Recently I've been reading up on foods that are more estrogenic and trying to avoid those. I think this has been helpful for me. I slipped back into a chocolate phase (even with taking a high-end Mag. supp nightly without fail!) Some of the estrogenic foods I've been trying to avoid include: chocolate, rosemary (I abuse this herb!), sunflower seeds (I used to crave these a lot---even the unsalted kind!), flax (I knew about this but occasionally had it in muffin recipes). I know there are many others out there!
Do you want to share your list? There are only a few highly estrogenic plant foods that I know of...of course eating red meats and saturated fats are obviously highly estrogenic, and are not recommended on the Cycle diet for more reasons than having an estrogenic effect in the body.
Soy is one of the foods with the highest plant estrogen (isoflavones), but it's also one of the top 8 food allergens and many may also have a sensitivity to the soy proteins. Yams and flaxseed are also quite estrogenic but we tend to eat more sweet potatoes in the US except at Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes have smaller amounts of plant estorgens. Flaxseeds offer plant ligans that are weak estrogens so should reduce estrogenic signaling in the cell. However some menopausal women may actually benefit from soy, yams and flaxseed. However if you have a history of breast or ovarian cancer, or uterine fibroids I might suggest avoiding soy but not so much flax. I also worry about the problems with GMO soy vs. non-GMO soy. I would always suggest non-GMO or organic for that reason.
The foods and beverages that cause more problems and should be limited for their estrogenic effects are Number #1- SUGAR. After sugar, DAIRY (casein & lactose), gluten (if sensitive or celiac), alcohol, caffeine and animal saturated fats. I am still not crazy about coconut oil if someone has a lot of inflammation. Coconut oil can still add fuel to the flame of inflammation. Some believe it has benefits due to it's medium chain fatty acid profile which is used faster than saturated fats but again not for someone with a low threshold for pain.
Sunflower seeds are news to me, but not surprising due to their high fatty acid profile. Rosemary could definitely be estrogenic but again I would only suggest using it as a flavoring for cooking not as a supplement.
I also worry about BPA and food additives & preservatives. We have several studies now pointing at a HUGE problem with BPA and CANNED FOODs, so it doesn't matter if you're avoiding high estrogenic foods if you're eating a lot of canned foods.
I rarely suggest canned foods, but even many frozen foods are in plastic bags.
Now....Instead of concentrating on worrying about highly estrogenic foods focus on eating foods that help clear these compounds out of the body including excess estrogen: Broccoli, spinach, kale, oat meal (if you can tolerate it) all organic lettuce and field greens. Lots of soluble fiber but not too much to cause diarrhea
I love that you are a wealth of knowledge! yes def. sugar, soy, alcohol and caffeine! I think it's also important to avoid using some of these estrogenic foods/herbs on the skin since they do not get filtered out by the liver but rather travel directly into your bloodstream. Lavender is highly estrogenic (and I have ALWAYS been bothered by the smell of it). Others that come to mind include chamomile, pomegranate, dates and beer. Also be mindful of what ingredients are in your laundry detergent---have you looked at the ingredient list lately...scary! We shouldnt be putting that stuff on our skin!
You bring up more possibilities for exposure to chemicals that we don't know much about!! It is so scary now to even fathom the chemical mixture a woman can have on her skin, hair, clothing (dry cleaning chemicals)...I really don't want to think about it.
I eliminated some of these things from my life about a year ago, and definitely saw/felt a difference. I also got a water faucet filter, and even make my ice cubes from it! And I threw out all plastic containers, now use Pyrex; oh, and no longer microwave with plastic wrap.
Very recently I heard about the BPA in canned foods, specifically tomatoes. ack! That's the only canned food we eat (mainly for soups and stews), but still. The article said that Trader Joe's has one kind in a box, but I haven't checked yet.