Saturday, 6 February 2016

5 Foods that Cause Estrogen Dominance Which Must Be Avoided

Estrogen dominance is a hidden plague of women in Western society. Consider unexplained weight gain, hair loss, premature wrinkles, PMS, water retention and cancer in later years. I myself have discovered I have estrogen dominance, not only due to some of the symptoms described, but also by my basal body temperature which is lower than usual.

Estrogen and Body Temperature

The basal body temperature can be determined around 6 or 7 am before rising when the body temperature is at its lowest. A digital thermometer is placed beneath the tongue or armpit. Read more about how to raise the basal body temperature and the menstrual cycle on my other post.

When estrogen is too dominant in the menstrual cycle, the basal body temperature is a little lower than it should, averaging around 35.5 or 36 degrees C. I know when my metabolism is not what it should be when my hands and feet feel cold within an environment at room temperature. I have also suffered patchy hair loss, water retention, fatigue, PMS and many other health peeves.

It would seem modern living would promote the production of too much estrogen in the body. Estrogen in the right amounts is needed for proper hormonal function, such a fertility, female development and sperm health, but in high amounts is toxic. Certain foods and chemicals are often the root cause of estrogen dominance.

Here is a list of foods that must be avoided if hormonal balance is to be achieved.

1 Sugar

Foods that Cause Estrogen Dominance
Sugar is found everywhere: tinned beans, soups, relishes, pickles, bread and low-fat products such as yogurts, milkshakes, cereal bars and fizzy drinks. Not forgetting the obvious: sweets, chocolates, cakes, sugary cereals, biscuits and others. A high sugar diet promotes the overgrowth of yeast fungus known as candida albicans, which produces toxins and byproducts, one of which is estrogen. In fact, studies have shown an unmistakable link between candida and estrogen dominance.

In order to redress the estrogen balance in the body, it is time to cut as much sugar from the diet as possible. This will starve the candida albicans, restore gut health and lighten the load for the poor liver, the chief organ that removes estrogen and toxins. A liver that is overloaded cannot remove estrogen efficiently causing it to circulate around the body.

2 Grains

Glutinous grains such as wheat, rye, rice and corn when processed and stripped of natural goodness contains high carbohydrates and low fibre as well as a potential irritant of the gut lining. To promote hormonal balance, cut bread, boxed cereals, biscuits, pasta, cakes, pancakes and other grain-based foods. Porridge, quinoa and buckwheat are the best of the bunch (although buckwheat is not a grain, but a seed). I myself have cut all grains except for a little porridge for breakfast. The whole oat is high in fibre, nutrients and low in gluten.

3 Soy products.

This includes soya milk, cream, beans, powder and tofu. Soya can also be found in unexpected places, such as chocolates, processed foods and fillers for health foods. Mass produced soy beans contain xenostrogens, which behaves like estrogen in the body.

4 Non organic meat products and dairy.

Non organic protein are sourced from mass-produced and force-grown animals to meet commercial demand. For this reason, traces of growth hormones steroids and other hormones including estrogen will often be found and ingested with the protein. To avoid estrogen dominance, go for organic meats and dairy products from grass-fed herds. Vegetarian proteins such as quorn might be a better choice.

5 Booze

Cut all (or most) alcohol from your diet. Again, the liver is at the frontline of detoxification, especially during inebriation. If it is overloaded with toxins, it cannot remove excess estrogen from the body. Alcohol contains sugars and yeast that will exacerbate the candida problem (point 1). I have just one or two glasses of red wine with a meal once or twice a month. Never drink on an empty stomach.

Chemicals that Cause Estrogen Dominance

Apart from the foods listed above, chemicals are also culprit for estrogen dominance. Contraceptives are one of the worst offenders as well as preservatives and additives found in junk foods. Cheap plastic or tins contain PBA, a chemical that causes high estrogen levels in the body as it contaminates the food. Avoid leaving plastic container in the sun, where the plastic warms up, releasing the PBA.

Cortisol and progesterone

And lastly, de-stress. When under long term stress, cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands. Over a long period, adrenal exhaustion will inevitably result, causing the other hormones to underperform. Hypothyroidism-like symptoms will occur. Worse, progesterone is used up during the production of cortisol, causing low progesterone levels in the body. Progesterone is the ‘heat’ hormone, the opposing hormone to estrogen in the menstrual cycle and which kicks in during the latter half leading up to menstruation (and during pregnancy).

Don’t confuse unhealthy forms of estrogen with phytoestrogen, for these are isoflavins found in plants and will in fact help regulate the estrogen levels in the body. Fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs contain phytoestrogens as well as essential vitamins and minerals which are needed for optimum health. Coconut oil is essential for ridding of candida, as it contains lauric acid anti-pathogen as well as a metabolic booster.

More Articles on Estrogen Dominance and Candida