In modern times, diet plans have become the subject of concern and debate. You may perhaps have heard of or even tried various diet plans. They could be those that promote weight loss, muscle gain, or weight gain. Whatever they were, the fact remains that each diet fulfills a specific purpose. One diet plan that perhaps you may not have tried is the low-estrogen diet plan. What foods to eat to lower estrogen?
As the name suggests, such a diet plan aims at lowering your estrogen levels. It is used by some people as excessively high estrogen levels in your body can result in various health risks. When choosing such a diet, you have to consider more than the foods to lower estrogen.
Elements such as the portion sizes, macro and micronutrients, and calorie intake also have to be considered. At the end of the day, you want to be sure that you are consuming enough nutrients and calories for proper body functioning.
In this article, we will discuss some of the foods to lower estrogen levels. We will discuss why it is vital to lower your estrogen levels and how you can manage this through diet. Stick around for more facts about lowering estrogen levels through diet before making such a diet plan.
First and foremost, estrogen refers to the primary female sex hormone. Nonetheless, it is also present in males, but only in small amounts. Having either too low or too high estrogen levels in both men and women can lead to various health problems.
In this particular piece, we will focus more on the effects of too high estrogen levels. In women, high estrogen levels tend to cause the following (13):
- Weight gain, especially around the waist and hips.
- Menstrual problems, including heavy bleeding, irregular periods, light spotting, and some fatal premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
Women who most probably suffers from such high estrogen levels are likely to experience the following:
- Hair loss
- Difficulties sleeping
- Cold hands and feet
- Low sex drive
- Tender or swollen breasts
- Depression, anxiety, or mood changes
- Memory problems
- Uterine fibroids
- Non-cancerous breast lumps
The same case applies to men. High abnormal estrogen levels have been linked to the following health problems:
- Gynecomastia (a condition referring to breast enlargement)
- Erection difficulties
According to Medical News Today, numerous websites and health gurus claim that specific diet plans can help in lowering your estrogen levels. However, the website acknowledges that there is little to no research to back up this claim (3).
Nonetheless, Science Daily does report that weight loss through healthy eating and exercise can help in the production and maintenance of healthy hormone levels (1). According to this site, consuming healthy diets and exercising regularly counteracts the negative impacts of overweight and obesity, including an imbalance of hormones.
Drawing from this reasoning, we can all agree on one thing. It is a fact that a healthy diet can help in managing your estrogen levels and maintaining them at the appropriate levels. In these levels, they are considered as “healthier hormones”. Such hormones tend to have no negative impact on your body, but perform important functions.
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The Best Foods To Lower Estrogen Levels In Both Men And Women
A quick search online on foods to lower estrogen levels will tend to produce varying results. It is because each website tends to consider various foods and dismiss others that have been prioritized in other websites.
This is one scenario that explains why there are numerous debates when it comes to anti-estrogen diet plans. It means that the possibility of acquiring misleading information from various sites is quite high.
To make sure you draw the line between accurate and inaccurate, we have done comprehensive research from verified sources on this concept. So, the foods we recommend have been approved by numerous experts. It is safe to say that they may help in lowering your estrogen levels naturally. At the end of the day, if you are overweight and have high estrogen levels, then losing weight can help bring them back within the normal range, and so foods that can help you lose weight are those that will help reduce your estrogen levels.
Foods To Lower Estrogen
However, it does not mean that you embrace these foods when you suspect you have high estrogen levels. Despite ticking the box of the symptoms, you still need medical proof that you indeed have abnormally high estrogen levels.
Similarly, you should speak to your physician and/or dietitian. At no point are you required to make any dietary changes without seeking professional help or advice. If you get the go-ahead from your nutritionist, then here are some foods you should consider:
The cruciferous vegetables come from the genus Brassica, explaining why they are also known as brassicas. However, some people, especially in America, may also refer to these vegetables as cole crops.
Broccoli is considered a superfood in most households. It has become a favorite among most people due to its low calories and numerous health benefits. The nutritional value of one cup of broccoli (roughly 76 grams) is as shown below (8):
- Calories- 24.3
- Fiber- 1.82 g
- Folate- 49.4 mcg
- Vitamin K- 77.5 mcg
- E – 0.11 mg
- A- 6.08 mcg
- Calcium- 35 mg
- Total carbs- 4.78 g
- Potassium- 230 g
The nutritional chart above shows that broccoli is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals. Besides helping lower estrogen levels, this cruciferous vegetable can also help with the following (8):
Reduce Cancer Risk
It contains antioxidants that can prevent any cell damage that may lead to cancer.
Improve Bone Health
As depicted from the nutritional chart, broccoli is quite rich in calcium. Calcium and collagen work hand in hand to strengthen your bones.
The vitamin C in broccoli helps in preventing anemia, heart disease, cataracts, and cancer, and thereby boosting your immune health.
