In women who are still menstruating, estrogen and progesterone are the two main hormones produced each month by the ovaries. When there is too much estrogen in relation to progesterone, you have a situation called estrogen dominance, where progesterone cannot reach the optimum 20 – 25 mg. during the final two weeks of a woman’s monthly cycle. This allows estrogen to go unopposed the entire month and upsets the normal progesterone/estrogen balance.
Foods high in estrogen can be harmful to your health by destroying this delicate hormone balance. Many of these high level estrogen foods can lead to health problems such as endometriosis, poly-cystic ovaries, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, auto immune issues and ovarian and breast cancer. So eliminating the following foods and adding more fruits, veggies and fermented foods to your diet will naturally decrease estrogen in your body.
- SOY You can not milk a soy bean… the process of extracting soy milk is highly carcinogenic and small amounts of these solvents and solutions remain in the milk and accumulate in the tissues of your body over time. Not to mention the hormone mimicking phyto estrogens that soy beans contain, one of these being isoflavones. Scientists have known for years that isoflavones in soy products can depress thyroid function, causing auto-immume thyroid diseases. Soy also contains high amounts of aluminium, the plant itself having an affinity for the mineral. Even if you don’t directly consume soy products, it is in so many products as a filler, that unless you read all labels carefully, it is impossible to avoid.
- MEAT Synthetic hormones like synthetic estrogens are commonly fed to animals in industrialised countries, and found also in pesticides and herbicides, and these end up on our dinner plates. Two pesticides carried in animal fat—beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-h) and mirex—have just been shown to elevate women’s risk of endometriosis by up to 70%, according to new research by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. 81% of soybeans are GMO and 85% of those are fed to livestock. That GMO soy does not just magically evaporate in the slaughterhouse or the milk processing plant. It ends up on your plate. Also be cautious of eating non organic eggs for the same reasons.
- DAIRY Cows milk is a source of estrogen in the diet and can constitute as much as 80% of your dietary intake of estrogen, reports Estrogen Dominance Guide. Cows give milk while they are pregnant and nursing, so their estrogen levels are significantly higher. Dairy livestock are also regularly given doses of hormones to increase their growth and milk production. That’s why conventionally raised meats and dairy can contribute to gynecomastia.”
- SUGAR Sugar disrupts the powerful hormone insulin. When insulin spikes, typically after a meal high in sugar, this can lead to lower levels of an important protein known as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds excess estrogen and testosterone in the blood, but when it’s low, these hormone levels increase.
- WHEAT Gluten sensitivity is a common yet little-recognized cause of female hormone imbalances that affects a significant percentage of women. The culprit is a molecule called gliadin, which is found in certain gluten-containing grains and causes symptoms in gluten-sensitive people. The grains that cause the greatest problems are wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and kamut; whereas corn, rice, millet, and buckwheat are generally considered safe. Wheat also causes inflammation in the gut which puts stress on your whole system.
Watch out also for xenoestrogens, chemical compounds with a hormone-like effect on the body. These substances are usually petrochemical-based, and most of them mimic estrogen. Xenoestrogens lurk in everyday items like personal care products / toiletries (soap, artificial fragrances like perfumes and air fresheners, cosmetics etc.), plastics (plastic food wrap, plastic bottles, styrofoam food containers), car exhaust, carpeting, furniture, panelling, paints, solvents and lacquers, household cleaners like detergents, and even medicine.
To detox your body of excess estrogen, eat more greens and consume dandelion and milk thistle.
If you find it too hard to eliminate these things from your diet, that is understandable but at least try to cut right back and eat organic if you must have them. To control my endometriosis, I have had to cut out all of these things but have the occasional egg, cheese and wheat. Once you have taken control of your health and made some positive changes, you will be amazed at how much better you feel in a relatively short time.