We all know that estrogen plays a fundamental role in maintaining the reproductive health of women. Although often called "the female hormone," estrogen aids in the proper functioning of male bodies too. Moreover, your metabolism and bone density are also affected by estrogen. When the ratio of estrogen to progesterone is imbalanced, i.e., when the levels of the former are much higher than the latter, it can lead to estrogen dominance. This condition has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women. According to specialist Simrun Chopra, estrogen dominance may also lead to irregular periods, lowered sex drive, hair loss and migraines in women. In men, it can manifest in the form of infertility, erectile issues, hot flashes and many other issues. One of the most important ways to deal with this condition is through dietary changes. Here are key items to stay away from if you have abnormally high estrogen levels.
5 Foods to avoid if you're estrogen dominant:
1. Red Meat and Processed meat
Consuming this kind of meat can lead to estrogen build-up, especially in females. Research has shown that it also puts them at an increased risk of breast cancer. Instead, opt for Mediterranean and plant-based diets, as they can be quite effective in regulating estrogen levels. Note that, some experts suggest reducing your intake of legumes and soy as both are rich in phytoestrogens.
2. Refined Sugar and Carbohydrates
These two are common culprits responsible for many health problems. They are also always present in packaged and processed foods, which leads to a disruption in blood sugar levels and hormone levels. Choose whole grains and other components of a fibre-rich diet to lower the amount of estrogen in your body. Cutting out refined sugar and carbohydrates from your diet will also pave the way for a healthy lifestyle in general.
3. Dairy Products
Foods of animal origin tend to contain estrogen components themselves. Hence, it is recommended that you limit your intake of milk and milk products to regulate your hormone levels. For some people, dairy products and red meat lead to increased weight gain. Doctors frequently advise patients with estrogen dominance to exercise regularly and lose weight to complement their dietary changes.
Sugar is intrinsically linked with various hormones in your body. Increased sugar intake can lead to more fat cells, which increases the estrogen secreted into your body. This is one of the reasons why low-fat food items are recommended for those with estrogen dominance. Additionally, studies show that higher insulin levels can raise the estrogen as well as testosterone levels in the body, which causes further complications.
5. Alcohol and Coffee
The metabolism of estrogen takes place in the liver, which is negatively impacted by alcohol consumption. Moreover, alcohol reduces testosterone levels in men, which can become a source of new problems. Coffee is another drink people with estrogen dominance should avoid since an excessive intake of caffeine has been linked with hormonal imbalance.
Some people's bodies may react differently to certain food items. You should consult your doctor or nutritionist before making any drastic changes in your diet. Many other factors like stress and lifestyle play a role in estrogen dominance. This is an extremely complex condition and hence, a holistic approach is advised.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.