Estrogen is a natural hormone found in both women and men. Keeping estrogen at a healthy level is important for both genders, but women need more estrogen for normal bodily functions, such as conceiving children. During menopause, estrogen levels in women decrease significantly.
- Go for foods that are high in phytoestrogens, which are naturally-occurring substances found in plants that can imitate the function of estrogen in the body. For foods that are rich in phytoestrogens, eat:
- Legumes, and especially soybeans, because they contain isoflavonoids, a type of phytoestrogen.
- Bran, beans, fruits and vegetables, because they contain lignans, another type of phytoestrogen.
- Peas, pinto and lima beans, because they contain coumestan, another type of phytoestrogen.
- Be careful, however, about excessive consumption of estrogen-rich foods. Too much phytoestrogen consumption may cause tissue growth, making it unsafe for women who have previously had breast cancer.
- Your endocrine system requires a healthy body in order to work properly and produce normal levels of estrogen. Eat a wide variety of fresh, organic foods to give your system the best chance to naturally produce estrogen.
Visit your doctor to determine your estrogen levels. Before you embark on an estrogen treatment program, consult your doctor about the effects of estrogen on your body. While estrogen insufficiency can result in a host of problems, too much estrogen (called estrogen dominance) has been linked to menstrual disturbances, ovarian cysts, and breast cancer.
- If you are experiencing hormonal imbalances, a doctor can prescribe blood tests to make sure that low levels of estrogen is the problem. Normal estrogen levels in women prior to menopause range from 50 pg/mL to 400 pg/mL. If your estrogen levels are below 100 pg/mL, you might experience symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes.
Exercise, but not fanatically. Excessive exercise has been linked to a drop in estrogen levels, although regular exercise has also been linked to drops in estrogen levels as well. The difference is while normal exercise is healthy — and might decrease the risk of breast cancer in women and overall longevity — excessive exercise may not be. The increase of estrogen levels due to reduction is exercise is simply not worth it.
- Athletes may experience a drop in estrogen levels. This is because women with low levels of body fat have more trouble producing estrogen. If you are an athlete or have very low body fat levels, see your doctor for an appropriate response to replenishing your estrogen.
Drink coffee. Women who drink more than two cups of coffee per day may have higher estrogen levels than women who don’t. While coffee may increase estrogen levels, this means that it also puts women at higher risk for endometriosis and breast pain.
- Use organic coffee. Most coffee is a heavily sprayed crop, so drinking organic coffee should reduce your exposure to herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers.
- Use unbleached filters. Many white coffee filters contain bleach that can leech out into the final product, so try to find unbleached coffee filters for a safer brew.
- Women who are pregnant should not consume more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. More than 200 mg of caffeine intake, whether from coffee or energy drinks, puts women at a higher risk of miscarriage or preterm birth.
Quit smoking, if appropriate. Smoking may have adverse effects on the endocrine system, limiting the body’s ability to produce estrogen effectively. Smoking in pre-menopausal women has therefore been linked with menstrual dysfunction, infertility, and earlier menopause.
Eat soy and drink soy milk. Soybean products, especially tofu, have been shown to increase estrogen levels. Soybean products contain large amounts of isoflavonoids, a phytoestrogen.
- Soy can balance hormone levels, which means increasing estrogen in men or women with low levels. Soy milk and foods made from soybeans are located in the dairy section at most grocery stores.
- Other soy products you might incorporate into your diet include:
- Miso, although miso is high in sodium and low in protein.
- Soy nuts.
- Textured Soy Product (TSP), or foods made from textured soy flour.
Eat flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, and may reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Additionally, flaxseeds are high in lignans, a phytoestrogen that mimics the action of estrogen. Flaxseeds contain 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
- Consuming up to a half cup (60 g) of flaxseeds per day won’t increase your estrogen, but the flax acts as an estrogen replacement within the body because of the phytoestrogens. The properties of phytoestrogens are similar to the properties of estrogen.
Take chasteberry supplements. This herb can be found in pill form in most health stores. Chasteberry is rumored to improve women’s fertility by increasing estrogen levels. At the same time, be careful about taking chasteberry supplements if you are taking:
- Birth control pills.
- Antipsychotic drugs.
- Medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
- Metoclopramide, a dopamine-affecting drug.
Vitamin C, carotene, complex B vitamins, and whole grains may also be useful in increasing estrogen levels in women.
- Foods rich in vitamin C: kiwi, tomatoes, oranges, cantaloupe, citrus fruit, peaches, bananas, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, corn, and lima beans.
- Foods rich in carotene: peppers, kale, spinach, carrots, beets, dandelion greens, turnip greens, cabbage, pumpkin, chard, collards, basil, and squash.
- Foods rich in complex B vitamins: Liver, beef, tuna, oats, turkey, brazil nuts, bananas, potatoes, avocados, legumes, and kefir.
- Look for foods that contain 100% whole grain ingredients. Instead of white flour, opt for whole grain flour. Use whole grain pasta or brown rice, for example.
- Do not begin taking supplements without first consulting your doctor.
- Ingesting more than the recommended amount of flax seed can decrease the effectiveness of some medications.
- If you soak your flax seeds in water for 5 minutes you can add a table spoon of flax seeds to a smoothie or your food it makes them softer.
- Adding flax seed to your breakfast cereal or in healthy smoothies is a good way to effortlessly ingest the seed.
- Consult a nutritionist to help you construct a diet that promotes healthy levels of estrogen and fits your lifestyle.
- Doing a 10-20 minute breast massage per-day for about a month (2 months for extreme satisfaction) should do the trick it self.
- If you don’t care for the bitterness of coffee or just need to cut down on the sugar, add a dash of salt to your morning brew before creaming and sweetening. Decreasing the bitterness means not having to empty half the sugar jar just to make it tolerable.
- If it helps at all putting 2 tablespoons of deliciously flavored creamer should help get a tolerable taste.
- If you do the massage and drink a 5 cups of organic coffee a week you should be able to go up about a cup or two in bra sizes!