The Oestrogen Effect
Exciting research is being carried out into the possible role of oestrogen in protecting against Covid 19.
Oestrogen and Covid 19
We know from the infection and fatality statistics that men are more likely than wo
men to contract the virus, have more serious symptoms and more likely to die from it. Also, that older women are more susceptible than pre-menopause.
Oestrogen is very important for our immunity. It helps to create more disease-fighting cells and makes them more efficient.
There are other factors that may affect the outcomes for post-menopausal women including obesity and Type 2 diabetes which are known to increase the risks from the Covid virus.
Natural Oestrogen Boosters
While we await the results of the research you can take steps to increase your intake of phytoestrogens which are found in plants found in plants.
Phytoestrogens are oestrogen hormone-like compounds that can help to balance your hormones and reduce hot flushes and night sweats. They are naturally occurring in plant foods and readily absorbed in the digestive system. They are present in three types:
- Isoflavones – found in soy (tofu, miso and tempeh), chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans. Eat a variety of these foods in order to get a balance of isoflavones. Two of the best foods for breast health* are tofu and miso (Glenville 1997).
- Lignans – found in flaxseeds (linseeds), sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, brown rice, oats, broccoli, and carrots. Lignans have a balancing effect on oestrogen and the fibre content helps to remove excess oestrogens through the bowels.
- Coumestans – found in split peas, pinto beans, lima beans, sprouted mung beans and alfalfa beans
An easy change you can make is to include linseed in your diet. You can sprinkle it over your breakfast cereal or add it to your smoothies and baking recipes. You can also buy linseed oil to use in salad dressings. You can see some recipes and buy good quality linseed from The Linseed Farm.
Miso is a fermented form of soya and is readily available now. You can use it in soups, stews and stir fries. For busy women, you can buy an instant miso soup which is very tasty.
There is more advice for nutrition at menopause including recipes in ‘Cool Recipes for Hot Women’.
For more help with your menopause contact me today
*Medical advice used to be that you should avoid phytoestrogens if you have been diagnosed with oestrogen-receptor –positive breast cancer. However current advice (Goldman, 2010) is that phytoestrogens may be beneficial but more research is required. Women in this situation can include phytoestrogens in their diet but should avoid phytoestrogen tablets. If you are currently being treated for breast cancer, speak to your GP or oncologist.