Estrogen..why should I care?
WHY is it important for you to care about estrogen metabolism? Without getting all “scientific geeky,” here are a few key factors...
• Estrogen is a hormone that plays an important role in bone health, protects the cardiovascular system, and influences behavior and mood. Estrogen is predominately in women, though men have estrogen too.
• Appropriate levels of estrogen are essential for good health and several scientific studies now conclude that inappropriate exposure to certain forms of estrogen increases the risk of several cancers including breast, ovary, prostate and thyroid.
• Lifestyle factors and environmental factors can influence estrogen production, metabolism and balance. These include a poor diet, obesity, excess alcohol consumption, high insulin levels, medications, chemicals, pesticides, hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills. (This includes hormones found in animal products as well.)
The ultimate biological effect of estrogen on the body depends on how it is metabolized.
The metabolism of estrogen takes place primarily in the liver through Phase 1 and Phase 2 pathways, which allows it to be detoxified and excreted from the body.
There are “good” estrogen metabolites and “bad” estrogen metabolites.
Many things can affect the detoxification of estrogen. If estrogen is not detoxed properly during Phase 2 it can be reabsorbed by the body and cause havoc on our health, including dangerous tissue growth. In fact, women who metabolize a larger proportion of their estrogen via certain pathways may be at significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Certain supplements and foods have a powerful, positive effect on estrogen metabolism and help excrete the bad estrogens from your body….below you’ll find my top 3 foods to start adding to your snacks and meals.
1. Cruciferous vegetables:Think broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, and brussel sprouts. These “superhero” vegetables help promote the excretion of bad estrogens from the body so it has less chance of being reabsorbed. Add them to salads, soups, smoothies and snacks. Try roasting them for a great sweet satisfying flavor.
2. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds contain lignans which help excrete unwanted estrogen out of the body. The high fiber in flax also allows for better daily elimination and less time for bad estrogens to be sitting in the gut and recirculated back in the body where they can wreak havoc on our health. Use in smoothies, oatmeal, muffins or salads. Be sure flaxseeds are ground.
3. Soy: Yes soy! New studies now show that soy can protect cells (especially breast cells!) and modify estrogen receptor activity. Soy is a phytoestrogen or plant-based estrogen. Think of these phytoestrogens as filling-up and protecting the parking space on the cell where the bad estrogens would try to park. Opt for organic soy products including tofu, tempeh and unsweetened soy milk, and steer clear of processed isolated soy products and soy protein powders.
Interested in learning more about estrogen metabolism as it relates to cancer prevention, weight loss, aging well and better health? Then, join me and my inspiring team of experts at Project Radiance: Waking Up at Midlife on Saturday, September 7th.
During the METABOLISM MAKEOVER and THE HEALING FOOD KITCHEN segments, I’ll be highlighting the foods, teas, supplements, lifestyle habits and new at-home testing kits available to see how your own body is metabolizing estrogen. It’s all about prevention, purpose and taking back control.
There is so much more information, conversation and connection that is available to you on Sept. 7th, including Positive Aging, The Serene Home and Sound Bath Healing.
I look forward to seeing you there!