Estrogen is female hormone, but is present in both men and women. It is essential for feminine beauty, bone health, heart health, nerve health. But more of a good thing is not necessarily better. Imbalanced excess estrogen are associated with increase chances of cancers, risk of blood clots, autoimmune disorders, mood imbalances, PCOS, infertility,prostate enlargement, low thyroid symptoms . These levels are usually delicately balanced with multiple other hormones in the body, some of which are sugar balancing hormones like insulin, thyroid hormone, progesterone( another female hormone) etc. When this balance is disturbed which can happen because of our genetic tendency, lifestyle problems like stress and insomnia and diet choices like excess intake of processed foods, dairy products. We are also exposed to a lot more estrogen like chemicals called xenoestrogens in current day and age, which can all affect the fine balance of hormones.
Please check out the post on ‘Estrogen dominance- what is it? ‘on my blog for more detailed information.
There are ways to work with this problem. First of all, be aware of things that can expose us to excess estrogen and avid them. Please check out 'estrogen dominance, what is it?' post and post on xenoestrogens to know about these.
Once excess estrogen or imposters that look like estrogen to body are already there in excess how can we get them out? Two of our body's biggest allies that help us detox the excess estrogen are liver and healthy gut bacteria
1. Focus on liver health
This cannot be stressed enough. Liver health is very important for our overall health. If your liver function test is normal on the blood work that doctor gave you, does this mean your liver is functioning optimally. It may not be especially if you are having weight issues, immune problems/ hormonal issues. Please check my post on "Is your liver smiling today?"
2. How to grow the healthy forest of gut friendly bacteria in the gut. (So this is for promoting healthy microbiome), please check my post on 'Bacteria friends or foe? how to encourage healthy gut microbiome
3. Keeping healthy digestion and promoting detoxification of excess estrogen with food and lifestyle
How can we achieve this?
Respect and care for your digestion by following good diet and lifestyle habits .Of note, I am not labeling this as any specific diet but dietary and lifestyle habits.
Here they are briefly
1. Eat local, seasonal fresh foods, prefer organic if possible, and at least avoid the dirty dozens
(These are foods with high pesticide content) please find on website
2. Avoid processed sugar, processed foods, ice cold anything.
3. Set a routine, try to eat meals at the same time if possible
4. Eat only when hungry, if you are consistently not hungry, this is indicative of digestive problem, discuss with your provider how this can be helped. Simple remedy like a slice of ginger with warm water/ fresh ginger tea and a walk in the backyard can stimulate appetite in a pinch
5. Drink a glass of warm water half an hour before your meal, this will promote formation of digestive juices
6. Favor warm soupy foods over dry cold foods
7. Favor easier to digest food over difficult to digest foods, please find list of difficult to digest foods on the website. Baby the digestion when you are stressed, under the weather, travelling, lack of sleep, low appetite
8. Be mindful when eating. That means just eat when eating, no multitasking when eating
9. Specific food recommendations, digestive enzymes, probiotic supplements can be recommended per your specific condition if needed
10. Decrease alcohol consumption, alcohol can compete with other toxins and hormones for clearance and will increase work for liver
B. Which specific food may help with estrogen detox?
1. Try elimination diet. To reset the digestion. Get rid of constipation. This can be done from a week up to 21 days, this can help to give your digestion chance to rest, get the undigested food out of the system with help of laxatives if required. This is an important step in providing good environment for developing healthy gut bacteria
2. If able to digest well, then include cooked / blanched brassica family vegetables that is cabbage, broccoli.
3. Other helpful vegetables that will stimulate and maintain bile production from liver: Any leafy greens, steamed kale/ dandelion greens are specially good, beets, onions, garlic
4. Foods high in fiber like oatmeal, cooked root vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, cooked green vegetables like kale, flax seeds etc. Fiber can make constipation worse if not well hydrated. So remember to stay hydrated
5. Fermented foods for probiotic benefit, if sensitive to fermented foods, consider probiotic supplements, different variety of fresh farmer’s market vegetables.
6. Colorful foods for antioxidant benefits, avoid nightshade family vegetables like tomato, potato, eggplant, bell pepper if trouble with joint pain/ weak liver
7. Spices like turmeric, mint, parsley, cilantro. Cilantro is especially good
Please discuss with your provider for specific recommendations for you.