29 Jan Foods to Eat and Avoid When You Have High Estrogen Levels: For Men
Estrogen is an essential hormone that helps females regulate their menstrual cycle, mood, and other female characteristics. It also controls lactation and other breast changes during pregnancy, helps in bone formation, prevents blood clotting, affects skin and hair, and improves brain function. Basically, females need estrogen for their overall health.
Men need this female hormone too, though, in small amounts. In men, estradiol, the predominant form of estrogen is crucial for libido modulation, erectile functions as well as spermatogenesis or sperm development. Without enough estradiol levels, men may have issues with erection, fertility, and others.
However, too much estrogen in males is also not good as it could lead to breast enlargements, infertility, erectile dysfunction, depression, and obesity. Maintaining a healthy level of estrogen is key to keeping men’s reproductive system healthy.
But what is a healthy level and how can it be achieved? The Mayo Clinical Laboratories says that a normal level in a male adult is about 10 – 40 pg/ml while it’s about 15 – 350 pg/ml for female adults.
Your doctor will conduct a blood test to know whether or not your estrogen is at a normal level. There may be no problems with your estrogen when you don’t feel anything unusual. But if you notice some of the symptoms mentioned above, you may be having estrogen troubles. It’s better to consult with your doctor the soonest to have a proper diagnosis for your symptoms.
Meanwhile, your diet greatly affects your estrogen levels. Some foods can raise estrogen, which is not good if you have significantly higher levels. This may further escalate your symptoms. Some foods can also reduce your estrogen, which can be helpful when you’re suffering from higher levels.
Foods to Lower Estrogen
Soy is high in isoflavone concentration, a type of plant estrogen or phytoestrogen, which are weaker than the body’s own estrogen. But when they enter the body, phytoestrogens can bind with estrogen receptors, causing an anti-estrogenic activity. As a result, the body is forced to eliminate its own estrogens.
Another significant benefit of soy is its ability to reduce the risk of estrogen-related diseases, including prostate cancer.
Mushroom varieties such as white button, shiitake, and portobello help reduce estrogen by preventing aromatase production. Aromatase is an enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen.
Red grapes are rich in estrogen blocking properties, including resveratrol, which is found on the skin, and proanthocyanidin, which is found in their seeds.
Flax and sesame seeds contain polyphenols, which are said to reduce estrogen levels in the bloodstream. The lignans in flax seeds also change estrogen metabolism. According to some studies in postmenopausal women, lignan enables the body to produce less active estrogen.
Vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, and broccoli are all part of the Brassicaceae family. These cruciferous vegetables are rich in phytoestrogen and flavonoids, which block estrogen production.
Green tea is one of the most popular healthy drinks that carries numerous benefits for the body. Green tea contains massive polyphenols that help block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. It’s also known to prevent cancer development.
Foods to Avoid
On your way to reducing your estrogen levels, not only will you focus on the foods you need to eat, but also to be wary of the foods that can increase estrogen levels. Some of them are the following:
Meat and dairy products
While reducing your estrogen levels, it’s best to stay away from meat, milk, and other dairy products. Animals normally produce estrogen and carry traces of it in their meat. Also, farmers give female animals, like cows, high doses of estrogen to help with lactation. In this case, you may want to switch to other protein sources for the meantime.
This may not be food but a liquid you may want to consume from time to time, and one you must refrain from drinking while you’re battling with high estrogen levels. Alcohol can raise your blood estrogen levels aside from lowering your testosterone. These double negative effects may increase the risks of developing other health issues.
Additionally, when you drink heavily, you’re predisposed to eat more, resulting in weight gain. Excess weight has also been linked to lower testosterone and higher estrogen since adipose cells metabolize androgens to estrogens.
White sugar and excess carbs
White sugar and too many carbs can spike your insulin. When there’s too much blood sugar, the liver converts it to lipid. In a study, increased production of lipids can shut down the gene, SHBG or sex hormone-binding globulin. This can lead to a hormonal imbalance between testosterone and estrogen, leading to an increased risk of acne, infertility, and other health concerns.
Legumes, which contain high amounts of protein are the best alternative when you’re in an all-vegan diet. But when it comes to estrogen levels, they’re the ones you should avoid. Legumes contain phytoestrogens that could increase your estrogen levels.
Most often, high estrogen levels are accompanied by low testosterone, particularly when you’re an older male. Hence, increasing your testosterone is also crucial while dealing with higher estrogen levels. You can also add in your diet foods that can increase testosterone like a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and omega 3s.