If you are following a natural protocol to detox excess estrogen to balance your hormones or to maximize your testosterone, you need to avoid foods high in estrogen or that negatively impact the estrogen testosterone ratio in the body.
Our bodies are constantly bombarded with chemicals and processed foods that expose us to high levels of phyto and xeno-estrogens that throw our body's natural hormone ratios out of whack.
Some shift in our hormone balance is natural as we age, but due to cheap processed food, birth control pills finding their way into our drinking water supply, and toxic cleaners and perfumes, our bodies can become over-run with estrogens.
This massive estrogen toxicity has been linked to many serious medical conditions in multiple studies including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and endometriosis. Just to name a few.
The following is a list of 4 foods high in estrogen or chemicals that directly affect estrogen levels in the body.
4 Foods High In Estrogen to Avoid
Estrogen Food #1: Soy
Unfermented Soy (the kind most often used in processed food) is full of anti-nutrients including phytates, trypsin inhibitors, and phytoestrogens.
These phytoestrogens and other isoflavones mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Both of which can lead to a direct increase in estrogen in the body and disrupt the endocrine system's natural balance.
According to an article in Scientific America, "...eating large amounts of soy’s estrogen-mimicking compounds might even reduce fertility in women, trigger early puberty in young children and disrupt development of fetuses."
Though no studies have shown soy to inhibit the bodies production of testosterone, the presence of exogenous estrogens entering the body in large quantities has been shown to disrupt the body's optimal ratio of testosterone to estrogen, which can lead to serious health conditions.
According to Stephen Harrod Buhner, author of The Natural Testosterone Plan, consumption of un-fermented soy can lead to an imbalance in hormone ratios in men, which has been linked to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and Prostate Enlargement.
Key Point: Soy is not all bad and it does contain a ton of amino acids and minerals. However, you should consume the fermented version over unfermented soy. Fermenting of soy reduces and/or eliminates many of the compounds known to disrupt the body's endocrine system.
Note: Always read the back of processed food labels. Cheap soy can be found in everything from bread, to protein bars, to cereal. Pay special attention to any grain product that promotes added protein content.
Estrogen Food #2: Licorice
Licorice contains multiple estrogenic compounds, including clycestrone and estriol. Estriol is a common estrogen that is usually present in women in high quantities during pregnancy.
In addition to being a food high in estrogen, Licorice can also negatively affect the complex interactions between cortisol, pregnenolone, and DHEA, which can result in lower testosterone production.
Note: If you drink a lot of tea, make sure to read the ingredients list carefully. Licorice is a common ingredient in many herbal tea blends. If you don't drink a lot of tea, you probably don't have to worry about this too much.
Estrogen Food #3: Hops and Beer
Sorry fellas, but beer and hops are absolute testosterone killers. Hops is used in the fermentation of beer and is a food high in estrogen; especially estradiol. Just a 100 grams of hops can contain as much as three hundred thousand IUs of varying types of estrogens.
Hence why beer may be responsible for so many beer bellies and man-boobs.
Estradiol can have severe adverse effects on men's health by directly lowering testosterone levels by intefering with the Leydig cells in the testicles. High levels of estradiol have also been shown to play a role in BPH and prostate enlargement.
If you like to drink, substitute for wine, whisky, or beer that is fermented from something other than hops.
Estrogen Food #4: Grapefruit
Although grapefruit is not a food high in estrogen, it does contain powerful chemicals that block the breakdown of estrogens in the body, which can result in elevated levels of estrogen in the body.
If you don't like grapefruit, this is just one more reason to avoid it.
What to Eat and Do to Counteract Foods High In Estrogens
If you're trying to maximize your hormone production or detox excess estrogens, here are a few things you can consider adding to your diet or home:
- Add Pine Pollen to your superfood regimen
- Add Stinging Nettle, Ginseng, Tribulus, and other herbs that increase the body's production of luteinzing hormone and block the aromatase of testosterone
- Supplement with Chrysin, which helps remove excess estrogens from the body
- Stop drinking beer
- Eliminate cheap soaps containing parabens, phthalates, and other chemicals like BPA
Conclusion: If you're following a protocol to naturally optimize your testosterone, it is best to avoid foods high in estrogen; especially those listed above. However, everything is beneficial in moderation, so don't be afraid to consume these foods every now and again.
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