Within the body, women obvisouly have more of this sex hormone than Testosterone, and guys have more testosterone than Estrogen, but both sexes have measures of both. Basics out the way!
Besides the natural hormonal fluctuations of menopause, certain lifestyle choices and conditions can also contribute to estrogen dominance syndrome, especially a low-fibre diet, overloading the liver with internal toxins, and absorbing toxins from the environment. Stores of excess estrogen tend to promote additional/excessive weightgain on thighs, hips, arms and bum sites. Having too much estrogen also has links with breast cancer in women, and hormonal disruption along with lack of muscle tone, weight gain and “moobs” in men.
Aromatasation occurs when the body converts androgen hormones to estrogen (Androgens can convert to either testosterone or estrogen)
Excess Aromatase occurs through activities such as regular alcohol consumption, increased age and high body fat %.
Xenoestrogens are “synthetic compounds” that are converted into fake estrogen hormones, or xenoestrogens in the body, in relation to certain foods consumed and environmental toxins. They are more common than you think and are present in everyday products like;
– Shampoo, hair products, makeup and lipsticks, facial creams, cleaning products, deodorants, carpet cleaners, paints etc. Parabens, and Dioxins are two of the more common names for them.
Also, many plastics are hormonally active and release xenoestrogens into things they come in contact with. This is why it is never a good idea to heat or cook something in plastic, because the heat accelerates the leaching of the chemicals into the food. When you look at all the food that is packaged in plastic, and the abundance of plastic water bottles, containers and utensils, you begin to understand why this is such a problem.
They mimic excess estrogen hormones in the body, further increasing levels, alongside deficiency in nutrients such as zinc which has a direct aromatase blocking effect.
Other “Products” to avoid for estrogen promotion are;
Regular Soya consumption – great after menopause, not before,
Microwaving foods in plastic containers – the plastics leak into the foods, causing Xenoestrogens within the body
Tap Water – Hundreds of chemicals and toxins
Alcohol – Damages liver enzymes that help detoxify excess estrogens
“Fake Foods” – like kebabs, and fast food burgers. They are full of poor “meat” and synthetic additives that get stored as fat in the body, and with excess estrogen, you know where these are going…!!
Some of the worst forms of exercise you can do if you have, or feel you have excess estrogen levels are the following, as they will further promote estrogen storage, making those problem areas, more problematic.
– Steady state cardio – we’re talking 60min+ of jogging, cross trainer etc. Because of the lack of intensity and repeated movement of the leg and hip area, it will stimulate further fat storage/estrogen hormones to these areas. Yes, you could actually make your legs and bum bigger!
What you should do is;
– Lowers repetition, resistance work – drop the light weights and pick challenging weight and exercises like squats, deadlifts and weighted lunges, with a force you can peform only around 10reps with.
– Anaerobic lactate work like sprints, or high intensity plyometric work that gives that “burning/lactic acid” feeling!
So, enough of the bad stuff! What can you do to lower excess estrogen levels?!
Liver enzymes and other detoxification pathways rid the body of excess and harmful estrogen, therefore a natural/clean diets is essential to ensure you are “loading” the liver with as little stress as possible. Alcohol is processed directly by the liver, into sugars, which is why alcohol is a big one to remove or cut back on if you are estrogen dominant, especially beer! Hops is VERY estrogenic.
Increase your fibre!
low-fibre diets causes estrogen levels to be higher, while a diet high in fibre results in decreased estrogen levels in the bloodstream. Excess estrogen is excreted in the bowel. When stools remains in the bowel for a longer time, the estrogen is reabsorbed. Studies have shown that women on a vegetarian/high-fiber diet have lower levels of circulating estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen mean less estrogen stimulation of breast tissue, for example, which reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Increasing fibre from all sources(vegetables, psyllium husks etc)
Healthy bowel flora is essential to proper detoxification of excess estrogen and to help and wellbeing.
In men, zinc deficiency syndromes can present in different ways. Low testosterone and low sperm counts may be signs of a zinc deficiency.
Zinc helps prevent hormonal imbalance and fibrosis conditions because it plays an important role in hormone production and balance. Zinc helps to increase progesterone levels and lower estrogen.
Cruciferous vegetables are those you want to consume regularly, such as broccoli, cauliflower, watercerss, cabbage, kale and brussel sprouts. as they contain Indole-Carbinol the active ingredient that helps the body remove excess estrogen.
When you do cook vegetables, try to steam or lightly stirfry as boiling kills around 66% of the benefitical flavonoids and microwaving kills 97% ….another reason to ditch the microwave!!
Cheaper meats are fed growth hormones when alive to “plump” them up. These are then absorbed into the meat, and we eat them, promoting further xenoestrogen consumption.
So, proof again that food is more than just weight gain or loss, it’s about health and balancing. And that the infamous “A little of what you fancy…!” might be more than the “little” you imagine?!