Improve Skin Health
Vitamin C in this vegetable produces collagen that prevents any skin damage, including wrinkles arising from aging.
The fiber acquired from consuming broccoli prevents constipation and helps in the maintenance of a healthy digestive tract.
There are numerous ways you can choose to cook your broccoli. You can boil or even steam it. Consult with your nutritionist on the healthiest method to avoid losing its vitamins and minerals.
The other cruciferous vegetable that can help you lower estrogen naturally is arugula. Most people may tend to keep away from this vegetable due to its bitter load. However, there are several things you can do to make this vegetable scrumptious.
It is worth giving this vegetable a shot because of its numerous health benefits and nutritional value. Here is a nutritional chart of one cup of arugula weighing roughly 20 grams (4):
- Calories- 5
- Protein- 0.516 g
- Total fat- 0.132 g
In addition to possibly lowering your estrogen levels, arugula also has the following health benefits (4):
Reduce Cancer Risk
It is full of antioxidants that may protect your cells against or reverse any damage that may lead to cancer (2).
Promote Heart Health
It contains fiber and antioxidants that promote cardiovascular health.
Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
It contains fiber that helps in regulating your blood glucose levels and also reducing insulin resistance.
Reduce The Risk Of Osteoporosis
It is rich in calcium and vitamin K, which are two vital nutrients for bone health.
Like with broccoli, there are various ways you can cook your arugula. We have numerous recipes online that entail using arugula as the main ingredient or serving it as a side dish. Talk to your dietitian to discover the best cooking method that does not lose the properties that help reduce estrogen levels.
The next cruciferous vegetable you ought to consider is cauliflower. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. One cup of raw cauliflower, weighing at least 107 grams, has the following nutrients (5):
- Calories- 27
- Total fat- 0.3 g
- Protein- 2 g
- Calcium- 24 mg
- Vitamin C- 51.6 mg
- Folate- 61 mcg
- Total carbs- 5 g
- Vitamin K- 16.6 mcg
- Magnesium- 16 mg
- Phosphorus- 47 mg
The benefits of consuming cauliflower include (5):
Lower Calorie And High Fiber
Vegetables like cauliflower are low in calories but high in satiating fiber, which can help with weight loss. Maintaining a healthy weight is helpful in balancing hormone levels, including estrogen.
Help With Digestion
Its high fiber and water content help with your proper digestion.
Prevent Cancer Risk
This is due to its antioxidants that combat cellular mutations and oxidative stress arising from free radicals.
Help Develop Strong Bones
Because it promotes strong bones, it helps you avoid the high risk of bone fractures and conditions like osteoporosis.
You can choose to cook your cauliflower in a curry or bake it in a cheese sauce. If not, you might as well roast it and have it as a side dish or fry it and add it to a rice dish. Seek professional help when creating a diet plan including this vegetable for more innovative yet beneficial ideas.
Another cruciferous vegetable to consider is cabbage. It is quite delicious, regardless if it is eaten raw, sautéed, boiled, steamed, or stuffed. The nutritional information of one-half cup of shredded cabbage, roughly 75 g, is as follows (9):
- Calories- 17
- Protein- 1 g
- Total carbohydrates- 4 g
- Fiber- 1 g
In addition to being among the best foods to lower estrogen naturally, this vegetable also (9):
- Reduce cancer risk. It contains a compound known as sulforaphane that helps fight cancer.
- Improve digestion and immunity.
- Boost heart health, especially the red cabbage with its anthocyanin antioxidants.
The list of cruciferous vegetables does not end here. It also contains other vegetables such as radish, collard greens, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, watercress, kale, and Bok choy (10).
Whole grains also rank among the foods to lower estrogen in men and women, probably because replacing refined carbs with whole grains is an excellent healthy weight loss strategy. There is an assumption that most whole grains tend to be brown, although this is not always the case. Again, color is not what depicts if a food is whole grain or not.
Whole grains are present throughout the food supply. Believe it or not, they are also present in processed foods (11). You can only determine if a food is a whole grain if you recognize its grains as whole grains.
Here is a list of popular whole grains that might come in handy during your next grocery shopping (11):
- Brown rice
- Oatmeal or whole oats
- Whole-grain corn
- Bulgur (cracked wheat)
- Whole rye
- Wild rice
Besides lowering your high estrogen levels, these whole grains can also provide you with the following health benefits:
Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer, Obesity, And Type 2 Diabetes
Brown rice, for example, lowers your cholesterol levels and controls your blood sugar, helping reduce your risk of any heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes (6).
Improve Bowel Health
They help in maintaining your regular bowel movements and the growth of your healthy bacteria in the colon (11).
Your dietitian may also recommend you to eat mushrooms to lower your estrogen levels. There are multiple types of mushrooms, including enoki, shiitake, chanterelle, wood ear, brown cremini, Portobello, oyster, morel, and white or “button”.
