Let’s get real for a second: when was the last time you discussed your estrogen levels with your friends over brunch or during office hours with co-workers? Well, maybe it’s time to bring it up because doctors link high estrogen levels to several health issues, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and other conditions due to “estrogen dominance.” Luckily, there are ways you can lower your estrogen levels with some diet and lifestyle adjustments. Your friends at Bonny are here for you with all the details.
Estrogen: Everything You Never Learned in Health Class
Estrogen is the “female” hormone, and testosterone is the “male” hormone. But fun fact: both men and women have both hormones. In women, estrogen is responsible for helping initiate sexual development, regulating menstrual cycles, and affecting reproductive systems.
Estrogen is the group of hormones that promotes the development and maintenance of female characteristics in our body. Usually, we probably think of estrogen as a good thing, right? Estrogen gives us that kick-ass attitude that we use to get everything done each day.
But unfortunately, like all good things (we see you sugar, alcohol, etc.), it is possible to have *too much* estrogen. High estrogen levels can cause extra PMS, headaches, and irregular periods. Over time, high estrogen can even lead to hormonal cancers.
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormone imbalance problems for women. According to some experts, about 50% of women over 35 are estrogen dominant. Now you wish this came up over brunch, right?
Symptoms of High Estrogen Levels
Some symptoms of high estrogen levels in women include:
- Tender and swollen breasts
- Fibrocystic lumps in your breasts
- Decreased sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Increased PMS symptoms
- Weight gain
- Panic and anxiety attacks
- Losing hair
- Cold hands or feet
- Memory issues
Luckily, there are ways to lower estrogen levels with our eating habits.
Foods Associated With High Estrogen Levels
Several studies have discovered that our Western-style diet patterns containing a lot of processed foods, red meat, dairy, refined grains, and desserts (yup, all the good stuff!) are usually associated with higher estrogen levels. These dietary patterns also typically correspond to increased obesity and breast cancer risks.
The good news is that there are also plenty of options for anti-estrogen foods too. (More on that later!)
How to Lower Estrogen
You know the old saying: you are what you eat! One of the best ways to lower estrogen levels naturally in women is to focus on your diet.
Estrogen Reducing Diets
Let’s talk about how your foods can affect your estrogen levels and some food choices that can decrease high estrogen levels.
Research shows that fiber-rich diets like those high in whole grains can reduce estrogen levels and, better yet, protect against the conditions like cancer associated with estrogen dominance. That’s because fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol. Since cholesterol is a precursor to estrogen, fiber-rich diets may reduce circulating estrogen levels in the blood.
A high-fiber diet has additional benefits, like reducing estrogen absorption in the colon and increased fecal estrogen excretion, which is why some studies show that higher fiber diets are associated with lower estrogen levels and a reduced risk of breast cancer. What’s better than a pleasant poop that gets rid of estrogen as well?
When you need to add some extra fiber to your diet, a natural, plant-based fiber supplement can help you get the amount you need.
A plant-based or vegetarian diet can also possibly promote healthy estrogen levels. That’s because plant-based diets are high in, well, plants, like fruits, vegetables, and legumes. A plant-based diet is also lower in saturated fat than a typical Western diet, which is associated with higher estrogen levels.
We also know this may not be an option for everyone and can be very limiting.
A Mediterranean diet is high in fish, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. It is another kind of fiber-rich diet! The Mediterranean diet is also typically associated with healthy estrogen levels.
While any of these three diets might work to lower estrogen levels in women, whichever diet you choose it’s hard to reach the daily recommended fiber goal of 25 grams for women and more for men. You can still benefit from natural fiber supplements.
How to Reduce Estrogen
There are several anti-estrogen foods you can incorporate into your diet to fight against breast cancer and other conditions, too like ground flaxseed and cruciferous veggies. Here are some more tips to lower your estrogen levels naturally:
Lower Caffeine Intake
While we are all very casual about caffeine with a Starbucks on every corner, we often forget that caffeine is a stimulant. Caffeine can further promote a stress response in our bodies, which is linked to estrogen imbalances.
Reduce or Remove Alcohol from Your Diet
You might want to skip that glass of wine tonight and craft a lovely non-alcoholic beverage instead. Alcohol can change the way our body eliminates estrogen, which means when we drink too much alcohol, it can cause higher estrogen levels.
Get More Sleep!
A final way to lower estrogen naturally is to get more sleep. (Sign us up for more sweet slumber.) Depriving our body of quality sleep puts additional stress on our bodies, which causes our bodies to produce cortisol, which increases estrogen in our bodies. So, turn off your phone, put on your eye mask, and try to get the eight hours of sleep you deserve.
Try Adding Bonny to Your Diet to Lower Estrogen Levels
If you are concerned about estrogen dominance and want to lower your estrogen levels, try adding Bonny to your daily routine. Bonny is an all-natural, fruit-filled prebiotic fiber supplement. Bonny has many additional excellent benefits for your body, like helping you get regular in the bathroom, hit your fitness goals, and help keep you feeling fuller longer.
As always, wishing you pleasant poops (and lower estrogen levels!)