Estrogen is a very important hormone that plays huge roles in the bodies functions — in women and men. Maintaining balanced levels of estrogen is key to creating a healthy lifestyle, and once you start your hormone therapy it is super beneficial to pair it with a diet that boosts your body’s estrogen! This doesn’t mean a complete change in your eating habits, but adding these foods here and there could make all the difference.
If you’re not sure if you have a hormone imbalance, check out this post about the 6 signs of a hormone imbalance.
The foods below contain phytoestrogens which are dietary estrogens that naturally occur in some foods. They aren’t bioidentical hormones like those that you will receive during hormone therapy, but they can be beneficial regardless.
Dried fruits like apricots, prunes, and dates contain much higher levels of phytoestrogens than their fresh varieties. These delicious dried fruits are a great snack, keep them in on your desk at work, in your bag, in the glove box, or pretty much anywhere ready for you to much on them. That’s the beauty of dried fruits, they can last for up to six months after you open the package!
Garlic is used in cooking around the world, and with 603 micrograms of phytoestrogens per 100 grams, it should definitely be used in your kitchen. Garlic is easy to add to almost anything and will give any recipe that kick it needs.
Flax seeds, or linseeds, contain lignans which are a type of phytoestrogen. Flax seeds can easily be added to a smoothie in the morning, your sandwich and salad at lunch, and sprinkled over rice or any other side at dinner. This estrogen boosting ingredient is super versatile, so there’s no reason not to include it in your diet.
Try adding it to yogurt with granola for a parfait like no other!
We all know how delicious hummus is for dipping with veggies, pita, and pretty much any other snack, but did you know that hummus actually contains an average of 993 micrograms of phytoestrogens per 100 grams! Don’t feel guilty about finishing the whole tub, just attribute it to your new balanced hormone lifestyle.
Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale are all great sources of lignans. And, with so much variety you can eat these vegetables for pretty much any occasion. Snack on raw broccoli, make a coleslaw with the cabbage, roast the brussels sprouts with some garlic, and make kale chips for the ultimate crunchy snack. Cruciferous vegetables might not sound like the most inviting things, but with their nearly bottomless health benefits and their estrogen boosting qualities, you have to include them in your diet!
Tofu is made from soy milk which is naturally high in phytoestrogens, specifically isoflavones which can protect from a myriad of age-related illnesses like heart disease and even cancer. Tofu is an awesome ingredient because of its versatility. I use it in stir frys, breakfast burritos, and soups, but the sky’s truly the limit with tofu!
The Bottom Line
While all of these foods are certainly a great way to help boost your estrogen levels, there is nothing quite like hormone therapy. It’s important to remember that only a trained profession can help alleviate all the symptoms of hormone imbalance, but that a healthy diet is just one part of the process.
Before making any major changes to your diet please consult your healthcare provider.
For more foody tips check out this post about foods to avoid and healthy alternatives!