Oestrogen is a hormone that aids the development, maturation and functioning of the female reproductive system. Ovaries produce most of the oestrogen while the rest is produced by the adrenal glands. A lack of this hormone can lead to osteoporosis. Excessive oestrogen, however, can lead to fibroids, cysts, weight problems and cancer.
Oestrogen hormones regulate a woman's menstrual cycle and affect the urinary tract, reproductive system, blood vessels and heart. In young girls, oestrogen levels begin to increase around age 8. This rise continues until her menstrual cycle begins. The hormone also has a significant effect on a woman's skin, brain, mucus membranes, hair and bones.
Vitamins and Minerals
Consuming sufficient amounts of boron---the most active form of oestrogen---increases oestrogen levels. Apples, hazelnuts, soybeans, almonds and legumes are rich in this mineral.
Other natural sources of oestrogen are dairy foods, meat, tomatoes, carrots, olive oil, wheat, oats and barley. Intake of vitamin B-6, B-12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin A and vitamin C are recommended to maintain oestrogen levels. Apart from these vitamins, herbs such as evening primrose (oil) and ginseng are also recommended to increase and maintain proper oestrogen levels.
Though oestrogen is essential, excessive oestrogen can cause hormonal imbalances leading to problems such as migraines, mood swings, depression, fibroids, weight gain, hot flashes, facial hair, insomnia and acne.
Foods that lower the oestrogen levels include millet, buck wheat, white rice, broccoli, cabbage, onions, corn and citrus fruits.
Women with low oestrogen levels can suffer from osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone density, low blood pressure, depression, thinning hair, joint pains, osteoarthritis, dry skin, menopausal weight gain, increased levels of cholesterol and heart disease.
Maintaining Estrogen Levels
Oestrogen imbalance can adversely affect a woman's health. Visit your doctor to identify any hormonal imbalance before attempting to remedy the problem yourself. Dietary changes should be made according to your current oestrogen level. Regular exercise is a must for maintaining oestrogen.
Alcohol and caffeine should be consumed in moderation because they can adversely affect your oestrogen. Your consumption of organic foods should increase to maintain oestrogen levels. Soy bean-based foods are also rich in natural oestrogen.