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Five Foods That Balance Women’s Hormones

Pesticides. Pollution. Plastics. Stress. They are all facets of modern life that can affect our mental and physical health. Dr. Holly Lucille, a nationally recognized naturopathic doctor, says they are the reason that many women and men have hormonal imbalances — a condition she calls “estrogen dominance” — that compromise their health.
But Dr. Holly, as she is known, tells a few simple strategies — such as avoiding toxic products and eating healthy foods that rebalance hormones in the body — can counteract the effects of estrogen dominance. That approach is particularly important for women hitting menopause, who often take drugs to deal with their symptoms, she says.
“It’s so important that the hormone system both in men and in women [is] balanced ” , “There’s a lot of estrogen sources and there’s this chance to get imbalanced and that’s estrogen dominance.”
Dr. Holly, past president of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, explains that too much estrogen, and synthetic chemicals that mimic the female hormone’s effects in the body, can cause uncontrolled cell growth — a hallmark of such illnesses and diseases as cancer.
“Hormones deliver message and estrogen’s message is to tell cells to grow and proliferate,” she notes. “That’s great when it’s initiating puberty in a young girl [but not] if you’ve got proliferating tissue like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, breast cancer, or prostate cancer.”
She also notes hormonal imbalances can contribute to moodiness, hot flashes, night sweats, and abdominal weight gain — “that sort of fat that women gain around the middle and on the top of the thighs that’s really hard to get rid of.”
The good news is certain foods contain beneficial antioxidants, flavonoids, and other compounds that can help bring hormones back into balance — including cruciferous vegetables, grass-fed beef, garlic, fermented foods, and citrus fruits.
“I love to use food as medicine,” Dr. Holly says, noting those five key foods and food groups are powerful health boosters. “In the estrogen dominant situation, cruciferous vegetables are full of compounds … that can actually help the liver detoxify estrogen appropriately.”
Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables — as well lemons, limes, garlic, onions, grass-fed beef and other foods — help the body burn fat and counteract the effects of too much estrogen.
Dr. Holly adds that it’s equally important to reduce your exposure to chemicals — in foods, cleaning products and the environment — that can throw your hormones out of wack.
“One of the most important things that you should avoid is pesticides, herbicides, so we want to look  organic as possible,” she says. “And there’s a lot of great easy effective cleaning recipes on the Internet … using vinegar and lemon juice, so you can actually help yourself reduce your exposure.”

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