,920mcg of phytoestrogen, which is more than any other legume. Consuming soy-based products, such as tofu and soy yoghurt, is one way to increase your oestrogen levels. With 383mcg of phytoestrogen per 100g, pistachios top the list of oestrogen-containing nuts, followed by chestnuts, walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts.
Flaxseed is the most significant source of dietary oestrogen. It provides more than triple the amount of phytoestrogen found in soya beans. Other types of seeds are a great source as well. For example, sesame seed contains 8,008mcg per 100g, making it a noteworthy source of dietary oestrogen.
Fruit and Vegetables
Although they do not contain the large amounts of phytoestrogen found in such sources as soybeans and flax seed, fruit and vegetables can also help increase your oestrogen levels. According to DietaryFiberFood.com, 100g of dried apricots contain 445mcg of phytoestrogen, and dried dates contain 330mcg. Peaches, strawberries and raspberries offer less, with only 48 to 65mcg per 100g. Vegetables such as garlic, winter squash, green beans and broccoli contain substantial amounts of phytoestrogen, ranging from 94 to 604mcg per 100g.
Multigrain cereals, breads, and bagels can also help increase oestrogen levels. For example, 100g of flax bread contains 7,540mcg of phytoestrogen. Another notable source is rye bread, which contains 146mcg per 100g.
Having 863mcg of phytoestrogen per 100g, black liquorice is one treat that can increase your oestrogen levels. Red wine contains as much phytoestrogen as most fresh fruit, with 54mcg per 100g.