Menopause and the inconvenience that it brings are enough to make any woman search for the best natural method that can help alleviate the menopausal transition. Actually, menopause requires no treatment but only some loving care to relieve the discomfort of the symptoms that goes with it.
For better quality of life and to help manage the signs and discomforts of menopause, you may try to increase your estrogen levels by eating more food containing phytoestrogens. If the hormones are getting haywire, the culprit can be lower estrogen levels.
Estrogen is an important natural hormone that maintains healthy bodily functions. It definitely plays an important role in the functioning of the tissues of the breasts, uterus and pituitary gland as well as in regulating the urinary and reproductive system, including maintaining sexual health and metabolism.
Women usually experienced a significant decrease of the estrogen levels when they are about to have a menopause. Fortunately, there are foods high in phytoestrogens that can give you a boost of your estrogen levels.
Phytoestrogens are compounds derived from plants and from a wide variety of food, especially soy. It can help lower your risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, and menopausal symptoms.
YOU MAY WANT TO READ THIS
Although they do not contribute nutrients, the phytoestrogens are phytochemicals that contain biologically active components that can impact the health and well-being of a person. When there is a decline of estrogen levels, you would be at risk for obesity, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and disturbed sexual functions.
The only way to correct your estrogen levels is diet, which means getting proper nutrition. Not to worry so much, because there are foods that may help boost estrogen and testosterone levels.
During a woman’s transition into menopause, the progesterone, testosterone and estrogen levels begin to decline. This raises your risk for coronary artery disease, because the estrogen tends to increase good HDL and decrease bad LDL. It also relaxes blood vessels and absorbs free radicals. Just imagine what a drop in your estrogen level can do to you!
There are three ways you can actually do to naturally boost your estrogen and testosterone levels. You have to control stress, start strength training, and eat phytoestrogens. Consult your doctor about the exercise part, because excessive exercise can also reduce your estrogen levels.
Difficulty concentrating and maintaining your focus including insomnia can be results of low estrogen levels. Experts say that the earlier a woman is treated for low estrogen levels, the more effective the outcome of the treatment can be.
Photo source: Pixabay
Several studies claimed that eating plant based foods containing phytoestrogens can help raise estrogen levels such as
- Sesame seeds
- Dried fruits
- Legumes: lentils, peas, pinto beans
- Olives and olive oil
- Turmeric, thyme, sage
- Soy products: tofu, miso soup, soy yogurt
- Cashew nut
- Lobster and crab
- Kidney beans
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Low fat yogurt
The soy isoflavones and the other types of phytoestrogens are also produced as healthy dietary supplements in the open market. The isoflavones are plant derived compounds with marked estrogenic activity. The richest sources are the soybeans and soy products.
The soy primary isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, can mimic the effects of the estrogen in the body. The dietary approach may appeal to many women as an alternative method to fight the dreadful symptoms of menopause.
Unfortunately, the food based estrogens may not provide similar benefits as the estrogen drugs. The estrogen drugs can protect the bones against osteoporosis, preserve brain function, and prevent the onset of the Alzheimer’s disease.
Common menopause symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, difficulty sleeping, reduced sex drive, focus, memory, vaginal dryness and pain, headaches, itching and discomfort during sex, mood changes, palpitations, joint stiffness, joint pain, reduced muscle mass, increasing problems about weak bones, and recurring urinary tract infections.
A soy rich diet may provide just enough estrogenic effects that may help lessen the hot flushes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. If you are in your 40s and you find yourself waking up in a sweat at night, realize your periods are erratic and often accompanied by heavy bleeding, chances are you are going through perimenopause.
Menopause occurs when a woman’s level of estrogen declines caused by the changes in periods. The decline may lead to a poor vaginal and uterine health.
The transition to menopause begins 8 to 10 years before the actual menopause. This also marks the beginning of a declining hormone production by the ovaries.
Add on breast tissue enlargement
Regular consumption of soy products can increase your breast size by one to two cup sizes. Estrogen is believed to stimulate the growth of the breast tissue.
The Daily Mail once ran a feature about women able to increase their bra cup sizes independent of their weights from environmental and livestock chemicals.
Babies in China developed breasts while puberty occurs as early as eight years old.
Frogs and fishes are becoming intersex and losing their male characteristics from the environment’s excreted estrogens. Could this be a reason we have so many gay people now? Just thinking.
How much estrogen is recommended for you to eat daily? Make sure you get your sources from food and not from pills or supplements – multiple sources say gradually build up to 30 to 50 mg per day.
In premenopausal women, if you have sufficient supply of estrogen, following a phytoestrogen rich diet may interfere with the normal estrogen’s activity.
Take note that a consumption of soy isoflavones at doses of <90 mg per day may inhibit bone resorption and stimulate bone formation. Further studies are needed to assess the effects of an increased soy intake on biochemical markers of bone formation and bone resorption due to inconsistent results. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/soy-isoflavones#osteoporosis-prevention
Natural food sources of estrogen
Flax and flax products are listed as one of the top phytoestrogen containing foods. A hundred grams of flax packs an astounding 379,380 micrograms of estrogen.
Watermelon fruit gives 2.9 micrograms of estrogen.
Soy is considered as the second highest phytoestrogen source in the list. Soy packs 103,920 micrograms of estrogen per 100 grams.
Legumes such as red beans or garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, split peas, and black beans. Black beans packs 5,330 micrograms of estrogen per 100 grams.
Making soy a part of your diet can lower menopausal symptoms. Isoflavones are short acting you can try eating it throughout the day than having it all at once.
You can try to eat about 40 mg to 80 mg of isoflavones each day for health and well-being. Keep in mind that soy protein is not the same as the soy isoflavone.
Hospital for Special Surgery. Soy and phytoestrogens: What are the benefits?
Rosenberg, M. (2014). 4 Surprising Foods Packed with Estrogen – the Chemical Liked to Obesity and Sexual Dysfunction. Alternet Org.
Soybeans are nutritional powerhouses because they contain twice the amount of protein and more oil healthy unsaturated fat than other beans, but very little starch. They are the only plant food that could serve as a person’s sole source of protein because they contain all eight essential amino acids plus fiber, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
There is no better time than right now to take control of your health. The phytoestrogens are estrogen like compounds found in plants and there is an increasing evidence that dietary factors may play a role in the production, metabolism and bioavailability of sex hormones including their impact on target tissues. However, further studies need to be made to confirm its effects. Still, soy is worth trying if you are looking for alternatives to hormone therapy.