Part of aging includes the increased loss of progesterone in women and testosterone in men through a process called aromatization that converts androgenic hormones into estrogen. Aromatization can result in estrogen imbalances which can lead to serious health problems including prostate and colon cancer in men, and breast cancer, infertility and fibroids in women. Fortunately there are ways to reverse the process of aromatization naturally through a diet rich in anti-estrogenic foods.
Anti-estrogenic foods are foods which lower estrogen levels in both males and females. By eliminating estrogenic foods such as soy and high-fat-high-carbohydrate foods, and replacing them with anti-estrogenic vegetables, fruits, seeds and healthy fats, experts believe we can experience increased metabolism, better mood and decreased risk of several cancers. Below is a list of foods high in anti-estrogenic compounds.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables play a vital role in reducing estrogen levels as they contain plant sterols (natural occurring plant substances that interfere with cholesterol absorption) and diindonylmethane which helps eliminate estrogen in the body. Examples of cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower among several others.
2. Healthy Oils: Olive oil and coconut oil. Both oils are filled with plant sterols and are naturally anti-estrogenic.
3. Mushrooms: Mushrooms have been found to both lower estrogen levels and block tumor growth. In fact regular consumption of mushroom has been shown to lower breast cancer risk by as much as 70%.
4. Raw Nuts: Nuts in their unprocessed natural state are particularly high in anti-estrogenic plant sterols.
5. Turmeric: Turmeric has long been known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In addition to these benefits, the anti-estrogen compounds in turmeric also appear to combat estrogenic compounds found in food and pesticides.
6. Onions: Recent studies have show that the strong antioxidant properties in onions can triple testosterone levels.
7. Chia, Flax and Sesame Seeds: Chia, flax and sesame seeds are all excellent sources of plant compounds called lignans. A 2009 study showed that women with higher levels of the lignan metabolite enterolactone had significantly lower body mass indexes and higher insulin sensitivity. Although more research is needed, preliminary studies have also shown those with diets rich in lignans to have lower risks of breast cancer, colon cancer and hair loss.
8. Garlic: Garlic contains high levels of the flavonoid quercetin which inhibits aromatization. A preliminary study in rats has shown that garlic triples testosterone production.
9. Dark Berries: Dark berries such as blueberries and raspberries also contain high levels of the anti-estrogenic flavonoid quercetin as well as calcium-d-glutenate fiber which binds to estrogen in the intestines preventing its absorption in the body.
10. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits contain flavonoids with anti-estrogenic affects.
Practicing daily intermittent fasting means we have a shorter window of time to consume all the nutrition we need. As such, we should ensure that we make every we eat count with the most beneficial foods possible. Adding a high amount of anti-estrogenic foods such as those above helps provide the anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting and metabolism boosting compounds from which everyone can benefit.