Oestrogen is one of the main female sex hormones that have many functions to perform in the body. It’s produced from the hormonal system before it moves through the bloodstream.
It’s found in both male and female body, but it plays a major role in the female’s body and it’s needed for Puberty, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, bone strength, and maintaining normal cholesterol levels in the female body.
Estrogen helps the following organs to function properly:
Ovaries: Estrogen helps stimulate the growth of the egg follicle.
Vagina: In the vagina, estrogen maintains the thickness of the vaginal wall and promotes lubrication.
Uterus: Estrogen enhances and maintains the mucous membrane that lines the uterus. It also regulates the flow and thickness of uterine mucus secretions.
Breasts: The body uses estrogen in the formation of breast tissue. This hormone also helps stop the flow of milk after weaning.
Having too much or too little of oestrogen can lead to a range of different medical conditions.
Some of the common medical conditions linked to oestrogen include:
Adenomyosis – when cells that normally line the inside of the uterus (womb) also grow inside its muscular walls. Because it needs oestrogen to grow, adenomyosis usually goes away after menopause. Sometimes, adenomyosis may cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding, severe cramping, and pain during intercourse or blood clots that pass during a period.
Fibroids – Non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can develop during a woman’s childbearing years. Fibroids are stimulated to grow by hormones and tend to go away after menopause. The cause of fibroids isn’t well understood. Risk factors include a family history of fibroids, obesity or early onset of puberty.
Osteoporosis – a condition where your bones become fragile and more easily broken. Because oestrogen helps with bone strength, women are more at risk after menopause. Many people have no symptoms until they have a bone fracture. Treatment includes medication, a healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise to help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones
Vaginal dryness – falling oestrogen at menopause can cause the vagina to become dry and thin, causing discomfort and sometimes leading to other problems.
Food sources of estrogen
When it comes to changes in our hormones or issues related to changes such as stress, we often don’t think to turn to food as a solution. However, certain foods can help balance out our hormones, and including these foods in the diet can help level out the body and improve our overall health without having to take any prescription.
Although everyone’s body reacts differently, incorporating these healthy foods can help to at least ensure a healthy diet, which can keep your body functioning optimally.
Some foods contain phytoestrogens, which are plant-based substances that resemble estrogen.
Dry fruits are identified to have a number of health benefits. Having plenty of nutrient value to increase the estrogen level is one of them. Dried fruits are a potent source of phytoestrogens. Dried apricots, dates, and prunes are some of the dried fruits with the highest phytoestrogen content.
Consume with a bowl of milk to complete healthy and hearty breakfast.
Flax seeds are small, golden or brown-coloured seeds that have recently gained traction due to their inherent health benefits. It contains high amounts of antioxidants (lignans), which are similar to estrogen or more precisely they are phytoestrogen. Flax seeds are one of the richest sources of estrogen or phytoestrogen.
Flax seeds have also been proven to help in improving cholesterol, lower pressure levels and control body weight. You can mix flax seeds in water and drink, or mix them with breakfast cereal.
If you are not into cooking or do not to cook food for yourself, you should add soy products in your grocery basket. Soya milk, soy yoghurt, tofu is healthy and tasty options which are proven to boost estrogen levels in the body. Soya is also said to prevent the risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis in women.
Cruciferous vegetables are a large group of plants with diverse flavours, textures, and nutrients. Examples are cabbages, Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc., which are rich in phytoestrogen.
These vegetables are rich in poly estrogen and lignan. Make a delicious meal using these vegetables or add them in your daily salad. You can also blend them and make healthy juices using these vegetables.
The peaches are sweet fruits with yellowish-white flesh and fuzzy skin. They’re not only packed with vitamins and minerals but also rich in phytoestrogens known as lignans.
The juicy fruit of peach contains lignans along with several other vitamins and minerals which help in increasing estrogen as well as blood levels. These fruits are also known to reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menstruating women. You can have this fruit baked, raw, chopped, sauteed, whichever way you like.
The bottom line
Phytoestrogens are found in a wide variety of plant foods.
To boost your phytoestrogen intake, try including some of the nutritious foods listed above into your diet. With all these said, we’re sure you’ll try these out.