Eat This Not That: The Problem With Estrogen And How to Solve It

As you read this, drinking your almond milk cappuccino (insert: matcha), I presume that we have all become attuned to the dangers of the hormone effecting soybean (and its byproducts) and also are aware that just like with anything we put in our body (yes, anything), not all produce is created equal!  Without diving too deep into the troubled soybean… due to the goitrogen it can suppress thyroid function, according to Experimental Biology and Medicine, increase cancer cells (if already existing in the body), as well as accelerate puberty, and decrease testosterone (masculinity as well as musculature).

But is the search for the non-GMO soybean enough to stave off the estrogen issues that leave its not-so-subtle mark on the plumping and softening of the back of our arms and our upper thighs? These are the sites that indicate an estrogen imbalance.  When we think “I need to go on a diet”, what most people almost never consider is that it is not always a surplus of calories that is the culprit of weight gain (or specifically why we store fat in specific parts of our body), but can very often be your bodies reaction to an imbalance in hormones. Which is one HUGE reason why not all diets are equal or effective. Fix the hormone problem, begin to address the actual issues (not just starve them until you give up and wonder which of the 12 things you gave up on your diet of vegetables was actually the wrongdoer of the feared tricep shake).

If you are a person who tends to store fat in the tricep as well as the quad and hamstring, than it may be smart to address an estrogen balancing protocol. This simply means to focus on these three things:

  1. Avoid estrogenic foods
      • Soy, just say no!  Look, eating edamame while patiently awaiting your art deco sushi platter isn’t going to be the culprit keeping you from your expectations, but it also isn’t going to get your there any faster!  So step away from the salty green snack, tofuin all of its meaty substitute forms and ditch the soy sauce while your at it
      • Non organic chicken!  Say it with me, NEVER!  Girls are becoming women (accoutrement included) all too soon!  Hormone ridden chicken in 1,000 forms 10 times a day.  Please just don’t do it!  Chicken is a great lean protein that can be easily added to most meals for a healthy tasty boost…. but if there was one food I could say that should always be organic, birds the word!
  1. Boost liver detoxification
      • Up your indolesuse phytoestrogens, fish oil, and B vitamins to improve the C-2 pathway which protects your cells from damage (think anti aging, anti cancer)
        • Phytoestrogens, such as sesame seeds and flax are the most dense  oats, alfalfa, licorice root, leafy greens:  essentially bind with estrogens and keep it from exerting its negative effects
        • Foods rich in Indole 3 carbonyl are a great way to boost your liver detoxification as well as lean out your upper hamstring (xenoestrogens). However, if you happen to turn into a 6 year old when faced with broccoli, the other successful solution is a supplement called DIM
        • Note: these are also goitrogen foods, which means that by cooking these foods the nutrients become more bioavailable and its challenging digestibility is diminished.
          • think cruciferous… broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, mustard seed (yes mustard)
        • Choose your liquids wisely!
          • Hoppy beer is especially estrogenic and can wreak havoc on your progress
            • Spanish wine is high in antioxidants and is known to not use additives
          • boozy “work” event… Milk thistle!  Not only will help with clearing your liver, but will pull you up from your but I only had a couple hangover
          • Matcha!  Because you are consuming the ground tea leaf rather than steeping the leaf as you would most teas, you are consuming a more concentrated antioxidant boost.
  1. Boost testosterone
      • Estrogen and testosterone fight for the same receptor sites~ feed the wolf my friends! Strengthen the good habits and stop feeding the version that is preparing for hibernation!
      • Don’t be afraid to put on a little muscle! Not only does muscle mass increases your bodies testosterone, but muscle burns fat!  For every additional pound of muscle you have, you are burning an additional 50 calories daily.
      • Supplement with vitamin E. Vitamin E protects us from lipid peroxidation (rancid fat cells) and has a direct estrogen receptor antagonist that also lowers circulating estrogen levels

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