Did you know that estrogen is not the female hormone that we are made to believe?
Men can have equal if not higher amounts of estrogen than women and that can be highly detrimental to the male body, both mentally and physically.
I want to share with you the best foods on how to lower excess estrogen by blocking the aromatase with food.
Everyone has access to good quality food so no one has an excuse not to eat right.
Arugula contains high amounts of aromatase inhibiting compound called kaempferol (R).
Beet greens, iceberg lettuce, kale, mustard greens, spinach and collards can also inhibit aromatase (R).
The mineral calcium possesses aromatase inhibiting properties. Estradiol and aromatase increase on a low calcium diet. People who eat a high calcium diet end up with lower aromatase activity and estrogen levels (R).
#3 Beef liver
Vitamin A, as retinol and all-trans retinoic acid, blocks aromatase (R). Beef liver, one of the richest sources of retinol, is also abundant in other vitamins and minerals. Those include B-vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, selenium and cholesterol, all of which can increase testosterone.
#4 Beef kidney
The word selenium is most often synonymous with Brazil nuts. Few people know that beef kidney is actually a better source of selenium. The issue I have with Brazil nuts is that its’ selenium content varies a lot and it’s high in PUFAs. PUFAs (polyunsaturated fats) promote inflammation and are anti-androgenic (inhibits DHT production). This makes Brazil nuts an unreliable and suboptimal source of selenium.
Selenium doesn’t inhibit the aromatase directly, but it does so indirectly. It does so by downregulating aromatase promotors, such as excess cortisol, FSH, LH and prostaglandins (R).
In summary, selenium inhibits the cortisol, LH and prostaglandins induced activation of the aromatase.
#5 Black ants
Black ants are a powerhouse of the androgenic mineral, zinc. They also contain other beneficial compounds, such as vitamins (B1, B2, B12, E), minerals (calcium & magnesium) and ecdysterone.
Men low in zinc have reduced testosterone levels and an elevated estrogen to testosterone ratio. Eating more zinc-rich foods or supplementing zinc, increases testosterone and lowers estrogen.
#6 Cocoa smoothy
Stress can skyrocket aromatase. A good way to calm down is to have a smoothie with cocoa. Make the smoothie with milk, fruit, gelatin and cocoa powder (and some honey or syrup, such as maple or date syrup) for extra yum-ness. Cocoa itself also has aromatase inhibiting properties apart from lowering stress.
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Inflammation is a major driver of aromatase. Berries, especially maqui berries, are rich in polyphenols, which lower inflammation and consequently the aromatase.
#8 Dragon fruit
Insulin resistance, like inflammation, drives up aromatase. Insulin and inflammation have a synergistic effect at increasing aromatase.
Improving insulin sensitivity can help to lower aromatase. Some foods, such as dragon fruit are able to improve insulin sensitivity (R, R). Cinnamon, bitter cucumber, prickly pear fruit and actually most other fruits also have insulin-sensitizing properties.
#9 White button mushrooms
All mushrooms, but more so white button mushrooms, inhibit aromatase (R). The problem is that most mushrooms inhibit DHT formation, with white button mushrooms being the least inhibitory. Thus making it the best mushroom!
Mangosteen is the edible fruit of a tropical evergreen tree native to the island nations of Southeast Asia.
Coffee is a recurring food when it comes to boosting androgens and cognition. Coffee can help block aromatase and increase testosterone and DHT. DHT itself inhibits aromatase as well as the estrogen receptors.
#12 Nicotine toothpicks
Nicotine is a potent aromatase inhibitor and DHT booster. Tobacco, nicotine gum and nicotine patches are also good sources of nicotine.
DIM and luteolin, found in Broccoli, increase estrogen detoxification and inhibit aromatase (R).
Bell peppers, parsley, carrot and dandelion are also good sources of luteolin.
Cabbage and cauliflower also contain DIM and have other aromatase inhibiting compounds.
Oranges contain many aromatase inhibiting compounds, such as apigenin, hesperidin and naringenin (R).
Grapefruits actually contain more naringenin that oranges and also contain kaempferol. On the flip side, grapefruit juice inhibits the enzyme that detoxifies estrogen. Research shows that grapefruit juice can decrease estradiol, but increase estrone-sulfate in the body (R).
Oranges are also a great source of fructose and glucose. Carbohydrates can stop the stress response (cortisol and noradrenaline) and lower stress-induced aromatase. Some people add salt (or sodium bicarbonate) and gelatin to their OJ to supercharge its stress-reducing effect.
The use of pomegranate fruit dates back to Biblical times. Its therapeutic qualities have echoed throughout the millennia.
The Babylonians regarded pomegranate seeds as an agent of resurrection.
The Persians believed the seeds conferred invincibility on the battlefields.
To the ancient Chinese the seeds symbolized longevity and immortality.
Pomegranate juice polyphenols can inhibit aromatase and increase testosterone by protecting it from oxidative stress.
Pomegranate extract also inhibits the binding of estradiol to the estrogen receptors and directly binds to the estrogen receptor itself to down-regulate the transcription of the estrogen-responsive reporter gene (R).
#16 Pine pollen
Pine pollen contains many steroids, including androsterone. Androsterone is a potent aromatase inhibitor, but the dose of pine pollen required to get a good amount of androsterone is quite high. High doses of pine pollen can become an issue as the amount of polyunsaturated fat in the pine pollen is quite high.
Regardless, 1 tbsp with a fatty meal is a good dose.
#17 Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle is a common herb that lowers excess estrogen by inhibiting aromatase. The only problem I have with stinging nettle is that it can also block DHT formation.
#18 Thai black ginger
Chrysin, also called 5,7-dihydroxyflavone, is a flavone found in honey and propolis (R). Chrysin is a very potent aromatase inhibitor, but its absorption is awful and its excretion rapid.
On a positive note, the methylated version is much better absorbed:
“The methylated flavones showed approximately 5- to 8-fold higher apparent permeability“
Methylated chrysin, found in Thai black ginger, is much better absorbed than regular chrysin. Plus, methylated chrysin is also potent anti-inflammatory comparable to aspirin (R).
If Thai black ginger is too difficult to come by, you can use regular ginger as it also inhibits aromatase. Regular ginger doesn’t contain the methylated chrysin though, or at least only in very small amounts.
Spinach is a good source of bio-available magnesium. Only 100g contains 20% of your daily value of magnesium, which is quite a lot compared to other sources.
Magnesium decreases the activity of aromatase. Make sure you’re not deficient, as a magnesium deficiency promotes aromatase (R).
Another good source of magnesium, which also inhibits aromatase, is cocoa powder – my fav!
#20 Green and black tea
Both green and black tea contain aromatase inhibiting compounds – EGCG and Theaflavin. But yet again, these compounds are also inhibitors of DHT so I would not use them in large amounts to keep estrogen at bay.
For more information on lowering aromatase, check out this article:
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