Are your Estrogen levels all over the place? Sometimes it can be hard to tell. Have you ever noticed how so many of the signs and symptoms that indicate there is a problem tend to be the same? I mean nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache tend to be symptoms for any number of health related causes. Why is that? Well, there is the possibility that like hormones they are all linked together. You cannot touch one without affecting all the others.
Hormonal Trouble Makers
When it comes to hormones there are a few of them that tend to be some of the biggest troublemakers. By this, I mean that when they are off you notice it and they tend to be out of balance the most. Estrogen is one of these hormones. It could be related to the fact that there are so many different types of Estrogen running around in our bodies, or it could have something to do with what the functions of these hormones are. No matter how you slice it, clearly it is a good idea to know more about Estrogen and how to help regulate it on a daily basis.
The Many Faces of Estrogen
What most people don’t know is that there are several different kinds of Estrogen that are produced in the body. There are four different types of Estrogen that help regulate the bodies functions: Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), Estriol (E3), and Estetrol (E4). Estrogen, also known as oestrogen, is the primary female hormone. There are three main Estrogens in women that have Estrogenic hormonal activity: Estrone, Estradiol, and Estriol. Of these three Estrogens the most potent and abundant is Estradiol. The fourth Estrogen, Estetrol, is only produced during pregnancy.
Estrogen in Men
While Estrogen levels are significantly lower in men they nevertheless play an important physiological role. In men, Estrogen regulates the reproductive system important to the maturation of sperm and is necessary to produce a healthy libido in men. All forms of Estrogen are synthesized from androgens, specifically Testosterone and androstenedione, by an enzyme called aromatase. Thus, providing a glaring reminder that EVERYONE has some form and level of Estrogen in their bodies at all times.
Why We Need It
Estrogen in women is needed for a variety of things. Some of the most commonly known uses of Estrogen in women are: puberty, reporduction, breast development, sex drive, immune system, heart health and function, and bone health. One of the lesser known uses of Estrogen in women is it’s effects on the neurological system. Estrogen has been shown to offer neuroprotection and DNA repairment in women. Most commonly in cognition, especially in verbal memory, mental health, and binge eating suppression. When an imbalance in Estrogen is present it can lead to a number of health related issues.
Foods to Increase Estrogen
Unlike so many of the other hormones an excess of Estrogen (Estrogen Dominance) can be just as common as an Estrogen deficiency. Because Estrogen can fluctuate so quickly we are going to approach this a little differently than we usually do. In this article I will provide you with foods to reach for that will increase your Estrogen, foods that will lower it, and of course foods that will help naturally balance things out. The following is a list of foods to reach for when your Estrogen is low:
- Fennel Seed
- Flax Seed
- Sunflower Seed
Listen to Your Body
Each of these foods comes with their own additional health benefits and are great options to incorporate into your daily nutrition. You may find that some of these foods may not work for you. We are all different, which means so is our chemical makeup. As a result you will find that you may not be able to tolerate some of the foods on this list. I always suggest to my clients that they start a food journal. They don’t need to log everything they eat, however, it is a great way to determine which foods you may have a sensitivity to. In most cases of food sensitivity there is usually an underlying digestive issue. For example, individuals suffering from leaky gut have a tendency to experience more food sensitivity than they have had in the past. If you have noticed that you have been experiencing more sensitivity or other digestive issues you may want to look into doing a gentle detox. Detoxing is a great way to help your body repair itself.
Foods to Lower Estrogen
In most cases of and Estrogen imbalance Estrogen levels are too high. If this is the case for you, your best bet is to reach for foods that are low in Estrogen or have the ability to help balance your hormone levels out. The following is a list of foods that can do just that:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Leafy Greens
- Black Beans
- Pumpkin Seeds
Fiber Rich Foods
You may have noticed that some of the names on this list of foods are also on the following list of foods that are best to balance your hormones. There is a reason for this. The majority of foods on this list can increase Progesterone levels. Progesterone is another hormone that works as Estrogen’s counter balance. When one goes up the other goes down. This means individuals who are suffering from an excess of Estrogen are normally also suffering from low levels of Progesterone. It is also important to note that the majority of these foods also have another thing in common. They are all, for the most part, high in fiber. Fiber is one of the best ways to help your body naturally detox itself. When our bodies are given the time and tools to reset and balance themselves they are more than capable of the task at hand.
Foods to Balance Out Estrogen
Most individuals are unaware if their Estrogen levels are high or low. Because our hormone levels are constantly fluctuating sometimes it is easier to just focus on the foods that balance out our hormones regardless of what level they are at. The following is a list of foods that help do just that:
- Citrus Fruits
- Fermented Foods
- Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Green Tea
- Maca Powder
- Sweet Potatoes
What is Your Body Saying?
By now you may be asking yourself what the signs and symptoms are that indicate you may have a hormonal imbalance. Due to the length of this article I am unable to put it all into one post. But don’t worry the next post will include signs and symptoms to lookout for that indicate Estrogen dominance and low Estrogen levels. Not to mention I will also include a quick quiz for you to take to determine if you are at a higher risk of having low Estrogen levels. Until then you can always focus on these hormone balancing foods while you wait. Once I have posted the article on signs and symptoms I will embed a link that will take you to it from this article.
Beet Gnocchi (My Heart Beets for you)
Gluten-Free Vegan Serves 4
- 1 Medium Beet Greens Trimmed, Peeled, & Quartered
- ½ Cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese Grated
- 1 Large Sweet Potato Peeled & Quartered
- ½ Cup Vegan Butter
- 1 Flax Seed Egg (3 TBsp Water mixed with 1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed)
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 ½ Cup Gluten-Free Flour (I use almond or quinoa flour for this)
- 2 TBsp Fresh Sage Chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place beets and sweet potato on a cookie sheet (covered in non-stick preventive of your choice). Roast for 20-30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the beet into a blender with flax seed egg, cheese, and salt. Blend until completely smooth. Take the potato and place it into a ricer (if you don’t have one you can use a grater using gloves they will still be hot!). In a large bowl combine beet mixture and potato. Gently fold them together, do not over mix them. Add ½ cup of flour at a time, folding in until dough comes together. You may not need the whole 2 cups! Once a pliable dough is formed that is tender but not sticky when handled. Divide it into 8 portions.
Roll each portion into a rope (½ inch thick). Cut into 1 inch pieces until all dough has been prepared. Bring a medium pot of well salted water to boil. Add 8-10 gnocchi to water at a time and remove them once about 30 seconds after they start to float. Transfer from the water to a dish removing as much water as possible. Once all pasta has been cooked in a medium pan melt butter until just beginning to bubble. Add 1 Tbsp of Sage and half of the gnocchi and saute for about 1 minute. Remove the first batch of pasta and add in the remaining. Top with additional sage and cheese and enjoy!
Need a Helping Hand?
A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. Our health is something that we all have to deal with daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day then you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as just acting as a sounding board. Do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at DrDeeandMe@gmail.com or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!