Estrogen: Naturally Balancing Your Female Hormone
Estrogen is a hormone that plays a vital role in encouraging female development and the characteristics that come with the development. The hormone is produced in fat cells as well as in the ovaries. It helps to regulate both the menstrual cycle and the reproductive system.
Unbeknownst to some, while it is often referred to as the female hormone, it is found in both male and female bodies. Estradiol is a form of estrogen found in males that helps to regulate libido and erectile function (1).
Unfortunately, while it is important for healthy bodily functions, too much of it can take a toll on the body.
What is estrogen dominance?
Estrogen dominance either occurs when the body produces too much of it or the body accumulates too much of it from the environment – this refers to the overexposure to xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds in the environment that mimic the particular hormone in the body and thus cause hormonal disruption. They can be found in foods, cosmetic products and even toys. Plastics, certain medications, declining levels of testosterone or progesterone and the abuse of alcohol can also disrupt estrogen levels.
So how do you know if you’re dealing with excessive levels? For one, you’ll notice that you’ve gained a lot of weight and you’re also constantly bloated or dealing with water retention. Other signs and symptoms include a decreased sex drive, mood swings, hair loss, irregular menstrual periods, fatigue and memory loss. In addition to these symptoms, increased levels of estrogen can increase the risk of endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian cysts and even prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
With the above-mentioned in mind, it’s clear that balancing the levels is imperative for your health. That said, here are 4 natural ways that you can protect your health by naturally balancing your estrogen levels.
Naturally balancing estrogen levels
Get quality sleep
Melatonin isn’t just a sleep hormone. It is also responsible for regulating the levels of estrogen in the body. That said, getting some quality sleep is a way to combat estrogen dominance.
If you’re battling with falling asleep, here’s how you can set up your bedroom for a good night’s rest.
Re-evaluate your diet choices
If you’re going to use your diet to try and naturally balance your hormones, try keeping note of the following:
- Always choose organic: If you need any more reason to always choose organic produce, it turns out that a lot of the chemicals found in pesticides can also mimic estrogen when in the body.
- Avoid soy products: While tofu and other unfermented soy foods do provide benefits, soy does contain types of estrogen. Therefore, it is advisable to stay clear of it – especially when you’re looking to balance your hormones.
- Eat a diet rich in insoluble fiber: The body rids itself of excess estrogen through digestion, which is why it’s best to eat a diet rich in insoluble fiber as it helps your diet as it speeds up digestion by adding bulk to the stool. Foods that you can choose to include nuts, cauliflower and green beans.
- Gut-friendly foods: A compromised gut can hinder the ability of the body to effectively carry out its taste. As mentioned, the body uses digestion to get rid of excess estrogen. However, it may fail to do this efficiently if gut health begins to fail. So, the best way to ensure the health of the gut is by maintaining the balance between the good and bad bacteria within the gut. This can be done by enjoying fermented foods as they are rich in probiotics. In doing so, you are sure to help regulate your levels of estrogen (2).
According to a study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal, living an active lifestyle makes it easier for the body to breakdown and flush out excess estrogen.
Stay clear of toxins
Parabens and phthalates are both toxic ingredients found in a number of cosmetic products. They have the ability to cause hormonal disruption, thus one should ensure that none of their beauty products have them listed as an ingredient.
Other toxins hidden in plain sight that can disrupt levels include plastic bottles and containers (the BPA can mimic estrogen in the body).
Want to know more?
Progesterone helps to protect the nervous system and it also has an important role in preventing breast and ovarian cancer. Click here to find out which foods you should eat to boost your progesterone.