One of the best ways to reduce body fat levels is to improve estrogen metabolism. High estrogen levels and difficulties eliminating this hormone are a problem for both men and women that is associated with greater cancer risk, a higher body fat percentage, and low muscle mass.
If you don’t get certain nutrients in your diet, you won’t be able to metabolize estrogen effectively. Here are the top ten estrogen protection foods to eat regularly.
#1: Seeds: Sesame, Fenugreek & Flax
Sesame and flax seeds provide a special type of fiber called lignans, which can bind to estrogen in the digestive tract so that it will be readily excreted from the body. Seeds like fenugreek also increase levels of SHGB, which protects the body from estrogen, while simultaneously improving balance of related hormones.
#2: Salmon & Oily Fish.
The omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, which are found in fish, help the body eliminate estrogen safely down a pathway that doesn’t damage DNA or cause cancer. Additionally, fish oil has an inflammation-fighting effect, while also improving insulin signaling for a healthier metabolism.
#3: High-Fiber Fruits & Vegetables.
The naturally occurring fiber in fruits and veggies, such as berries and spinach, reduce the amount of an enzyme (called B-glucouronidase) that breaks apart bound estrogen that is on its way out of the boy. If this happens estrogen will re-enter circulation, causing damage to tissue and DNA.
#4: Broccoli & Other Cruciferous Veggies.
Cancer research shows that people who metabolize estrogen down a healthier pathway in the body (called the C-2 pathway) have much lower cancer rates than those who metabolize estrogen down a ‘’toxic” pathway (known as the C-16 pathway). The cruciferous vegetables, which include cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and bok choy, provide powerful estrogen-protecting compounds, known as glucoraphanin and di-indoly methane (DIM) that promote elimination via the C-2 pathway.
#5: Red Wine (in moderation).
Alcohol is one of the first things to eliminate because it increases levels of estrogen, while reducing testosterone. The good news is that compelling evidence shows that Sardinian and Spanish red wines are rich in antioxidants that help remove estrogen and protect against DNA damage from estrogen.
#6: Tart Cherries.
Rich in phytonutrients that fight cancer and protect the body from inflammation, tart cherries also raise levels of the sleep hormone, melatonin, which blocks aromatase (the enzyme that turns testosterone into estrogen).
#7: Lemon & Citrus Fruits.
Lemons and the other citrus fruits provide a nice dose of antioxidants (vitamin, hesperidin, and quercetin) that protect against damage from estrogen and they are rich in fiber for better gut function. Best of all, citrus are packed with the compound D-limonene, which increases liver enzymes so that the body is better able to metabolize and remove estrogen.
#8: Yogurt & Other Fermented Foods
Foods that contain healthy probiotic bacteria can help reduce body fat, which is key because body fat secretes estrogen. A related benefit is that probiotics improve gut health so that the body can efficiently eliminate excess estrogen compounds. The best probiotic foods are high-quality yogurt, sauerkraut, pickled ginger, kim chi, miso, and other fermented foods.
#9: Green Tea
Women who drink more green tea have lower breast cancer rates, which is likely due to the powerful anti-aromatase action in tea. Without aromatase, less estrogen is synthesized from testosterone. Another benefit: Green tea is packed with antioxidants that protect DNA and tissue from damage due to excess estrogen.
#10: High-Protein Foods
Protein is necessary for the activity of cytochrome P450, which are basically enzymes that allow the body to metabolize drugs and hormones from the body. High protein foods such as fish, meat, beans, and eggs also provide the amino acids lysine and threonine that support liver function, which is the organ that is ultimately responsible for safely eliminating estrogen from the body.