Estrogen is a naturally occurring hormone whose purpose is to ensure sexual development in females. It is also responsible for the governing of the menstrual cycle, the normal functioning of the ovaries as well as the growth and development of breasts. To ensure that estrogen does not accumulate in the body, the liver metabolizes it and ensures it is eliminated from the body through normal bowel movements. If this does not happen as it should, estrogen accumulates in the body leading to high concentration of the hormone. Increased estrogen levels pose a risk to the human body because they are potentially toxic.
In women, increased levels of estrogen cause the disruption of the normal reproductive cycle alongside a myriad of other health problems. In men, high levels of the hormone cause accumulation of excess body fat and lowers the concentration of the male hormone, testosterone. In both men and women, high levels of estrogen increase the chances of developing prostate, breast and ovarian as well as heart disease.Add to this the fact that there are high amounts of chemical estrogen all around us and it is easy to see the importance of reducing its concentration in the body. Did you know that there are chemical estrogens in a wide array of products commonly used daily?
These include, but are not limited to cosmetic products, pesticides, plastic products as well as a number of animal products. In addition to disorders that affect the estrogen metabolic pathway, these chemical estrogens also contribute to the hormone’s high concentration in the body. Other causes of high estrogen levels include obesity, high stress, excessive alcohol intake, the use of certain medications as well as hypertension. The home remedies that exist to reduce estrogen levels in the body revolve around lifestyle changes that aid the body in eliminating estrogen as well as measures to reduce exposure to chemical estrogens. Below are some of the ways to go about this.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables:
Time Required: Varies depending on the vegetable and the method of preparation.
What You Need: Any of the different types of cruciferous vegetables
One of the best home remedies that exist for the reduction of estrogen levels in the boy is cruciferous vegetables. This category of veggies is packed with phytochemicals that work to prevent the excess production of estrogen in the body. When taken in large quantities, consistently over a period of time, these vegetables assist the body reduce the amount of estrogen present. The advantage of using this remedy is that cruciferous vegetables may be prepared in many different ways depending on one’s preferences.
- Some of the recommended cruciferous vegetables for this home remedy include cabbage, kale, collard greens, broccoli and cabbage. Other ideal choices include cauliflower, bok choy, turnips and Brussel sprouts.
- Prepare any of the vegetables and consume twice daily.
NOTE: The most important thing to remember when using this remedy is that the vegetables should not be overcooked as this causes them to lose nutrients and become less efficient.
2. Increase Mushrooms Intake:
Time Required: Varies depending on the method of preparation
What You Need: Any varieties from the mushroom family
Mushrooms are a great home remedy for the reduction of estrogen in the body. Taken regularly, mushrooms work by blocking estrogen in the body. Scientific studies show that the mode of action involves inhibiting the production and function of a key enzyme in the estrogen biosynthetic way – aromatase enzyme. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of androgen to estrogen. By preventing the production of this enzyme, mushrooms effectively keep estrogen production in check.
- Prepare your mushrooms however you like. Raw and cleaned mushrooms add a unique twist to salads, but if you prefer, you may sauté them with onions and other condiments. Some of the varieties available include portobello, baby button and shiitake. Adding mushrooms to your daily diet will go a long way in reducing estrogen accumulation in the body.
NOTE: Always go for store-bought mushrooms because mushrooms picked in the wild outdoors may be toxic and often lead to poisoning. Whenever you can, it is advisable to go for organic mushrooms as these are free from pesticides. As mentioned above, exposure to certain pesticides may increase the amount of estrogen in the body, so it is best to go organic.
Time Required: Varies depending on the recipe used.
What You Need: Select seeds such as sesame seeds and flax seeds.
Select seeds are recommended for the reduction of estrogen, thanks to the presence of a group of compounds known as polyphenols. Plants are rich in polyphenols, and when absorbed in the human body, these active ingredients reduce the amount of estrogen in blood circulation. According to research studies carried out, flaxseeds have one of the highest amounts of these polyphenols, and are therefore a great remedy for reducing the amount of estrogen in the body.
The specific type of polyphenols found in these seeds is lignans. These lignans behave like phytoestrogens and aid in the reduction of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens essentially[y attach themselves to estrogen receptors in the body and displace true estrogen, thus preventing the excessive hormone from having effects on the body. One of the key advantages of using phytoestrogens is that while they are able to take the place of estrogen, they have very minimal effects on the body compared to the body’s or chemical estrogen in circulation. These phytoestrogens also reduce the amount of aromatase in the body in healthy elimination of the hormone.
NOTE: While these seeds are beneficial for the most part, the extent of their efficiency is, to some extent, determined by one’s capacity to absorb and breakdown the lignans.
- Simply add your preferred seeds to your meals. The seeds can be added to just about any recipes, ranging from green smoothies, to morning cereals and even baked food.
4. Green Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Green teabag, 1 cup of boiling water and optional flavorings.
Green tea is widely known for its immense health benefits, and this is not any different when it comes to the reduction of estrogen levels. Its mode of action involves using its high concentration of phytochemicals to block estrogen in the body. Green tea is also a healthy addition to one’s diet, and makes for a great substitute for milk tea. Prepare green tea by following the simple directions indicated below.
