Food With Estrogen In Them. it has been shown that elevated estrogen levels in men can lead to prostate cancer. Estrogen can be produced and also ingested through foods, especially those which have chemical estrogen added to them. These foods should be avoided if you have a family history of prostate cancer and/or have a latent case of prostate cancer.
8 Foods That Are Bad For Your Hormones
5 months ago
What Do Hormones Do?
The body works like a well-oiled machine using different biological processes to keep itself healthy and fit. It is our hormones that work as messengers and ensure that the bodily functions are carried out properly. But what are these hormones? Hormones are chemicals that course through our systems and provide organs with instructions to work efficiently. From controlling various biological functions like hair growth, hunger, weight management, libido to managing our blood pressure and our heart rate, hormones are one of the essential chemicals in the human body.
Types Of Hormones
They are many types of hormones – sex hormones, thyroid hormones, those that control sugar like insulin, those that manage our responses to danger like adrenaline, and those that make us feel happy or sad like dopamine. Each of them has a different function and how a particular hormone works depends a lot on what we eat.
Ill-Effects Of Lifestyle And Bad Foods For Hormones
A wrong lifestyle and dietary patterns can cause havoc to the hormonal balance in the body. The after-effects of this are uncontrolled weight gain, unexplained fatigue, headaches, hair loss, digestive problems, and even insomnia.
- Of the 200 or so hormones we possess, the most prevalent and active are testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are created from cholesterol, so any diet that eliminates or severely reduces your cholesterol can cause an imbalance. For example, women with very low levels of fat can suffer from infertility issues.
- An extreme diet (with the shortsighted aim of ‘fast’ weight loss) often calls for cutting out major nutrient groups entirely. Not only is this an imbalanced approach, it often does not work since you end up gaining all your weight back at the end. This type of dietary and nutritional imbalance can affect your endocrine system, which is responsible for producing your hormones. Instead, you should opt for a hormone diet with diverse and nutritional foods.
Read on to find out more about the bad foods for hormones:
Here is another reason to ditch your cup of coffee. It is for the same reason we should do that for which we consume it- because it snaps us out of our lethargy. Caffeine increases cortisol production in the body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is in the highest quantities in the mornings and is lowest in the evenings. Caffeine boosts the cortisol levels whenever it is consumed, and that brings the body into a state of high alert. Having too many energy drinks (they are also high in caffeine) or too many cups of coffee can mess with your hormones.
- Sugary Treats
This is perhaps one of the worst foods that mess with hormones. Sugar in the body leads to a spike in insulin levels in the body. Insulin is responsible for metabolizing the sugar consumed. Overeating sugary treats over a period lead to suppression of leptin and ghrelin sensitivity. Both these hormones signal satiety and control appetite. So every time you go for that bag of candy or that bar of chocolate, you are heading towards Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
- Processed And Refined Foods
Gluten and sugar are the worst combinations for anyone. They both increase inflammation and stress the adrenal glands and increase susceptibility towards autoimmune diseases. Cookies, crackers, bread are all wrong for your health. They increase the weight, which in itself triggers a severe hormonal imbalance, and reduce testosterone levels. Processed food items also mess with the hormones. Sausages, ready to eat meals, instant food options are full of sodium and preservatives which cause an electrolyte imbalance in the body causing havoc on hormonal health.
- Dairy Items
Many people cannot digest dairy items easily. Milk is the worst offender amongst daily food items that mess with hormones. It can cause inflammation in the gut and irritate the system. Many people who are lactose intolerant begin to suffer from stomach and digestive problems when they consume dairy products. Drinking too much milk can raise triglycerides levels and even cause diabetes. Milk also has a growth hormone that negatively affects the liver. It even leads to increased sebum production and increases acne in those prone to skin problems.
- Soy Products
Soy milk, tofu and other forms of soy are ok in small quantities, but when consumed over a period in large amounts, they could even lead to unlimited cell growth and even breast cancer. This is because soy is chemically similar to estrogen in its structure. Overeating soy makes the body think it has enough estrogen when it doesn’t and can lead to reduced or even complete stalling of ovulation. It can also lead to thyroid problems. It must be noted here that soy is one of the most heavily toxic crops as it is severely genetically modified. It has too many pesticides, and this also makes it a food that messes with your hormones.
