Estrogen is a sex hormone that is present (in differing amounts) in both men and women. Whilst there are many benefits of estrogen for both men and women, too much estrogen can have a negative effect. It can lead to body fat gain and increased breast tissue in men, and can cause breast cancer in both men and women. Often times, supplementation is a vital option to control and lower estrogen levels.
There are many foods that are known to boost estrogen production such as soy and flax seeds which are both rich in phytoestrogens. But what about foods that can lower estrogen? In this article we are going to take a look at some of the most effective anti-estrogen foods available.
One thing that we should mention before looking at these foods is that some foods can be quite confusing when it comes to their effect on estrogen. For example we mentioned flax seed earlier as a food that boosts estrogen, but it is often mentioned as a food that can reduce estrogen. This is because phytoestrogens are not estrogens, they are just estrogen-like.
This means that they work in the same way as estrogen, meaning that they can boost the symptoms of estrogen. But studies on post-menopausal women have found that flaxseeds can actually lower estrogen. Confusing? You betcha! Which is why we’re only looking at foods that definitely reduce estrogen.
One of the easiest ways to reduce estrogen is to increase your cruciferous vegetable intake, eating more broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower can help to block estrogen production. They have many other benefits too, helping to lower the risk of several forms of cancer and having an anti-inflammatory effect.
Red grapes have an anti-estrogen effect, but this can come from grapes, seeds, grape juice, and red wine. The compound that causes this is called Resveratrol and it is often sold as an anti-estrogen supplement.
Resveratrol increases testosterone and has an anti-aromatase effect on the body, aromatase being the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Which is obviously something that is best to avoid!
There are many benefits to taking green tea, or green tea extract. Increased fat oxidation (using stored body fat for energy), and increased metabolism being the most well known , but studies have also found that green tea may have an effect on estrogen too! A 2010 study found that drinking green tea may lower the risk of breast cancer . As breast cancer can result from too much estrogen, there definitely seems to be an anti-estrogen effect.
Eating a lot of high-fibre foods may significantly lower estrogen production . A 2009 study on 250 women found that taking over 22g of fibre per day can lead to lower levels of estrogen. While the study focused on women, this should easily apply to men as well. There are so many benefits to a high fibre diet that you should be doing this anyway though.
 Dulloo, A., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., Chantre, P., Vandermander, J. (1999) Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. American Society for Clinical Nutrition 70(6): 1040-1045
 Dai, Q., Shu, XO., Li, H., Yang, G., Shrubsole, M., Cai, H., Ji, B., Wen, W., Franke, A., Gao, YT., Zheng, W. 2010. Is green tea drinking associated with a later onset of breast cancer? Annals of Epidemiology 20(1): 74-81
 Gaskins, A., Mumford, S., Zhang, C., Wactawski-Wende, J., Hovey, K., Whitcomb, B., Howards, P., Perkins, N., Yeung, E., Schisterman, E. 2009. Effect of daily fibre intake on reproductive function: the BioCycle study. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 90(4): 1061-1069