Balancing Hormones By Changing Your Diet

Some conventional doctors tell women that all perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms are the result of decreased oestrogen levels and that the solution is pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy.

Other doctors have noticed that when the hormone levels are tested, some of the symptoms that patients report are actually caused by oestrogen levels that are too high.  

If that is the case, increasing progesterone levels with creams, reducing oestrogen levels, or a combination of the two may be the solution.

One strategy to help balance your oestrogen levels naturally is through your diet. 

Balancing hormones by changing your diet first requires that you know how your hormones are out of balance.  You could experiment with diet changes on your own, but without knowing the current state of your hormones, you could make yourself feel worse instead of better.

Some xenoestrogens are found in foods.  They’re not completely identical to the oestrogen produced by your endocrine system, but some beneficial ones are close enough that your body treats them the same.

Here are some foods to consider adding or eliminating, depending upon your oestrogen levels, as determined by a physician. You can also get some idea of your hormone balance from questionnaires, or from working with a trained nutritional therapist or health coach who understands root cause medicine. There are some great tests available, such as the DUTCH test.

  • Flax and flax products are very high in phytoestrogens.  Just 100 grams of flax contains 379,380 micrograms of oestrogen. Flaxmeal can be found in many baked goods and flaxseeds are often in the feed of animals you might, in turn, eat.
  • Drying fruit increases the nutrients in a small portion.  Whether that is a benefit or a drawback depends on whether you need those additional nutrients.  Apricots, dates, and prunes have the highest oestrogen levels.
  • Soya is found in many foods, often where you least expect to see it.  It packs 103,920 micrograms of oestrogen into 100 grams. Soya milk and yogurt supplies the biggest oestrogen punch but those aren’t the only options.
  • Legumes, including chickpeas, black beans, red beans, black-eyed peas, and split peas, also carry a higher than average amount of oestrogen.

If your oestrogen levels are low, the above foods can boost them naturally.  If your oestrogen levels are high, these otherwise healthy foods could be contributing to the problem, just as much as the junk food you’re already trying to avoid.

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