Updated: Sep 2
Estrogen is one of the primary female hormones that plays a crucial role in women's health. It regulates menstrual cycles, fertility, and many other functions in the female body. (If you want to get a quick overview of the main sex hormones for women, read this blog post).
However, in some cases, women may experience estrogen dominance, a condition where there is an excess of estrogen relative to progesterone. This hormonal imbalance can cause numerous health issues such as weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and even fertility disorders. The good news is that there are various holistic ways to manage this condition. In this blog post, we'll be discussing some of the best holistic ways to improve estrogen dominance.
1. Add more hormone-balancing foods to your diet
The first step to managing estrogen dominance is to clean up your diet. Eliminating processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates and focusing on whole foods is an excellent way to balance your hormones. A diet high in fiber, healthy fats, and protein can help to regulate insulin levels, which, in turn, can reduce estrogen dominance. Additionally, consuming phytoestrogenic-rich foods such as flaxseeds, legumes, and soy can help to reduce the effects of estrogen in the body.
Another group of superfoods to help balance your sex hormones are cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous veggies have a compound called Indol-3 Carbinol that helps increase the amount of detoxifying enzymes in the gut and liver. I3C helps your body remove excess estrogen through the liver and removes it through the bowels. Dietary I3C has been extensively studied and these studies increasingly indicate that dietary Indol-3 Carbinol prevents the development of estrogen-enhanced cancers such as breast, endometrial & cervical cancers.
Cruciferous vegetables include:
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can be very effective in balancing hormones and improving estrogen dominance. Exercise helps to regulate insulin levels, reduce inflammation and cortisol levels, and improve overall mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, yoga, or strength training, five times a week. Make sure you work out enough to break good sweat- this is how you help your body detox excess estrogen effectively. Read my blog post, How to detox & support hormonal health, for more info on this!
3. Find PRACTICAL ways to manage and reduce stress in your life (seriously)
Don't skip this step!! It doesn't matter how healthy you eat and how much you exercise... if your nervous system is constantly in fight-or-flight, you are taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back.
Stress can have a significant impact on hormone levels in the body, and excess stress can contribute significantly to estrogen dominance. Finding ways to manage and reduce stress levels is crucial for regulating hormones and improving overall wellbeing. Some effective stress-management techniques include meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and regular exercise. I think everyone should be practicing yoga a MINIMUM of once/week (ideally more) for the physical/mental benefits.
Related blog posts:
4. Use Natural Supplements to Counteract Estrogen Dominance
Certain natural supplements can help to balance hormones and improve estrogen dominance. For example, DIM (diindolylmethane) is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables that can help to reduce estrogen levels in the body. Additionally, herbs such as ginseng, ashwagandha, and holy basil can help to regulate cortisol levels, reduce stress, and balance hormones.
Always talk to your healthcare practitioner before introducing any new supplements.
5. Get quality sleep
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for balancing hormones and improving overall health. Sleep deprivation can cause imbalances in hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, and can lead to increased inflammation and stress levels. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night by creating a soothing sleep environment, avoiding caffeine and electronics before bedtime, and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. Studies have shown that just one night of sleep deprivation can increase anxiety by 30%, which will mess with your stress hormones (and subsequently, your sex hormones).
If your sleep hygiene needs work, ready my blog post, 7 Steps to a Better Sleep, for tips on how to improve it.
Estrogen dominance can have many negative effects on a woman's health, including weight gain, mood swings, and fertility issues. However, taking a holistic approach to managing this condition can be effective in improving symptoms and overall wellbeing. By cleaning up your diet, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, using natural supplements, and prioritizing quality sleep, you can balance your hormones and support optimal health and wellbeing. Remember to always consult with a healthcare provider before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes.