Oestrogen is a class of hormones that help the body grow, maintain and repair the female sex organs and other body tissues, including bone mass. Ageing, stress and medication can lower oestrogen levels in the body.
A healthy level of oestrogen varies depending on age, starting at about 130 pg/ml, increasing to around 200 pg/ml for women in their childbearing years and decreasing with age.
Foods that are naturally rich in oestrogen are beneficial for women going through menopause or experiencing a low sex drive. Women who are breastfeeding or have cancer, cysts or fibroids should reduce their intake of oestrogen.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits high in oestrogen include apples, tomatoes, papayas, grapes, grapefruit, dates, cherries, rhubarb, plums and pomegranates. Vegetables such as potatoes, beets, carrots, peas, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, pumpkin and yams also contain oestrogen.
Most legumes contain oestrogen, and soybeans in particular are high in oestrogen. Alfalfa, pinto beans, chick peas and kidney beans also contain oestrogen. Likewise, tofu, soy milk and hummus, all of which are made with beans, contain oestrogen.
Anise seed, flax seed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and poppy seeds are sources of oestrogen.
Pulses, wheat, hops, oats, rice and barley contain oestrogen.