15+ Tasty Foods That Boost Estrogen [Updated for 2021]
Looking to boost your estrogen naturally?
Low estrogen levels are connected to different health risks and symptoms like mood swings, decreased sex drive, depression, and hot flashes.
Maintaining a healthy estrogen-rich diet might help you balance this vital hormone and alleviate any discomfort associated with its depleted levels.
That’s why we created this article with the 15+ estrogen foods that can help you normalize your estrogen levels.
But before that, let’s see what estrogen is and how you can get it from your food.
Disclaimer: Before starting an estrogen-rich diet, consult your doctor to determine how to best adjust your diet to your specific needs. Also, tell your doctor if you decide to start a new herbal supplement because some herbs might interfere with other medications you’re taking.
What are Estrogen and Phytoestrogen?
Estrogen is the sex hormone that regulates the functions of the female reproductive system and metabolism. Males also have estrogen but in much smaller quantities.
Phytoestrogen is the dietary form of estrogen. Phytoestrogen is usually found in plants and plant foods. Because phytoestrogens mimic estrogen, they have the ability to attach to the estrogen receptors in your cells and affect the estrogen levels in your body.
Phytoestrogens can have both estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects. This means that some phytoestrogen foods will increase your estrogen while other foods will decrease the estrogen in your body.
The benefits of having an estrogen-rich diet include:
- Alleviation of menopause symptoms. A phytoestrogen-rich diet can decrease the occurrence of hot flashes which are a common menopause symptom.
- Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer. A phytoestrogen diet can increase the chance of survival in women with breast cancer and it decreases the risk of ovarian cancer.
- Improved heart health. A phytoestrogen diet can improve your heart function and strengthen your immunity.
- Prevention of osteoporosis. Estrogen helps with bone development. After the age of 50 bone density decreases and the risk of osteoporosis increases.
- Menstrual irregularities. Low estrogen might cause an irregular menstrual cycle and other reproductive system issues. Boosting your estrogen levels through your diet can stabilize such irregularities and improve your reproductive health.
Now, let’s see which foods will boost your estrogen levels!
15+ Estrogen-Boosting Foods You Have to Try
#1. Flax Seeds
Compared to other estrogen-rich foods, flax seeds contain the highest amount of the phytoestrogen lignan.
Apart from boosting your estrogen, flaxseed comes with many other benefits like:
- Lowering cholesterol levels.
- Reducing the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
- Making your nails and skin shinier.
- Improving your liver function (due to its antioxidant effects).
- Improving your cardiovascular health.
- Enhancing your metabolism.
You can add flax seeds to cake and bread batter, your yogurt, muesli, or add crushed flaxseed mix into your smoothies.
Soybeans and edamame are a great source of the phytoestrogen isoflavones. Apart from boosting your estrogen, soybeans have a positive impact on your overall health.
They can reduce breast cancer risks, menopause symptoms, and bone loss in postmenopausal women.
Soybeans are also rich in minerals and vitamins, and they provide a great source of protein.
You can add soybeans to your meals or buy soybean products like soy milk, soy yogurt, or use soy flour when you’re cooking.
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is another soy product. Tofu is made of condensed soy milk pressed into solid blocks (similar to cheese). Tofu has a high isoflavone content which makes it a rich source of phytoestrogens.
It also contains a high amount of proteins, making it a popular food among vegans and vegetarians. You can add tofu to your salads or bake it with some herbs as a delicious meat substitute.
#4. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are another estrogen food that contains a phytoestrogen called lignan. These flavorful seeds are particularly helpful in increasing estrogen levels in women going through menopause.
They also regulate cholesterol levels and protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases.
You can sprinkle sesame seeds on your meals to add some extra flavor or use a sesame seed powder in your smoothies.
Another way to incorporate sesame seeds into your diet is to use sesame seed oil in your salads and sesame seed butter for cooking.
#5. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits contain more phytoestrogens than fresh fruits. In particular, dried apricots, prunes, and dates have the highest phytoestrogen levels and they’re a delicious and healthy snack.
You can have dried fruits with your muesli, add them to your smoothie, or eat them as a snack on the go or between meals.
Peaches are another fruit that contains the estrogen-like compound lignan and can reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Peaches can reduce the risk of different heart diseases too.
They are packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K. You can eat this healthy snack between meals or add peaches to your morning muesli or smoothie for extra sweetness.
Strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries have a high phytoestrogen content. Berries also have a positive effect on your blood sugar and heart health, while making your hair and skin shinier.
You can add berries to your breakfast, smoothies, or to your favorite desserts!
Garlic can help with low estrogen levels and it provides many other health benefits like reducing the risk of bone loss in postmenopausal women. It also improves your immunity and physical endurance.
Garlic is an aromatic ingredient. So, you can reap its benefits by adding it to your meals for extra flavor.
#9. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts can significantly boost your estrogen levels.
For example, broccoli and cauliflower contain a lignan-like phytoestrogen compound. Brussels sprouts and cabbage, on the other hand, contain the phytonutrient coumestrol which also increases estrogen.
Even though not a favorite choice of many people, cruciferous vegetables are very nutritious and come with multiple health benefits. You can have them in a salad, stir-fried, or as a side dish to your meals.
Tempeh is similar to tofu. However, the main difference is that it’s made of fermented soybeans, instead of soy milk.
Tempeh is rich in the phytoestrogen isoflavone which can have a positive impact on your estrogen levels. As a great source of protein, probiotics, and vitamins, it makes the perfect meat replacement.
Pomegranate is another phytoestrogen-rich food. Its ability to increase estrogen is also connected to a decreased risk of developing breast cancer.
Pomegranate seeds also contain a powerful antioxidant that boasts anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to lower your blood pressure.
You can eat pomegranate seeds as a fruity snack between meals, sprinkle them on your salad, or blend them into a tasty smoothie.
Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense and estrogen-rich food.
They’re fairly low in calories, nutritious, and they suppress appetite and can help your weight loss efforts.
Chickpeas come with other health benefits like reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.
You can add this inexpensive food to your meals or even make some homemade hummus as a tasty snack to combine with a veggie platter.
#13. Red Wine
When consumed in moderation, red wine has many health benefits, including giving you a slight estrogen boost.
Having a glass of red wine with your meal can also improve your heart health, regulate your blood sugar, and reduce bad cholesterol. On top of that, red wine is rich in antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer.
Nuts like walnuts, peanuts, and pistachios are not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but they can also boost your estrogen levels.
Just a handful of nuts every day can provide you with lots of nutrients, protein, fiber, and phytoestrogens. You can add your favorite nuts to desserts, meals, or even salads for an extra crunch. Or, you can have them as a midday snack.
#15. Whole Grains
Always give preference to whole grain products over refined grains. Whole grains are more nutrient-rich and have a higher content of the phytoestrogen known as lignan. Refined grains, on the other hand, are stripped of their nutrients.
Whole grains you can incorporate into your diet are:
- Whole wheat
- Whole rye
- Brown rice
- Whole barley
- Whole oats
- Whole-grain pasta
- Whole-grain bread
Due to its phytoestrogenic properties, fennel is a great ingredient to add to your meals.
Because fennel is an effective estrogen booster, it’s also a popular lactation herb among breastfeeding moms.
Fennel also contains powerful antioxidants and is a nutritious choice packed with vitamin C, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.
You can use fennel seeds as an herb and sprinkle them on your meals or add the seeds to boiling water and make a delicious and flavorful tea.
#17. Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts are rich in phytoestrogens and nutritious.
They also have antioxidant properties, can relieve menopause symptoms, and lower your cholesterol levels.
The best way to add this phytoestrogen-rich food to your diet is to add some fresh alfalfa sprouts into your salad or stir-fry it as a side dish to your meal.
Boost Your Estrogen With Go With The Flow
Go with the Flow is a natural supplement that combines 4 powerful herbs - Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Maca, and Chasteberry. This carefully selected mix works towards nourishing your overall hormone balance.
While Maca benefits your reproductive health and can boost your libido, the other 3 herbs boost your estrogen levels.
Dong Quai has 2 phytoestrogenic compounds. This makes it a great herb for relieving menopause symptoms.
Black Cohosh can boost estrogen also and it has a positive effect on menopause and menstrual symptoms.
Chasteberry is a very popular herbal medicine used for the treatment of many female reproductive issues. It also contains the phytoestrogen apigenin which can increase your estrogen levels.
Changing your diet and taking natural supplements are effective ways of boosting your estrogen levels.
To ensure such changes will bring the effect you want, always consult your doctor beforehand to achieve the result you want.
Stay healthy and strong!