Estrogen isn’t a bad thing. It’s the yin hormone to the yang hormone known as “testosterone.” Our body naturally produces both hormones. What distinguishes a male from a female is that the male hormone scale is tipped toward the testosterone side, while females are known to have more estrogen.
Just like we are made of hormones, chemicals, vitamins, and minerals, so are food. Everything in the world is comprised of chemicals that give that item distinct characteristics. It’s how the chemicals react with one another that give an orange its color, lemons high amounts of Vitamin C, and chicken an adequate amount of protein. The way our body reaps the benefits of these foods is that the chemicals in our body react to the nutrients from food that we consume during the digestion process.
In some cases, foods that we eat, such as shellfish and egg yolks, can actually boost our testosterone. While others, like soy and flax seeds, can bump up the levels of estrogen in our bodies.
Too much estrogen is dangerous for males because it throws the rest of the hormones in the body off kilter. Men who have higher testosterone levels are used to putting on muscle, boasting healthy libidos, and having thick growth in their beards. Yet, when the estrogen levels start to outnumber the testosterone levels, men will find themselves fatigued, growing fatty deposits in their breast areas, and struggling with a lack of sex drive.
In order to decrease estrogen levels, eating foods high in testosterone and avoiding those high in estrogen is essential. However, there are also anti-estrogenic foods that can cut down on the amounts of estrogen within the body.
Here are 15 of the best anti-estrogenic foods for a high testosterone diet.
It might not sound appealing, but the algae you consume does not look like something that’s growing on the top of a pond. Popular forms of algae include powders such as a chlorella and spirulina that can be added to any fruit and oat bowl or morning workout smoothie.
What makes algae such a viable estrogen reducer is the component that gives them their green hue—chlorophyll. Algae is extremely high in chlorophyll, which acts as a detoxifier for the liver. A study that included both rats and rainbow trout found that chlorophyll reduced liver inflammations by 70%.
Your liver is the system that flushes your body of all its waste, dead cells, and debris. When your liver is clogged up, the estrogen it is trying to expel as waste ends up being reabsorbed and ultimately boosting your estrogen numbers. Chlorophyll binds to metals, pesticides, and other unneeded hormones. The addition of chlorophyll allows for waste to pass through the liver and gut better.
Seeds are high in protein and omegas and are an easy addition to a yogurt, juice, or shake. However, not all seeds are created equally. Some are actually very high in estrogen, namely flax seeds. However, one of the best seeds for men looking to cut their estrogen levels is chia seeds.
Chia packs all the nutritional value that its rival flax seeds do. The major difference is the type of seed they are. We all come from a seed that determines what our biological sex will be. Seeds we consume are the same. Chia seeds are androgenic, meaning they carry male hormones; whereas flax seeds are estrogenic and carry female hormones.
Chia contains an important compound called, “lignans.” These are phytochemicals that bind to free-flowing estrogen in the body. Studies have found that when lignans latch onto estrogen and estrogen receptors, they actually inhibit the production of the hormone.
Coconut oil is a well-rounded oil that you should be using more of not only when cooking, but also in other areas of life such as an aftershave lotion or a shampoo. Coconut oil ramps up the production of two essential enzymes in the production of testosterone, 3-β-HSD and 17-β-HSD.
Coconut oil is also full of plant sterols, which bind to an enzyme called aromatase. This hormone is a precursor for estrogen production in pivotal areas such as the brain, fat tissues, and the testes.
Cruciferous veggies are high in B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids necessary for hormonal balance. However, they are also high in levels of DIM.
DIM aids the body two-fold. First, it helps the body metabolize estrogen. When this happens, unmetabolized estrogen levels decrease. As a natural reaction, 2-hydroxy-estrogen levels increase. As estrogen was flowing freely through the body, it allowed for testosterone to become increasingly bounded by Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). With more 2-hydroxy-estrogen enzymes in place of unmetabolized estrogen, it begins to remove testosterone from the clutches of SHBG. This allows for more free testosterone to make its way through the body.
You probably never even realized that you’ve eaten fermented foods. Grocery stores are stocked with sauerkraut, tempeh, pickles, and kimchi, all of which are fermented foods. They are pickled vegetables that sit in an airtight jar. Over time, the food’s sugars become live cultures.
Eating fermented foods is an ideal way to get probiotics, and is the perfect substitute for a vegan or anyone looking to get away from yogurts with high amounts of sugar and fattening dairy. The cultures in these foods become healthy bacteria that are optimal for strong gut health.
As we damage our digestive tract with processed foods, refined carbs, alcohol, and gluten, the gut can begin to leak the enzyme, B-glucouronidase. As studies have shown, when estrogen is being filtered out of your body, B-glucouronidase binds to it, causing the body to reabsorb estrogen, rather than excrete it. Eating fermented foods can prevent the release of this estrogen-building enzyme.
