8 Ways to Minimize Toxic Estrogen Exposure

Moodiness, fatigue, cravings, acne breakouts, bloating and uncontrollable emotions…these are common issues women face during puberty, pregnancy, and their menstrual cycle when hormones are “raging!” As women, we hate feeling this way, and most men get a little anxious when the women around them are experiencing this influx of estrogen. But did you know that an increase of estrogen can actually be more than just a nuisance and indeed incredibly dangerous for both women AND men (and not just if they make insensitive remarks!)?

Estrogen is a hormone that is produced primarily in the ovaries in women and in the testes in men. No, it isn’t always an enemy—problems arise when estrogen levels are out of balance. We know that the key to many chronic conditions in our society is hormonal imbalance. In women, we are seeing an increase in the prevalence of breast cancer, endometriosis, and infertility when estrogen levels are too high. It is also possible for men to have excessive estrogen which leads to an increased risk of prostate cancer, weight gain, and low libido.

So, why are we seeing this increase of estrogen in both men and women? The presence of xenoestrogens and other chemical estrogens in our environment is one of the reasons. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors (which affect hormone signaling) and can also mimic estrogen in their structure. Endocrine disruptors can be found in shampoos and conditioners, air fresheners, house cleaners, and also in your food—we’re going to focus on that aspect in this post.

Here are 8 ways to minimize toxic estrogen exposure:

1. Limit processed foods. We can’t repeat this advice enough, yet the encouragement to cut out processed foods is for a different reason this time. Xenoestrogens, such as BPA, are found in the lining of packages which permeate the food stored inside of them.

2. Add more cruciferous veggies. Indole 3 carbinol is a powerful antioxidant found in cruciferous veggies (read: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.) that metabolizes excess estrogen in the body.

3. Use glass or stainless steel containers. Skip the plastic or styrofoam as they leach estrogen-like compounds into your food, especially when they are heated.

4. Be selective. If you tolerate dairy, choose organic since this method ensures that no hormones or antibiotics were used to treat the cows. (And choose grass-fed whenever possible for added vitamins and nutrients!)

5. Choose organic for the “dirty dozen.” These are fruits and veggies that are traditionally loaded with pesticides when grown conventionally. Pesticides are xenoestrogens, so choosing organic eliminates that source.

6. Incorporate flaxseed. Adding ground flaxseed to your smoothies, yogurt, and baked goods is an easy way to add healthy phytoestrogens to your diet. Good phytoestrogens can block the negative effects xenoestrogens have on your cells, and phytoestrogens are shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer.

7. Eliminate soy products. We don’t recommend soy based on the inconclusive and controversial studies surrounding its use. Some studies have suggested that high concentrations of soy isoflavones contribute to breast cancer. In addition, soy isoflavones can disrupt normal thyroid hormone function.

8. Supplement your diet. Supplementation is not only beneficial, but sometimes necessary for getting rid of extra, unnecessary estrogen. SynerVive™ is a comprehensive herbal and antioxidant blend that specifically helps your body metabolize and detoxify synthetic estrogens, as well as promote a healthy production of good estrogens. We generally recommend this as a daily supplement for women of all ages, and also for men who are experiencing any signs of estrogen toxicity, as outlined earlier in this post. Men can also benefit from Testralin to keep their hormones balanced and block excess estrogen activity. DIM is another hormonal support supplement we suggest taking in conjunction with Estrofactors—especially for women who are trying to lose weight. Meta I 3 C is the other key hormonal balancing supplement we generally recommend because of its ability to promote healthy estrogen metabolism by breaking down extra estrogen that doesn’t need to be there.

While there is still plenty of research to be done on this topic, nearly all of these tips are beneficial for other health reasons too, so be proactive and start implementing these hormone balancing instructions today! For individualized recommendations, be sure to meet with one of our licensed dietitian coaches this week who can get you on track to balancing your hormones.

  • Abby House

    This is so valid! But, missing one very important point. The most common, and most potent, source of exogenous estrogen in America is hormonal contraception. Why would we be so careful to stay clear of all of these hidden estrogens, but yet consciously bombard our bodies with unnatural estrogens in pill form?! Hormonal contraception, better known as “birth control,” overrides your body’s own natural capability to regulate itself. Normally, estrogen fluctuates cyclically, and this is the way our bodies were made to do it. Hormonal contraception does NOT vary the amount of estrogen your body is getting daily, but instead gives a very large dose so as to suppress your body’s normal hormone production. This results in a variety of health consequences. Women should consider more natural, fertility-based methods of family planning to best protect their natural body’s function and appreciate our body’s beautiful and intelligent creation.

