Estrogen is one of the most important hormones created by the ovaries and is responsible for women’s secondary sex characteristics: breast growth, the menstrual cycle, body form. What most people don’t realize is that men also have a specific level of estrogen in their bodies, but it is adequately balanced by high levels of testosterone.
Many of the foods we eat have estrogen-like properties that can increase the level of the hormone in our bodies. While this may be beneficial for some people, men, in particular, can be negatively affected.
How Estrogen levels can affect you?
Low estrogen in women  can result in the cessation of the menstrual cycle and even cause delayed development in young girls. Women under the age of 40 who have very low estrogen can experience premature menopause, resulting in hot flashes and night sweats 
How Low Estrogen Levels affect Women in Other Ways:
- Decreased libido
- Painful intercourse
- Irregular periods
- Bladder infections 
- Mood changes
- Bone loss
Estrogen is produced primarily by the ovaries in women and can be synthesized from excess fat cells as well. Some estrogen is produced by the adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys. The signal for estrogen production comes from the pituitary gland, with levels varying depending on the stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Can Estrogen Level affects Men too?
Having elevated levels of estrogen can have negative effects on a woman’s body in a similar fashion to low estrogen, with increased estrogen levels being more serious in men. Elevated levels of estrogen can be found in cases of male menopause  —an age-related change in male hormone levels. Symptoms of high estrogen in men are:
- Infertility: Due to decreased production of sperm
- Gynecomastia: The development of male breasts
- Erectile dysfunction: Adequate levels of testosterone is required for male libido
Estrogen rich foods
If you happen to be experiencing symptoms of low estrogen, there exist several foods that are estrogen-rich that may help. While they don’t provide exactly the same hormones synthesized in the human body, they do create phytoestrogen, a plant-based estrogen that mimics real estrogen when processed by the body. It goes without saying that you should avoid these foods if you’re worried about high estrogen levels.
The following is a list of foods that are known to contain high amounts of estrogen:
A rich source of phytoestrogens, soy comes in a variety of easy-to-consume options such as soy milk, tofu, or edamame beans. Soy products are thought to contain the greatest source of isoflavones, a class of phytoestrogen that can be easily consumed in your diet. Soy is also a great source of protein, making it an ideal choice for meat replacement in vegans and vegetarians.
Flax seeds 
These little seeds are said to contain up to three times the phytoestrogens of soybeans, but your body will not reap their benefit unless they are cracked or ground prior to consumption. Also high in fiber, flaxseeds will make you feel full and may aid in weight loss and in the reduction of cholesterol.
Sesame seeds 
Whole seed s and even sesame oil contain lignans (a chemical compound found in plants) which possess phytoestrogens. The seeds are loaded with fiber and are a great source of minerals.
They are relatively high in phytoestrogens but don’t get much attention. Beans are instead well known for having a high fiber content, which helps to manage cholesterol levels . Types of beans include peas, pinto beans, and lima beans
Not only a healthy snack, dried fruit contains modest amounts of phytoestrogens. It is advised to limit how much you eat, as dried fruit does contain a lot of calories. Dried fruits such apricots, dates, and prunes are good sources.
Wheat bran is a reliable way to get a dose of phytoestrogens into the body. It can be found in everything from muffins, bread, and cereals.
Several types of nuts such as pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts are all great sources of phytoestrogens.
These are naturally low in calories and carbohydrates, making them a great choice if looking to get a dose of phytoestrogen in the diet.
A great source of phytoestrogens that also are high in fiber and protein.
Olives and olive oil
They have a bevy of healthy effects on your hair, skin, nails, and heart, and they are also great for your hormone levels
Knowing how you can take control of your body can be empowering, especially when it is as simple as modifying your diet. But it is important to know that hormones can have several unwanted effects when they become unregulated, especially in those who are young and still developing. For menopausal women, it is important to speak to your primary care physician about your symptoms. It is also wise to mention all your herbal medications and diet changes, such as the ones mentioned, to give them a better idea of how to best relieve your particular symptoms and get you back to enjoying life.
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