Now estrogen isn’t so bad, it gives us our curvy hips and breasts, and it’s the cause of our voluptuous femininity. We need enough estrogen to ovulate, as it is helping build the tissues in our uterus to create a home for the fertilized egg, as well as helping the pre-fertilized egg grow and mature to burst through the follicle.
So how does excess estrogen, from Xenoestrogens or poor detoxification, affect our body?
With excess estrogen, our body may be building up too much uterine lining, causing very heavy menstrual periods or even Endometriosis, Fibroids, or PCOS.
Also, if we are under a lot of stress and our diet has been filled with more meals consisting of processed foods, our liver may be having difficulty performing all of its cleaning up and filtering functions such as breaking down excess hormones.
During the Follicular and Ovulatory phases of the female monthly cycle, estrogen is rising and is at the highest peak of your cycle. After ovulation occurs, it is time for progesterone to kick in. If your body is not metabolizing estrogen well and breaking it down to eliminate it, higher levels will remain and this can create an imbalanced ratio of estrogen to progesterone, causing estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of progesterone is relatively low to estrogen. This is a major cause behind PMS symptoms: breast tenderness, irritability, cramping, etc.
So, as I mentioned in the previous blog post, your biggest defense is going to eat Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and collards, because they break down in the liver and produce Indol-3-Carbinol, which breaks down estrogen. Large quantities of these veggies in our diets are necessary to produce enough of this Indole-3-Carbinol to do its job.
So you’re feeling more motivated to eat these veggies and are ready to eat them in larger quantities. But you’re thinking… how can I eat more of these green tasting vegetables in one sitting?… By cooking them in a delicious sauce, of course!
I’ve turned up the heat with my “Orange Szechwan Broccoli” with spicy ginger and chili flakes. Not a spice lover? Reduce the ginger and chili flakes in half or less. But this dish is sure to get your digestion going while doing its magic in metabolizing estrogen!
This recipe can be a complimentary side dish for lunch or dinner, or served over brown rice. Sprinkle additional sesame seeds for more protein. The broccoli still has a crunch to it, as it is not meant to be over-cooked because cooking can reduce the amount of Indol-3-Carbinol that is produced. Remember the brown lunch broccoli from hot lunches in the cafeteria? That broccoli’s nutrients were cooked away with the loss of color!
Enjoy this recipe and stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog post series: “Menopause and Estrogen.” <3 Allie
Serves: 2 servings
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (reduce to half if sensitive to spice)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (reduce to half if sensitive to spice)
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 bunch broccoli (2 heads)
3 Tablespoons coconut vinegar
6 Tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed (1-2 oranges)
2 ½ Tablespoons Tamari, wheat free and organic
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
¼ teaspoon honey (optional)
¼ teaspoon sesame seeds
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