Balance Hormones with Diet
Balance hormones with diet. Wow, quite a statement isn’t it. That is
because you CAN make a difference to your hormonal health through
dietary changes alone. Oestrogen dominant conditions such as PCOS,
Fibroids and Endometriosis respond well to healthy dietary changes.
Diet and Oestrogen Dominance
- Saturated fats compete for uptake with essential fatty acids (EFAs),
so the types of fats consumed can be a major factor in determining
oestrogen/progesterone balance. A diet low in saturated fats and high in
EFAs will help reduce oestrogen dominance.
- A diet high in fibre will assist in oestrogen
elimination. Dietary fibre reduces oestrogen levels in the blood and
urine, possibly by influencing the enzyme produced by intestinal
bacteria or ‘gut bacteria’. This enzyme is beta-glucouronidase. Good
examples are wheat bran, psyllium husks, pectins (skins and rinds of
fruit and vegetables) and lignans such as linseeds, also known as
flaxseed. These lignans exert oestrogen-like and are believed to protect
against the proliferative effects of endogenous oestrogens, and thus,
may help reduce risk of breast cancer.
- Eat more cultured milk products and yoghurt. The
bacteria in yoghurt, Lactobacillus acidophilus, reduces an enzyme called
beta-glucouronidase which has a positive effect on oestrogen excretion.
Fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso and tamari can also have
the same effect.
- Phytoestrogens or plant oestrogens can prevent
oestrogens produced in the body from binding to their receptor sites via
a mechanism called ‘competitive inhibition’. They are also capable of
slowing down the conversion of androgens to oestrogen that normally
occurs in fatty tissue, and they can make oestrogen relatively
unavailable by increasing the levels of oestrogen’s carrier protein,
SHBG. When more oestrogen is bound to SHBG, less is available to bind to
oestrogen receptors. Examples of foods that contain include
phytoestrogens include soy, alfalfa, a large range of grains and seeds,
fennel and fenugreek.
- Eat from the cabbage family. Natural chemicals
found in the cabbage family such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and
brussel sprouts can increase the rate at which the liver changes
oestrogen into water-soluble form for excretion. Indoles such as
Di-indole methane (DIM) also competitively inhibit oestrogen, and seem
to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.
- Adequate protein intake is necessary to
metabolise oestrogen in the liver. Since many conditions are associated
with excess protein intake, it is recommended that protein be taken in
the form of grains, legumes, lean meat, fish, organic chicken and eggs,
and that it constitutes not more than 60g of pure protein daily.
- Support liver detoxification by avoiding caffeine
and alcohol. Foods rich in sulphur such as garlic, onion, leek and
cabbage aid liver detoxification. Foods high in methionine assist with
the methylation of oestrogen, the chemical reaction the liver uses to
break down oestrogen (oestradiol) into a less potent form (estriol).
Beans, legumes, onions and garlic are high in methionine.
These are just a few key points on how to help balance hormones with diet.
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