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Hi Abby! YES, you are right! We agree with you, that birth control and hormone replacement therapy are sources of toxic estrogen levels and we chose to leave those out of this article, mostly because we wanted to focus on food and lifestyle—the world of contraception and HRT is widely complex and complicated and that could be an entire post of its own. We coach people to choose a more natural method of pregnancy prevention, period regulation and help them find the best fit for them when they are working with us in individual appointments, however, for the sake of this blog post, we tried to keep it more simple and free of pharmaceuticals. Everyone has different backgrounds and reasons why they are using birth control and that is something that is best worked out during a coaching session so we can not only give our clients advice but also respect their choice on the matter. Thanks for your input and for pointing this out! 🙂

      • Chelsae Wagner

        Hello ladies! Can you do a blog about healthy forms of birth control? I am about to get married and I want something reliable. I am currently using wild yam cream. Thoughts on this? Thank you so much!

        • Kateathealthysimplelife

          Hi Chelsae! We really aren’t very familiar with wild yam cream, and recommend meeting with a Dietitian Coach to discuss natural forms of birth control (http://healthysimplelife.com/contact/). And congratulations on getting married!

  • Lindsay

    I feel absolutely awful two weeks before my period. It lasts for over a week. I am super depressed, irritable, weepy, basically psychotic. 🙂 We have a very limited budget. What would you consider the most important change to make if that is even possible? 🙂

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Hi Lindsay, you aren’t alone! We see plenty of clients who deal with these very symptoms. Our clients have the greatest success when adding Estrofactors into their regimen (#8 above) 4 times per day (https://rfvitamins.com/products/estrofactors/) and eating lots of broccoli, cabbage, Brussels Sprouts and other cruciferous veggies (#2 above) which can help detoxify excess estrogen—and since you have to eat carbohydrates anyway, we’d recommend adding these as your main carb source. Our coaches are always willing to work through things with you, too! (http://healthysimplelife.com/contact/)

      • Lindsay

        Hi Kate, thank you for your response. I think I will go ahead and purchase the Estrofactors. Would I get by if I only took two per day instead of four? Would I still see a change? The vitamins are a bit pricey if I were to take four per day. 🙂

        • Kateathealthysimplelife

          Two per day is certainly better than none at all—and you should see improvement, especially if you’re following some of the other suggestions in this post (like including more cruciferous veggies!). The results may not happen as quickly as you’re hoping, but it will help!

  • Hannah

    What about soy protein isolate?

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Hi Hannah! We recommend avoiding soy whenever possible, including in protein powders. If you’re looking for an alternative to whey protein, we suggest using Paleomeal DF (https://rfvitamins.com/products/paleomeal-df/), a vegan alternative to soy proteins.

  • Gareth Hailes

    Harvard say dairy products account for 60 to 80 percent of the estrogen consumed in the typical American diet.
    Drinking organic milk is no protection, the estrogen is from the pregnant cows not hormones fed to them.
    You don’t recommend soy because of the inconclusive and controversial studies surrounding it’s use?
    What about the studies that conclusively prove dairy is responsible for a whole bunch of cancers?

    • Kateathealthysimplelife

      Hi Gareth! While we don’t typically recommend dairy (we don’t believe you need it and can get all of the necessary nutrients from other real food sources), we like to meet people where they are, and for many, that means they are not ready to give up dairy. For those who decide to include it in their diet, we recommend full fat organic dairy for many reasons, a large one being it doesn’t have nearly the insulinogenic effect that low fat dairy has on blood sugar levels. Hormones are indeed given to cows to increase milk production, and many non-organic dairy products are produced using milk from cows treated with rBGH, not to mention the increase in antibiotic use in cows treated with rBGH potentially leading to antibiotic resistant bacteria. There are also studies that show dairy from cows treated with growth hormones have higher IGF-1 levels, and a relationship between higher IGF-1 levels and several types of cancers. There are many published studies that also show a reduction in cancer risk (colorectal cancer specifically) with increased dairy consumption, so because of so many conflicting studies, we suggest choosing the best quality dairy available if you choose to include it in your diet, or, keep it simple and avoid it altogether. As far as soy goes, for the same reasons as we don’t recommend dairy—the inconclusive and controversial studies—we recommend keeping it simple and just avoid soy as well. You don’t need either in the diet, and if you’re someone who is trying to avoid added hormone exposure, these are two ways to do it.

What our clients say