Not only does garlic make everything taste better, but it also is extremely healthy. Garlic is high in Vitamin C, and can help drop blood pressure levels. Not only does freeing up the blood pathways allow for stronger erections in men, but garlic can also work as an anti-estrogenic.
Garlic is full of a chemical called “quercetin.” Quercetin is a flavonoid that works as an aromatase enzyme inhibitor. As we mentioned earlier, aromatase is a precursor to estrogen production within the body.
Green tea is not only great for its high level of caffeine, but also for its overabundance of antioxidants. Alongside all these immune boosting qualities, green tea is also full of phytochemicals. In a Harvard Health Publications article, the Ivy League school pointed to green tea as an estrogen reducer. They also explained that green tea is helpful in cholesterol reduction, which can open up clogged arteries that lead to erectile dysfunction and low testosterone production.
Although maca is technically an herb, it’s also used in the way many root vegetables are, as a side dish such as potatoes. Maca is very high in DIM, which we mentioned earlier can decrease the amount of estrogen within the body.
This versatile root works as an adaptogen, which means that it balances out hormones within the body. It specifically targets the adrenal gland and thyroid gland, balancing out the testosterone to estrogen ratio. A study confirmed these reports, stating that the amount of estrogen within the blood of mice was lowered when they were given maca root.
Like many of the other foods on the list, mushrooms work as an inhibitor for the dreaded aromatase enzyme. A study with white button mushrooms found that, “diets high in mushrooms may modulate the aromatase activity and function in chemoprevention…by reducing the in situ production of estrogen.”
Much like coconut oil, olive oil is a great oil for your everyday needs. The healthy fats in olive oil create strong cell membranes, which allow hormones to bind to them much easier. The high levels of omegas and HDL cholesterol allows for receptor sites to be maintained by repairing and clearing out any damaged or dead cells.
A study with males found that olive oil had a positive effect on the “androgen profile of men.” If you are using olive oil, just make sure it is not partially-hydrogenated. This process adds shelf life to olive oil, but also strips it of its healing properties. Get organic, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil for your cooking needs.
Onions add flavor to any dish, and they also boost testosterone in men. However, while this member of the allium family does increase male hormones, it also simultaneously decreases female hormones. Studies found that onions contain quercetin.
As mentioned earlier, this enzyme acts as an aromatase inhibitor. So, while onion boosts testosterone in the body, it is ridding all the excess estrogen at the same time. Onions also contain a lot of nitric oxide, which is essential for male sexual health. Nitric oxide provides clear pathways in arteries that allows for blood to reach areas throughout the body, including the penis.
Pomegranates are classified as a superfood for all their medicinal properties. Not only are these fruit’s seeds chock full of immune system boosting antioxidants, studies found that they also contain ellagitannins. These enzymes were found to have an inhibitory effect on estrogen within the body. Pomegranates are one of my favourite fruits to learn more why check out this post (6 benefits of pomegranate juice for men -Increasing libido with pomegranate Juice).
Red grapes can be eaten or enjoyed in a glass of wine. Either way, you are getting all of the anti-estrogenic benefits. The skins of grapes contain a chemical named “resveratrol. Meanwhile the seeds contain proanthocyanidin.
Resveratrol works as an aromatase inhibitor. Like garlic, it also boosts testosterone simultaneously. Studies of red wine and grape seeds have pointed to the other important chemical, proanthocyanidin, as an anti-estrogenic.
Turmeric is a wonder-root. It is ideal for cleaning out inflammations throughout the body that lead to fatty buildups and cancerous growths. Its main compound, curcumin, has been shown to increase testosterone levels a whopping 257%.
Besides boosting testosterone, turmeric can also lower estrogen. Studies have found that curcumin works to suppress the growth of “endometrial cells by reducing the E2 (a strand of estrogen) value.”
It’s ideal to get a wide variety of whole grains in your diet for their high levels of protein alone. As long as the grains remain unrefined, they come with a load of health benefits. Whole grains work in the way like chia seeds do. They contain phytochemicals that bind to free-flowing estrogen, guiding the hormones out of the body.
Different types of whole grains that contain anti-estrogenic properties include:
Eating anti-estrogenic is easy to do. There are many foods that can lower the amount of estrogen in your body, and may even simultaneously up your levels of testosterone. As long as you stay away from refined and processed foods, as well as any dairy or meat treated with hormones, your own hormone levels should remain balanced.
However, there are many other outside factors such as exposure to plastics and medications that may cause an increase of estrogen. If you are noticing a lower libido, the growth of breasts, or thinning hair, try to add these 15 anti-estrogenic foods to your diet.