Estrogen is a hormone found in women that is produced by the ovaries. It is responsible for giving females their feminine traits, such as bigger breasts and the curve of their body. This hormone also has effects in boosting the metabolism, regulating triglyceride, enhancing skin and vaginal health, and improving sex drive.
The level of estrogen goes down during menopausal period. Even those who are not at this stage yet, may also experience their estrogen level to go down due to severe anorexia, radiation treatments, and full or partial removal of reproductive organs. Low level of estrogen could cause mood swings, fatigue, hot flashes, headaches, UTI, and depression.
Taking foods that are high in phytoestrogen can help increase the estrogen level in the body and prevent the unwanted effects of low estrogen. Phytoestrogens are compounds found in plant that are similar to estrogen. Too much estrogen in the body can also cause unwanted side effects like insomnia and cramps. Those who are suffering from these should avoid foods high in phytoestrogen.
1. Soy Yogurt
This yogurt is made from soymilk. One cup of this contains 21 mg of isoflavones. Isoflavones are a kind of phytoestrogens that work like estrogen. This is equivalent to 10,275 mcg of phytoestrogens for every 100 grams of soy yogurt. It is also rich in protein, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and healthy fats.
These are some of the best sources of phytoestrogens, as a cup will give your 24 mg of isoflavones. Every 100 grams of soybeans will deliver 103,920 mcg of phytoestrogens. Soybeans are also helpful in reducing the risk of diabetes, promoting proper circulation, enhancing bone health, protecting the heart, and promoting better digestion.
This is also known as bean curd and it contains high level of isoflavones. It is typically used in making soups, as well as an ingredient in various recipes. You’ll get 20 mg of isoflavones in 3 ounces of tofu. This means that in every 100 grams of tofu, you will get 27,150.1 mcg of phytoestrogens. Tofu also contains amino acids, making it a good source of protein.
4. Flax Seeds
Also known as linseeds, they are often used in salads, cereals, and breads. They contain phytoestrogens called lignans. An ounce of flax seeds will give you 85.5 mg of lignans or 379,380 mcg of phytoestrogens in every 100 grams. These seeds are also rich in fiber and in omega-3 or good fats.
5. Multi-Grain Bread
Wheat, rye, barley, and oats are all under this category and they contain lignans, which are also a type of phytoestrogens. You’ll get 4,800 mcg of phytoestrogens in every 100 grams of multi-grain bread. It also contains copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, and selenium.
6. Sesame Seeds
These seeds are used on breads, and as ingredients in various dishes. You’ll get 11.2 mg of lignans in every ounce of sesame seeds. This means that for every 100 grams of these seeds, the phytoestrogens content is 8008.1 mcg. Sesame seeds are also rich in magnesium, fiber, and iron. They are good for burning unwanted fat.
Chickpeas are boiled and mashed to make hummus. It is used as a spread and dip. Every 100 grams of hummus provide 993 mcg of phytoestrogens. It’s also high in B vitamins, phosphorus, folate, and iron. Some of its health benefits include relief of inflammation, and improved digestive health.
This is a type of drink that is made using soybeans, which are also rich in phytoestrogens. You will get 30 mg of isoflavones in a cup of soymilk, which means that in every 100 grams you’ll get 2,957.2 mcg phytoestrogens. It’s also rich in protein, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin.
9. Dried Prunes, Dates, and Apricots
Every 100 grams of dried prunes contain 177.5 mcg of phytoestrogens. Dried dates contain 329.5 mg of phytoestrogens, while dried apricots have 445.5 mcg of phytoestrogens, also on per 100 grams servings.
This is popularly used in different cuisines all over the world. Every 100 grams of garlic contain 603.3 mcg of phytoestrogens. It is also rich in zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, folate, and vitamins C, B1, B6, B3, and B2.
Our Final Thoughts
If you have low level of estrogen in your body, make sure to add these phytoestrogen rich foods in your diet. However, those with high levels of estrogen must stay away from these. Men must also be careful about eating these estrogen rich foods as they may cause breast enlargement and development of other feminine qualities.