Top 5 Foods for Estrogen Detoxification

It’s time for Friday Five! This week, I’m detailing the Top 5 Foods for Estrogen Detoxification…

  1. Flaxseed: flaxseed contains phenolic compounds called lignans, which bind to old and excess estrogens in the body and remove them via the digestive tract. I advise my clients to have 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed in their breakfast smoothie every morning (buy the flaxseed whole, grind at home and store in the freezer to avoid inflammatory oxidation.
  2. Broccoli: broccoli and its cruciferous cousins such as cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy and brussel sprouts contain glucobrassicin, the glucosinolate precursor of indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and subsequently Diindolylmethane (DIM). These compounds, in combination with sulforaphane (also found in cruciferous veggies), can help upregulate estrogen metabolite detoxification pathways in the gut and liver. Aim for at least 3-4 servings of cruciferous veggies a week, or once daily if you struggle with estrogen dominance.
  3. Salmon: wild-caught salmon is a fantastic source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the type of omega-3 fatty acid that helps us increase the formation of 2-hydroxy estrogens – the “good” estrogens. I recommend eating wild-caught oily fish 3 times a week, and we always purchase ours from Butcher Box  (order before 2/16 and receive 2lbs of wild-caught salmon, and 2 filet mignon steaks for free)!
  4. Eggs: eggs from pasture-raised chickens are wonderfully beneficial for our hard-working livers, which have to detoxify all estrogen metabolites (think ‘waste products’ that are produced from estrogen that has been ‘used’ by the body). They contain B Vitamins, an essential co-factor in detoxification, the antioxidant glutathione, also essential for efficient detoxification and sulfur which is needed for the P450 phase (or Phase 1)  of detoxification.
  5. Garlic and onions: plus other prebiotic-rich foods such as leeks, asparagus, and artichokes. Prebiotic compounds pass through the upper part of your gastrointestinal tract undigested and are fermented by your gut microflora in the small intestine and colon. This fermentation creates short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate, acetate, and propionate, which is used as fuel by the gut microflora. All estrogen metabolites have to be detoxified via the digestive system, which is why a healthy GI tract is essential for healthy estrogen balance.

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