- Place 1 green teabag in a cup of boiling water and allow steeping for 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in some honey to sweeten the herbal tea.
- You may also add optional flavorings such as mint leaves, lemon juice, ginger and ginseng among others.
- This refreshing tea may be taken either when hot or allowed to cool on sweltering days.
5. Whole Grains:
Time Required: Varies depending on the method of preparation.
What You Need: Any of the whole grains available.
Whole grains, also referred to as unprocessed grains, have great health benefits for the body. This is because unlike processed grains, whole grains contain all of the contents, namely the germ, bran and the endosperm. These grains are rich in polyphenols with estrogen-blocking properties as well as phytoestrogens. Note that just like seeds, one’s response to whole grain intake may not be as great as another’s. This depends on many factors, among them the overall health of the gastrointestinal system. Look out for any allergic reactions, in which case, the grains need to be avoided.
- The whole grains can be prepared and eaten in many different forms, ranging from breakfast cereal to snacks, bread and pasta among others. Some of the options available include barley, millet, corn, rye, oats and wheat.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Pomegranate fruit and juicer (optional).
When people think about home remedies that may be used to manage estrogen levels in the body, pomegranates may not come to mind immediately, but this delicious fruit is packed with phytochemicals that are essential for estrogen reduction. The presence of these phytochemicals not only blocks estrogen from attaching to the receptors and exerting its effects, it also has excellent antioxidant properties that improve one’s overall health.
- Pomegranates may be sliced and eaten as fresh fruit, or may be juiced to get its juice. While stores stock up on pomegranate juice and blends of the same, your best bet is freshly made fruit juice to pack up on all that healthy goodness.
7. Alcohol Intake:
Time Required: Varies among individuals
What You Need: Patience and a drive to stop taking alcohol
Alcohol intake and increased estrogen levels in the body are intertwined. Alcohol is metabolized and eliminated from the body by the liver, as is the estrogen. Alcohol intake means that the liver works to perform both tasks, and this tends to compromise the elimination of estrogen from the body. Studies show that alcohol increases the amount of estrogen in the body, and for men, decreases testosterone concentration.
- Avoiding alcohol intake is a journey for the many who love alcohol, and particularly for addicts. Patience and a desire to stop taking alcohol are two key tenets to achieve this goal.
- Depending on the extent of one’s addiction, medical intervention may be needed to help one break off their addiction while reducing estrogen levels in the body. Support groups also play a key role in this journey.
8. Improve Gut Health:
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Foods that are rich in fiber.
Poor health of the gastrointestinal system predisposes individuals to high amounts of estrogen in the body. This is because when the gut is in poor health, this acts as an inhibitor of estrogen excretion from the body. What’s more, it also encourages the body to reabsorb the excreted estrogen, leading to extremely high amounts of the same in the body.
A healthy gut on the other hand, allows estrogen to be eliminated from the gut with great ease. To maintain proper gut health, it is advisable to increase dietary fiber intake. Lignan is recommended because it allows the estrogen to bind and move along the digestive system to the point of excretion.Dietary fiber also has another advantage in reducing estrogen levels in the body.
The fiber inhibits the action of an enzyme known as B-glucouronidase. This enzyme works by splitting estrogen in the gut, allowing it to be reabsorbed where it enters back into the circulation system. This, over a period of time, leads to high levels of estrogen with the aforementioned effects. The solution lies in increasing dietary fiber intake.
- Simply increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Some excellent options to include are green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains and flax.
- Probiotics are also recommended for this purpose as they help increase the ‘good bacteria’ in the gut.
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: A balanced diet that contains carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats.
One of the most effective ways to maintain normal estrogen levels is to make sure you have a balanced diet. Carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats are required for optimal body function, but there is a catch. It is advisable to get your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables which also provide much-needed dietary fiber. These sources are also rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body while ensuring estrogen is eliminated effectively.
A diet that is rich in proteins is also ideal for reducing estrogen levels in the body. such a diet allows the bod to get lysine and theonine, (Lys and The), both of which are known to improve liver function. Since estrogen is broken down by the liver, it helps to improve liver function and eliminate the hormone from the body optimally. Healthy fats such as omega-3 are recommended because they aid in the excretion of estrogen from the body.
Tips on a Healthy Diet
- Excellent sources of carbohydrates include complex starches, vegetables and fruits.
- A high protein diet should include foods such as fenugreek seeds, fish, eggs, lean meat and beans among others.
- Omega-3 fats are a healthy option and are found in high concentration in fish.
In addition to the aforementioned home remedies, it is also important to reduce exposure to chemical estrogen found in a myriad of day-to-day products. This is especially important because chemical estrogen is found just about everywhere in one’s immediate environment. Practical measures include eating organic food, using natural cleansers and personal care products as well as avoiding plastic containers whose constituent chemicals mimic the action of estrogen. If you have any concerns, make sure you see your doctor to prevent complications.