Oestrogen is the female hormone, it helps initiate sexual development, regulates a woman’s menstrual cycle and affects the entire reproductive system. Oestrogen dominance (high Oestrogen levels) can occur naturally but an alarming rise in its levels can be the result of medication. Low Oestrogen levels, Oestrogen deficiency or hypoestrogenism is common in menopausal women, although it can also occur in younger women when suffering from amenorrhea and those with premature ovarian failure.
Oestrogen helps in:
1. Enhancing vaginal lubrication, regulating fat storage, stimulating vaginal thickness, sex drive and endometrial growth.
2. Speeding up metabolism, boosting uterine growth, increasing bone formation and reducing muscle mass to give a feminine look.
3. During pregnancy, Oestrogen is secreted by the corpus luteum until the placenta takes over, by the end of the first trimester.
Oestrogen is important because it helps to stimulate hormone production in the foetus’s adrenal gland. Additionally, it stimulates the growth of the adrenal gland and helps the mother’s uterus to stretch, enabling it to respond to oxytocin
Here are five natural sources of Oestrogen which you should add to your diet:
Dried apricots, dates, and prunes, contain phytoestrogens, which help balance your estrogen levels. The chewiness provided by them keeps your sudden hunger pangs at bay, and the fact that they are rich in fibre is an added advantage.
Chickpeas are the natural source of phytoestrogen and are also high in fibre and protein. They can be part of your daily diet as you can have them either boiled or roasted. As Chickpeas are high in fibre and protein, it is a great option in case one wants to reduce their meat consumption. Chickpeas are eaten across the globe and you can add them to salads, dips, soups or use them in a curry.
Beans are high in phytoestrogen, but it is because of their high fibre and protein content that they are popular. They are digested slowly by the body, making them a good carbohydrate choice for diabetics or anyone looking to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
Regular intake of soy milk is helpful in restoring Oestrogen levels in the body if one is suffering from lack of it, a condition commonly found amongst post-menopausal women. Soy milk also contains phytoestrogen present in other soy products. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and is easy to digest.
They affect Oestrogen levels because of the presence of isoflavones and the way these interact with Oestrogen receptors. They are a well-known choice among vegans and vegetarians for their high protein and iron content.
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