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Top Diet And Lifestyle Tips To Balance Female Hormones

Top Diet And Lifestyle Tips To Balance Female Hormones
By Raihane Palagi 2 years ago 41091 Views

The female body is a complex system of several hormones working in synergy to regulate physiology, behaviour, and the ability to thrive and reproduce. Hormone balance is a cornerstone of women’s health. Unfortunately, maintaining this natural balance has never been more difficult due to the modern environment we live in and our busy lifestyles. One of the main hormones that is directly impacted by this is oestrogen.


Oestrogen is one of the main sex hormones, produced by women, which is responsible for a number of functions, from regulating menstrual cycles to maintaining bone density,[i] regulating fat stores,[ii] and supporting learning and memory.[iii]

There are three types of oestrogen: oestradiol (most potent and predominant in reproductive years), oestrone (predominant during and after the menopause[iv]), and oestriol (present in large amounts during pregnancy[v]). Through oestrogen metabolism, we also produce different metabolites, some of which can be harmful.


Some women might experience symptoms of ‘oestrogen dominance’, commonly understood as having too much oestrogen in the body. We see it as a state of excessive oestrogenic activity which can involve any or all of the following factors:

Essentially, you could imagine it as a funnel; if we have a lot of oestrogen floating around whilst our body is unhealthy and unable to detoxify effectively, we end up with too much oestrogen, or the wrong types of metabolites.


This can then lead to various symptoms and conditions, including:

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)[xiii]
  • Heavy and painful periods
  • Water retention [xiv]
  • Fibroids[xv]
  • Endometriosis[xvi]
  • Fibrocystic breasts[xvii]
  • Headaches or migraines[xviii]


  • Use natural and organic cosmetics to avoid parabens,[xix] phthalates and other compounds that can act as oestrogen in the body, disrupting hormonal balance.[xx],[xxi] On average, women use 12 personal care products a day, exposing themselves to 168 chemical ingredients.[xxii]
  • Avoid storing food in plastic containers or using cling film which might contain BPA.[xxiii] Even BPA-free plastic is now believed to leak some chemicals.[xxiv] Use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel for food and drink storage and microwaving.
  • Shop receipts are also major source of BPA. [xxv] People who handle receipts frequently have been found to have significantly elevated levels of BPA in their urine.[xxvi] Leave unnecessary receipts and wash your hands after handling then.
  • Filter your water. You can install a water filter to the home mains water supply, or use a countertop water filter such as the Berkey filter.
  • Regular physical activity can help to reduce stress and reduce oestrogen levels. [xxvii]
  • Manage your stress by scheduling daily self-care, practicing meditation or deep-breathing exercises such as the ‘Box Breathing’ technique. Daily journaling and art therapy can also help you unwind and reduce your stress levels.
  • Sleep is your ultimate repair time, so make sure you optimise both the quantity of sleep and the quality.


  • Reduce caffeine as it can increase the production of more potent types of oestrogen,[xxviii] and also decrease your ability to detoxify them effectively.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption as it can increase levels of free unbound oestrogen.[xxix]
  • Buy more organic produce, to reduce your exposure to pesticides. [xxx]
  • Increase phytoestrogen intake from flaxseeds, sesame seeds, tofu and tempeh, which weakly bind to oestrogen receptors, blocking more stimulating types of oestrogen.[xxxi],[xxxii]
  • Have a daily intake of cruciferous vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, and kale) which are great sources of sulphoraphane[xxxiii] and can support the detoxification of oestrogen.
  • Increase your intake of prebiotic-rich foods such as oats, banana, Jerusalem artichoke, chicory, to support a good balance of bacteria and regular bowel movements.
  • Adding a protein source to each meal and reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates can help maintain balanced blood sugar levels.
  • Increase foods rich in antioxidants (brightly coloured fruit & veg, green tea, spices) to reduce inflammation.
  • Maintain good hydration to support elimination.


  • Vitamin B6 and magnesium help with oestrogen balance[xxxiv] and reduces PMS symptoms.[xxxv], [xxxvi]
  • Methylfolate and Calcium-D-Glucarate promote the methylation and glucuronidation pathways – the key pathways for oestrogen detoxification.
  • Rosemary, broccoli extract & Indole-3-Carbinol promote healthy oestrogen detoxification and reduce the pro-inflammatory and harmful metabolites, aiding healthy oestrogen elimination and protecting our cells from damage.[xxxvii], [xxxviii]
  • Green tea reduces circulating oestradiol and insulin, promoting healthy blood glucose levels.[xxxix]
  • Red clover prevents the activity of more stimulating oestrogens,[xl],[xli] and reduces PMS.[xlii]

In addition to the above recommendations, here are a few resources to get you started:

  • ‘Clue’ App for tracking your menstrual cycle.
  • ‘Period Power’ book by Maisie Hill.
  • ‘Hormones in Harmony’ podcast by Vivien Allred.

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[xli] Brzezinski et al. Phytooestrogens: the "natural" selective oestrogen receptor modulators? Eur J Obstet Gynecol 1999;85:47-51.

[xlii] Kim et al. Intake of dietary soy isoflavones in relation to perimenstrual symptoms of Korean women living in the USA Nurs Health Sci. 2006 Jun;8(2):108-13.