Each kind tends to have a different nutritional profile. So, talk to a licensed nutritionist to make sure that you do not exceed your calorie intake. Here is a sample of a nutritional profile of one cup of whole, raw mushrooms weighing roughly 96 grams (14):
- Calories- 21.1
- Protein- 3 g
- Iron- 0.5 mg
- Total carbohydrate- 3.1 g
- Zinc- 0.5 mg
- Magnesium- 8.6 mg
- Vitamin C- 2.0 mg
- Phosphorus- 82.6 mg
- Vitamin D- 0.2 mg
- Zinc- 0.5 mg
- Sodium- 4.8 mg
- Selenium- 8.9 mcg
Mushrooms also have the following health benefits (14):
Reduce Cancer risk
They contain antioxidants that eliminate free radicals, which tend to harm your body cells and cause various cancers.
Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Mushrooms are rich in fiber that helps in the reduction of blood glucose levels, thereby helping in the management of type 2 diabetes.
Improve Heart Health
Mushrooms also contain potassium, fiber, and vitamin C that promotes cardiovascular health.
Help With Fetal Development
Mushrooms contain folate that is among the most vital nutrients in pregnancy for fetal development.
However, you need to know that some kinds of mushrooms contain toxins. These toxins can lead to fatal health issues. To avoid this, seek professional help on what mushroom types are safe to eat, as well as how to safely prepare it.
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Foods To Lower Estrogen: Flaxseeds
The other food that may lower estrogen levels in women and men that you ought to consider is flaxseeds. It is more plant-based and is a great recommendation if you are creating a plant-based diet plan.
Flaxseeds tend to contain fiber, antioxidants, protein, lignans, and polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (7). One tablespoon of ground flaxseed, weighing roughly 7 grams, contains the following nutrients (7):
- Calories- 37.4
- Fiber- 1.91 g
- Total carbohydrates- 2.02 g
- Calcium- 17.8 mg
- Protein- 1.28 g
- Total fat- 2.95 g
- Folate- 6.09 mcg
- Phosphorus- 44.9 mg
- Magnesium- 27.4 mg
- Potassium- 56.9 mg
- Lutein and zeaxanthin- 45.6 mcg
In addition to helping stabilize your estrogen levels, flaxseeds also have the following health benefits (7):
Reduce Cancer Risk
These seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that help in preventing the growth of various cancer cells.
Improve Cholesterol And Heart Health
It contains fiber and omega-3 fatty acids that help in boosting heart health. They also contain phytosterols that reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in your body (low-density lipoprotein (LDL)).
Ease Arthritis Symptoms
It also helps in reducing inflammation, stiffness, and joint pain associated with arthritis.
The last food in this category that you must give a try is the red grapes. Although grapes come in various colors and forms, you are only supposed to consume the red grapes if your goal is reducing your estrogen levels (13).
The nutritional profile of one cup of red grapes, weighing at least 151 grams, is as follows (12):
- Kilocalories- 104
- Protein- 1.09 g
- Fiber- 1.4 g
- Folate- 3 mcg
- Zinc- 0.11 mg
- Sodium- 3 mg
- Potassium- 288 mg
- Magnesium- 11 mg
- Vitamin C- 4.8 mg
- Vitamin K- 22 mcg
- Phosphorus- 30 mg
- Calcium- 15 mg
- Total fat- 0.24 g
Total carbohydrates- 27.33 g (23.37 g of this is sugars)
You can also reap the following health benefits from eating red grapes (12):
Due to the high fiber and water content in these grapes, it can lead you to experience constipation.
Boost Heart Health And Your Blood Pressure
It contains fiber that promotes a healthy cardiovascular system.
Reduced Cancer Risk
This is due to it having a high polyphenols content, which are antioxidants that reduce the risk of various cancers.
The Bottom Line
High estrogen levels can have disastrous health effects. In men, they can cause infertility or gynecomastia. On the other hand, they may cause weight gain and menstrual problems in women. You need to take an estrogen test under medical supervision to determine if you indeed have high estrogen levels.
If so, your healthcare provider may ask you to add various foods to your diet. They include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, whole-grains such as oats, red grapes, mushrooms, and flaxseeds. Make sure you only make such dietary changes after getting your doctor’s go-ahead.
Supplement your diet with some exercise to double your results.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- ‘Healthier hormones’ through diet and exercise (2013, sciencedaily.com)
- Arugula (2020, webmd.com)
- Can some foods reduce estrogen in men? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Everything you need to know about arugula (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Everything you need to know about cauliflower (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Healthy Grains and How to Enjoy Them (2019, webmd.com)
- How healthful is flaxseed? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- The health benefits of broccoli (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- The health benefits of cabbage (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- These vegetables may promote artery health (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Tips for Reaping the Benefits of Whole Grains (2005, medicinenet.com)
- What are the health benefits of grapes? (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What are the symptoms of high estrogen levels? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What is the nutritional value of mushrooms? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)