Phytoestrogens are natural sources of Estrogen in the form from plant based food items. Phytoestrogens are basically plant estrogens and they occur naturally in plants. They closely resemble the chemical structure and functioning of Estrogen produced by the human body.
Phytoestrogens perform the same work of binding to the same receptors that our own estrogen does.
Estrogen Balance for Women Health
Estrogen hormone that participates in reproductive system and other vital body systems as the neuroendocrine, vascular, skeletal, and immune system for men and women.
Estrogen imbalance can give rise to multiple health problems and unwanted bodily changes such as Osteoporosis, Cardiovascular problems, Obesity, and Menopausal symptoms. Females, in particular, undergo hormonal changes related to the decline in Estrogen production during perimenopause.
Hence, it is really important to keep your Estrogen levels in check through natural dietary sources as Estrogen foods. Women should include Estrogen foods in their diet on regular basis at any age group but more importantly starting from late 30s to keep their health in check during transition phases such as pregnancy, post pregnancy, and during menopause.
In this post, will learn about which Estrogen foods to go for a balanced diet.
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What are Phytoestrogens?
Phytoestrogens from plants act selectively. They act like estrogen in some organs and block estrogen effect in others. Hence, their action is much more balanced than artificially produced Estrogen hormones.
We can get these phytoestrogens from more than 300 foods. These foods carry phytoestrogens belonging to three different chemical classes as listed below.
The role and overall effect on our body of phytoestrogens varies with their source. Additionally, phytoestrogens are much less potent than human Estrogen hormone. Hence, it is important to include a variety and good quantity of phytoestrogens in your diet on regular basis to balance your hormone levels.
|Estrogen Variant||Food Types|
|Isoflavones||Primarily found in soybeans and soy products such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, and miso paste.|
|Lignans||A constituent of dietary fiber. Main sources include nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, fruits & vegetables.|
|Coumestans||Majorly found in sprouted beans such as alfalfa & clover sprouts, split peas, pinto beans, and lima beans.|
Best Estrogen Foods via food category
Taking into consideration the requirement and vital role of Estrogen for functioning of human body, we must include the Estrogen Foods in our diet on a regular basis.
In this list, we have titled good Estrogen sources as Best Estrogen Foods.
1. Seeds – Best Estrogen Rich Foods
Flax seeds, also known as linseed, are one of the richest sources of phytoestrogens in the form of Lignans. Flax seeds help in reducing cholesterol levels in the body as they contain dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Flax has been used to reduce inflammation and as a demulcent.
After flax seeds, sesame seeds are also a good source of lignan phytoestrogens and one of the densest sources of Calcium. Sesame and help to balance estrogen levels in a woman’s body and also help to prevent Osteoporosis that may result due to low bone density. Sesame Seeds also provide dietary fiber and several vitamins and minerals to the body.
Pumpkin Seeds are a great source of lignan phytoestrogens, going as high as 560 micrograms per 100g of the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are also a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that prevent aging-related disorders and also nourish the body.
2. Phytoestrogens in Soy
Soy or soybean is one of the highest levels of protein and oil-containing legumes. As per ancient Chinese herbals, it is good for the functioning of the heart, kidneys, liver and, stomach.
The isoflavones of soy products increase the estrogen levels in women. You can take soy, soy milk, or soy yogurt. You can drink soy milk turn or can make soy yogurt, and eat along with meals. Soy milk and yogurt contain almost 500 times more phytoestrogens than their milk-based counterparts.
3. Phytoestrogens in Fruits
Fruits are not the best sources of Estrogen, however strawberries and peaches are rich in phytoestrogens. Peaches can lessen the risk of cancer, stroke, and other associated heart diseases.
Strawberries can lower the risk of obesity and promote healthy skin and hair. You can take these fruits raw or even blend into a dessert. Other phytoestrogen fruits are bananas and berries.
