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Bowls containing foods that help boost estrogen such as chickpeas, legumes, broccoli and butter.

Boost Your Estrogen Naturally With These 10 Foods

Balanced hormones are crucial for overall health, and estrogen plays a pivotal role in female sexual and reproductive health. However, menopause brings a natural decline in estrogen levels, leading to symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, low libido, and mood swings. While medicinal treatments like hormone replacement therapy are available, nature provides many estrogen-rich foods that can also provide valuable support and naturally boost estrogen levels. Let's explore 10 readily available foods that can help increase your estrogen levels.

A white table full of estrogen boosting foods such as chickpeas, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, cheese and milk.

Can Food Really Increase Estrogen Levels?

Yes, it really can! Along with animal products such as egg or milk that contain estrogen, certain plant-based foods contain phytoestrogens, also known as dietary estrogen. These compounds mimic estrogen's hormonal effects when ingested, making them especially beneficial during menopause.

Estrogen Vs Phytoestrogen: What's The Difference?

Estrogen is this group of sex hormones found in animals and humans, doing some crucial work for the female reproductive system. Phytoestrogens are like the plant version of estrogen, naturally found in plants, with a structure similar to the hormone. These compounds, often called phytochemicals, interact with estrogen receptors in our bodies, mimicking, blocking, or tweaking the effects of our own estrogen.

There are several types of phytoestrogens, including isoflavones, lignans, and coumestans. These compounds are commonly found in a variety of plant-based foods such as soy, flaxseeds, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

How Do Phytoestrogens Work?

The term "phytoestrogen" originates from the Greek words "phyto," signifying plant, and "estrogen," meaning, obviously, the female sex hormone. Despite their structural resemblance to estrogen, phytoestrogens exhibit weaker hormonal activity compared to the body's endogenous estrogen. Nevertheless, they do interact with estrogen receptors and tweak those estrogenic effects helping keep our hormonal balance in check!

Phytoestrogens have been studied for their potential health benefits, including their role in managing menopausal symptoms, reducing the risk of certain hormone-related cancers, and contributing to cardiovascular health. Research suggests that ingesting phytoestrogens not only alleviate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes but also may reduce the risk of female cancers, cholesterol issues, and osteoporosis.

Managing Menopause Naturally

While many physicians recommend medicinal treatments such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), incorporating readily available estrogen-rich foods can complement these options, providing a more holistic approach to managing menopausal symptoms. Below is a curated list of our top 10 foods rich in estrogen to naturally enhance your estrogen levels.

A bowl of flax seeds known to be high in phytoestrogens, which can help relieve menopausal symptoms.

Top 10 Estrogen-Boosting Foods You Should Eat During Menopause

1. Soybeans

Soybeans are rich in isoflavones. These compounds not only lower breast cancer risk but also manage menopausal symptoms and reduce cholesterol, promoting heart health. Additionally, soybeans contribute to bone health by providing essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium. Their cardiovascular benefits, including cholesterol reduction, support heart health during menopause. As a complete protein source, soybeans also offer muscle maintenance and a plant-based alternative for protein needs.

2. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a potent source of phytoestrogen lignans, proven to be 800 times more abundant than any other food. In a 2002 study featured in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, it was discovered that supplementing with 40 grams of ground flaxseeds proved to be equally efficacious as hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This supplementation was found to elevate estrogen levels and ameliorate mild menopausal symptoms.

3. Nuts

Cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios and peanuts offer valuable benefits during menopause, featuring phytoestrogens that aid hormonal balance and potentially alleviate symptoms. Rich in healthy fats, including heart-friendly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, nuts support cardiovascular well-being. With a good balance of protein and fiber and healthy fats, nuts offer a satisfying and filling snack, addressing concerns related to muscle maintenance, digestive health, and weight management during menopause.

4. Dried Fruits

Dried apricots, dates, peaches, prunes, and raisins offer both deliciousness and a rich source of isoflavones and lignans. Nutrient-dense and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, dried fruits support overall health, including heart health and immune function.

5. Chickpeas

Chickpeas prove to be a valuable addition to a menopausal diet for various reasons. Rich in isoflavones, particularly Biochanin A, these legumes contribute to hormonal balance, potentially alleviating menopausal symptoms associated with estrogen decline. Nutrient-dense, chickpeas provide essential vitamins and minerals, supporting bone health and overall well-being.

6. Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts are rich in the phytoestrogens, specifically coumestans. These compounds can positively impact bone health by improving density and mineralization. As bone density tends to decline during menopause, incorporating alfalfa sprouts can be a natural way to support skeletal strength.

7. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts contain phytoestrogens like secoisolariciresinol and coumestrol. These compounds protect against hormone-related cancers and improve bone density, as well as offering a wealth of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

8. Sesame Seeds

Not only are sesame seeds packed with lignans, they are extremely nutrient-rich, providing essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc crucial for bone health. Their cardiovascular benefits, antioxidant properties, and dietary fiber content further make sesame seeds a valuable addition to a menopausal diet

9. Berries

It's no secret by now that berries are a superfood. Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries are rich in phytoestrogens while also being rich fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants which help protect the body from oxidative stress.

10. Eggs

Eggs can be a valuable addition to a menopausal diet for several reasons. They contain a moderate amount of estrogen, supporting hormonal balance during menopause. Low in calories and rich in high-quality protein, eggs aid in muscle maintenance and repair, crucial during this life stage. Packed with essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, and antioxidants, eggs contribute to overall well-being and can be added to the diet in multiple ways.

To Wrap Up

Navigating through menopause-induced low estrogen levels and their disruptive symptoms can be extremely challenging, but incorporating these healthy plant-based foods rich in phytoestrogens can effectively help you in managing these issues. While dietary estrogen is beneficial for most women, regular consultation with healthcare practitioners and routine estrogen level testing is advisable to ensure optimal hormonal health. Now it's time to embrace the transformative power of these foods during menopause and enjoy the benefits of naturally balanced hormones!

Are you in search of a menopause meal plan to effortlessly guide you through mealtime? If so, then your search concludes with this comprehensive food guide. Here, we outline the essential nutrients that should feature in your diet, and offer you an array of straightforward and delectable breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes. Let us assist you in embracing this significant life stage with these delightful and healthful options!

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