When doctors are trying to rectify the hormonal imbalance, it is alcohol that they rule out first from the diet of the patient. It disrupts the average production of insulin and also hurts the sex hormones in the body. It reduces testosterone production in men and disrupts the menstrual cycle in women. Alcohol has a harmful impact on stress hormones too. Initially, on consumption, alcohol makes one feel good because of the release of serotonin, but the next slump we feel is bad when serotonin is used up. Alcohol affects the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, the most important hormone production areas of the brain. It reduces fertility in both men and women. Regular consumption of alcohol increases the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. However, if a person stays without consuming alcohol for even a month can bring back hormone levels to normal.
- Certain Vegetables
Nightshades vegetables like brinjal, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes are bad for the system as they cause inflammation. The case is the same with cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and kale. Both these veggie groups affect the thyroid health of the individual. You can eat these veggies in moderation but having too much and regularly can lead to hypothyroidism or even iodine deficiency.
In older times, stevia was used to prevent pregnancies. In its new avatar, it is used as a replacement for sugar. Research is ongoing into its health effects, but there is a possibility that it can cause changes in the body’s hormonal health and can be slotted as one of the ‘bad foods for hormones’ that mess up your body functions.
Eating everything in moderation is good for the body. Try to control your consumption of processed food items and sugary treats to cut down on your intake of bad foods for hormones and avoid harm to your body!
Food With Estrogen In Them
Many types of food-based phytoestrogens are studied for their potential health benefits. These include:
- Flavonoids like quercetin
Each of these phytoestrogens has antioxidant properties. This means that in addition to the nutrients’ potential health benefits, they fight cell damage in our bodies linked to a wide range of chronic diseases.
The best dietary sources of phytoestrogens include:
Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans (polyphenols found in plants). Researchers believe they lower breast cancer risk. You can sprinkle flaxseeds on many dishes, bake them into bread and cookies, or blend them into smoothies and spreads.
Soy contains high levels of isoflavones, phytoestrogens that may mimic estrogen’s effects and reduce the risk of both breast and prostate cancer. Soy is also rich in a range of essential vitamins and minerals. It can support heart health as an alternative to red and processed meats. It’s also extremely versatile — you can include soy in your diet with foods like tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soymilk.
Because of their high lignan content, studies show that eating two servings of peaches or nectarines a week reduces a woman’s breast cancer risk. Researchers find similar effects from consuming blueberries and strawberries.
Regular garlic consumption can help lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and prevent clots — all heart disease risk factors. Research shows garlic can influence estrogen levels in the body, perhaps helping reduce age-related bone loss. But more research is needed to study this effect.
5. Red Wine
Red wine is rich in resveratrol, a phytoestrogen researchers believe reduces heart disease risk by regulating cholesterol levels. Another study found that phytoestrogens in red wine may stop cancer cell growth, particularly among postmenopausal women.
6. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are easy to add to almost any meal — and they may help improve your cholesterol levels. Studies show they affect estrogen levels, with potent antioxidant activity fighting chronic disease risk factors.
7. Cruciferous Vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale contain phytoestrogens with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables are also associated with lower risk of many chronic diseases, including heart problems.
Nuts like cashews, almonds, peanuts, and pistachios are a great source of heart-healthy phytoestrogens. They’re easy to add to your diet. But because most nuts are high in calories and fat, be sure to limit your portions to the recommended serving size.
Why You Need Estrogen
Estrogen’s main function is to control reproductive changes in women, but it serves other roles in both male and female bodies, including:
- Heart and blood vessel support
- Bone strength
- Brain protection and mood regulation
Our estrogen levels can change for many reasons. For some, managing these effects may require treatment such as hormone replacement therapy.
The phytoestrogens in foods may help support estrogen’s natural functions. Research shows these nutrients are linked to several health benefits, including:
Menopausal Relief in Women
Women’s estrogen levels decrease with age, causing changes in the body referred to as menopause. Studies show that phytoestrogens can help relieve some of menopause’s physical symptoms, like the frequency of hot flashes and vaginal dryness.
Improved Bone Health
Estrogens help maintain healthy bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis in both men and women. Studies show that phytoestrogens from food may support this effect, improving long-term bone health.
May Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Studies show phytonutrients may help manage cholesterol. Maintaining good cholesterol levels keeps your arteries free from fatty build-up, reducing the risk of heart problems and stroke.
May Reduce the Risk of Cancers
According to research, higher estrogen and phytoestrogen levels are associated with lower rates of breast cancer. Phytoestrogens have also been shown to kill prostate cancer cells, an effect scientists continue to study for the nutrients’ use in cancer prevention or management.