4. Nuts are rich in beneficial Estrogen
Nuts are the most satisfying healthy snacks as they are rich sources of many nutrients. You can take them both in raw and roasted form. Brazil Nuts, Pistachios, walnuts, peanuts are an excellent source of phytoestrogens.
Roasting increases the bioavailability of the phytoestrogens presents in nuts. However, grinding reduces it as compared to raw nuts.
A handful of nuts provide enough phytoestrogens and isoflavones, as needed for your body. You can add nuts to salads, snacks, desserts, etc. Nuts are not only delicious but also healthy and give extra crunch to your dishes.
However, nuts are heavy to digest, hence moderation is the key. They can also be soaked in water for a couple of hours to enhance their digestibility and hence health benefits.
5. Dry Fruits
Dry fruits are one of the best sources of phytoestrogens and dietary fiber. During drying, these fruits accumulate higher amounts of phytoestrogens, vitamins, and minerals.
You can take them anytime in a day. You can take a handful of dry fruits with a bowl of milk in the breakfast, a few during lunch to enhance your estrogen and energy levels.
Dried apricots, dates, and dried prunes are some of the best dry fruits to take regularly to improve estrogen levels in the body.
6. Vegetables as Phytoestrogens
- Green Beans
Though these are very low in carbohydrates and calories, they are excellent choices of increasing estrogen levels via Lignans. Except for Yam, above vegetables can be taken raw or in cooked form.
Legumes, such as chickpeas (garbanzo beans) red beans, green peas and split peas provide estrogens and black beans are rich in phytoestrogens.
White beans are very healthy containing phytoestrogens, fiber, and nutrients like iron, folate, and calcium. This facilitates the balance of estrogen levels in the body. You can add boiled white beans to your salads and in different dishes.
Sprouts as Alfalfa Sprouts, Clover Sprouts, and Mung Bean Sprouts. You can add Alfalfa Sprouts, and Mung Bean Sprouts to salads and soups.
Black bean sprouts help in hair growth, colds, headaches, hemorrhaging in abortion, threatened abortion, difficult labor, irritability and fever.
Black beans help to improve fertility in women because they are good a source of phytoestrogens. They also supply enough protein, antioxidants, fiber, several vitamins, and minerals.
Black beans are related to medicine and have been used for strength and vigor. It is also used in mixtures for post-partum recovery and for sexual disorders.
Coffee and Green Tea contain an average of 12 micrograms per 100 g of both lignans types of Phytoestrogens.
Red wine is rich in Resveratrol type phytoestrogen which increases the functioning of the female hormones. Red wine in moderation (limited to 15 – 20 ml on daily basis) may help increase Estrogen levels in the body and also lessen the threat of cardiovascular diseases.
9. Herbs – Best Estrogen Foods
Herbs such as Parsley, Dill, Fennel, aniseed, Sage, and Red Clover significantly boost the phytoestrogen content of a meal. They can be added to the meal preparations directly or boiled in water, to be consumed as a tea along with the meal.
Garlic contains the Isoflavones types of Phytoestrogen. It provides multiple health benefits, for example, it helps reduce cholesterol, and prevents cancer and heart diseases. Garlic is known for its antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Garlic can be added to the soups, salads, sautés, stir-fries, pasta, and stews for flavour and health benefits.
The licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) plant is a perennial, having ‘sweet root’. The sweet yellow wood of the licorice root is a reverred medicinal herb in Ayurveda, in Chinese traditional system, and in the native European medicinal systems for its health benefits and detoxification effects. Medicinally it has been used as a demulcent and expectorant and has been shown to have antioxidant and antimicrobial activity
10. Whole Grains
Grains, such as Oats, Barley, Wheat, and Rye contain a phytoestrogen known as Lignan. Regular intake of a variety of grains in their whole form can increase estrogen in your body.
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- Phytoestrogen: a Review of the Present State of Research
- Phytoestrogen content of fruits and vegetables commonly consumed in the UK
- Naturally-Occurring Estrogens in Plant Foodstuffs -A Review