Estrogen-Rich Foods for Menopause
As you move from one stage of life to the next, you may experience symptoms of low estrogen, which can cause fatigue, mood swings, depression or hot flashes. Unfortunately, this often happens during menopause.
You may be wondering, what is estrogen, why does menopause decrease estrogen levels and how can you elevate your estrogen levels naturally? While there are a few options, many opt for estrogen-rich foods to increase those levels during menopause.
What is Estrogen?
Estrogen is the primary female hormone, responsible for the female characteristics in the human body.
Estrogen plays many roles in the body, including:
- Female puberty and development of menopause.
- Controlling the growth of the uterine lining during menstrual cycles and at the beginning of pregnancy.
- Breast development and changes that take place during pregnancy
- Influencing bone and cholesterol metabolism.
- Helping regulate food intake, glucose and insulin sensitivity.
Increasing Estrogen Levels Naturally
Fortunately, there are tactics to naturally boost estrogen levels during menopause and eating foods that are a natural source of estrogen is one of them. To start off, your diet should help you achieve a hormonal balance. This dietary style is characterized by:
- Avoiding commercialized meat, bad fats and sugars.
- Loading up on good fat (i.e., coconut and avocados) and fruit.
- Using herbs abundantly.
Best Estrogen-Rich Foods for Menopause
Below are 10 foods that contain a plant version of estrogen called phytoestrogen. Consuming these foods will help to boost estrogen levels naturally.
Flax seeds, sesame seeds and even oils from these seeds are an effective way to consume additional estrogen, and they also help to increase your fiber and mineral intake.
Sesame seeds are so potent that they are able to reduce inflammation in the body due to their copper content, which is also a necessary nutrient for absorbing iron (a crucial part of hemoglobin).
These seeds also contain a variety of antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, that significantly improves gut health. However, magnesium should be taken with care as it boosts testosterone levels.
Interestingly, they also contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the same compound found in marijuana. Since it is consumed in such small amounts, sesame could never have the side effects experienced from THC.
They are packed with nutrients and even help with regulating glucose and insulin levels. Overall, seeds are a great option for adding more estrogen into your diet.
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2. Soy Products
Soybeans, soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu are all great sources of isoflavones, a class of phytonutrients that is easy to consume. Also, soy is an excellent source of protein and may play an even bigger role in the diet of a vegan.
Although fruits and vegetables do not contain nearly as much phytoestrogen as seeds, they are still a valuable source. 100 grams of peaches, strawberries, apricots and oranges contain up to 60 micrograms. Strawberries even help with weight management and boost energy levels.
4. Dried Fruits
The fruit drying process amplifies the strength of the vitamins and nutrients they contain. 100 grams of dried apricots offers as much as 445 micrograms of phytoestrogen.
Along with prunes and dates, these choices can greatly fill any estrogen shortages with phytoestrogens. Keep in mind though that they carry quite a few calories, as the drying process also brings in more sugar, so they must be consumed in moderation.
Alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, carrots, celery and broccoli are all healthy options to increase estrogen in the body, with some offering up to 600 micrograms.
Olives and olive oil can also do wonders for estrogen levels; they also improve skin and heart health. However, they too also boost testosterone levels due to magnesium, so they should be consumed in moderation.
Beans are a less known member of the list, yet they are also an excellent source of fiber and are therefore good for controlling cholesterol levels. Options include peas, pinto beans, white beans and black beans.
Walnuts, peanuts and almonds can increase estrogen in the body. However, pistachios are the best source, as they can bring 382.5 micrograms of phytoestrogen to the table, and this great amount can be achieved just by consuming 100 grams of pistachios in raw or baked form.
Although red wine coincides with fruits regarding the contained phytoestrogen amount of around 50 micrograms per 100 grams, it contains resveratrol, which is also a phytoestrogen and a powerful antioxidant.
Furthermore, resveratrol has been found to have an anti-tumor effect on pituitary gland tumors, but more research is needed to provide support to such cases. When taken in moderation, a glass of wine is also beneficial for cardiovascular health.
Garlic brings an abundance of isoflavones, besides having a ton of antibacterial, heart health and general health benefits. Just by adding three cloves to a soup or pasta, you get 600 micrograms of phytoestrogen. Other recommended herbs are saw palmetto, dong quai and motherwort leaf.
However, be careful choosing herbs. You do not want to use turmeric, thyme and sage, as these herbs improve estrogen metabolism with their anti-estrogen properties and are advised in the opposite scenario for dropping high estrogen levels.
Multigrain Bread, muffins and cereal are all good ways to stock up on estrogen over breakfast as they bring as much as 7,798 micrograms of phytoestrogen, with the highest range going to rye bread.
Consequences of Low Estrogen Levels
Menopause decreases estrogen levels in females, and the consequences are rather troublesome:
- Increased fragility of bones, which can lead to osteoporosis.
- Mood swings and depression.
- Increased risk of urinary tract infection (UTI).
- Hot flashes.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Pain during intercourse due to vaginal dryness.
Learning to control your body is quite empowering, especially when it takes something as easy as dietary choices.
Increasing estrogen levels naturally is a great way to ease your way through menopause and rejoice in its benefits instead of dreading its symptoms.
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- Livestrong (Are There Nuts that Increase Estrogen?)
- Medical News Today (Everything You Need to Know About Estrogen)