We all know oestrogen is important, but did you realise there are different forms? And that how you eat or drink may change oestrogenic ratios and lead to illness.
So what are the facts about oestrogen?
- Most women know that oestrogen is important for reproductive health and sexual function, but it also helps to burn fat, reduce muscle mass, form bone and ensure good lung function.
- Oestrogens help to increase good cholesterol and to produce binding proteins, they are important for proper blood function and for your gastrointestinal tract.
- Men also have oestrogen! It is important for both the testes and the prostate and overall health.
It all sounds good, but oestrogen has a dark side!
- Without being too technical, the body produces two metabolites which are oestrogenic. The first is called “good oestrogen” and has weak oestrogenic activity; the second is more persistent and may encourage cell proliferation. Cell proliferation is what happens during cancer and it is hypothesised that women who produce more of this type of oestrogen will have a higher risk of breast cancer.
- It is, of course important that we have the correct ratios of both metabolites. What you eat can significantly impact these ratios and cause an imbalance which, in the long term, can impact on your health.
So what should you do to keep the correct oestrogen ratios?
- Move to a diet high in fibre and plant foods such as flaxseeds, bran layer of grains, beans and seeds, vegetables and wholegrains. These help eliminate oestrogen (so called “free” oestrogen).
- Increase probiotics – L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium infantis.
- Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, kyle, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bok choy.
- Increase phytoeostrogen-rich foods such as soy and flaxseeds. Soy should be similar to the traditional Japanese diet ie, edamame beans, tofu, miso, tempeh.
- Reduce alcohol, which increases oestrogen levels.
- Deficiency in vitamins and minerals such as E, B and magnesium can impact on oestrogen levels.
- Fat cells can generate oestrogen. Increase good fats such as Omega 3 fish oils which will help eliminate excess oestrogen and reduce other fats.
- Ensure you have enough protein. Inadequate protein may also reduce elimination of excess oestrogen.
- Finally, there a number of herbs which can help with oestrogen and hormonal imbalances. Please contact us at info@freshperceptions to arrange a consultation