Which foods are high in oestrogen?

Yoga and Menopause
Jody Allen
Oestrogen is a hormone that plays a crucial role in the female reproductive system. It is responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle, maintaining bone density, and promoting healthy skin and hair.

While the body naturally produces oestrogen, certain foods can also contain oestrogen-like compounds known as phytoestrogens. Some foods that are high in phytoestrogens include soy products such as tofu, tempeh, and soy milk.

Potential Health Benefits of Consuming Phytoestrogens

Some studies suggest that consuming lignans might offer health benefits, such as reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, improving cardiovascular health, and supporting bone health. However, the research is not conclusive. Because phytoestrogens can mimic or interfere with the body's estrogen, some people speculate that they might influence conditions that are sensitive to estrogen. This might include certain types of breast cancer, endometriosis, or other hormone-sensitive conditions.

However, the effect of phytoestrogens on these conditions is complex and not fully understood.

Foods High in Estrogen

1. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are tiny seeds that are a great source of lignans which is a type of phytoestrogen. Ground flaxseeds are much easier to digest and can be sprinkled on cereal or added to smoothies.

Flaxseeds area available from the health food section of your local supermarket.

2. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds contain lignans, a type of phytoestrogen. Two primary lignans in sesame seeds are sesamin and sesamolin. These compounds have antioxidant properties and may affect the way the body metabolizes and processes estrogen.

3. Legumes

Legumes is a broad food group that includes lentils, chickpeas, peas, soy beans. All legumes contain phytoestrogens which are plant-derived compouunds that mimic the activitiy of the human hormone estrogen in the body.

4. Soy Products

Soy is perhaps the most well known source of phytoestrogens. Soy products include:

  • Soy Milk
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Edamame

These foods have been shown to have a mild "oestrogenic effect" on the body, which can be beneficial for women experiencing menopausal symptoms or those with low oestrogen levels. However, it's important to note that consuming large amounts of these foods may not be suitable for everyone.

Women with a history of breast cancer or other hormone-sensitive conditions should consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating high-oestrogen foods into their diet. In addition to phytoestrogens, there are also certain foods that can help support the body's natural production of oestrogen. These include cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage, as well as fruits like pomegranates and berries. These foods contain compounds that can help balance hormone levels and promote overall health.

In conclusion, while there are foods that contain oestrogen-like compounds, it's important to approach them with caution and consult with a healthcare provider before making any significant dietary changes. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help support overall health and hormone balance.

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