Are you taking estradiol? If so, it’s important to understand that your diet may affect how this medication works. Even though the medication puts a lot of power in your hands when managing hormone levels, certain foods can interfere with its effectiveness and make the journey more difficult than necessary.
This blog post will look at the foods to avoid while taking estradiol.
So, if you’ve been struggling with estrogen-related issues such as PMS or menopause symptoms and are taking estradiol, read on to find out which items should be kept off your plate.
What is Estradiol?
Estradiol is a key female hormone that can be used to help women manage many aspects of their health and well-being. Its uses range from relieving menopause symptoms like hot flashes to treating low estrogen levels due to ovarian failure. It does so by restoring hormonal balance in the body and can provide much-needed relief. Estradiol is also beneficial against breast cancer and osteoporosis.
This medication comes in four convenient forms:
- An oral tablet
- Topical gel/patch
- Vaginal cream
- Injectable form
So you have plenty of options when it’s time for treatment. But always consult your doctor before making any medicinal changes. Estradiol may have certain risks associated with it.
Foods to Avoid While Taking Estradiol
1. Meat Products
Red meat and processed foods such as sausages, hot dogs, luncheon meats, and bacon are high in saturated fat. Eating foods like these can increase the amount of estradiol in your body, making it difficult to get the desired results. As a result, it’s best to avoid foods high in saturated fat while taking estradiol.
If you’re a fan of fish, make sure to avoid foods like swordfish and shark, which contain high levels of mercury. Mercury can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize estradiol and can be dangerous to your health.
2. Dairy Products
While some people may be able to tolerate dairy products while taking estradiol, foods like cheese, cream, and butter should be avoided. Dairy foods contain high amounts of estrogen, which can interfere with the function of estradiol.
It’s also important to note that foods high in fat, such as ice cream, can increase estradiol levels in your body. As such, it’s best to avoid foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat and sugar.
3. Soy Products
Soy foods such as tofu, edamame, tempeh, and soy milk contain phytoestrogens. This type of estrogen can cause your body to produce more natural estradiol, which could interfere with the effects of the medication. Therefore, soy products are among the foods to avoid while taking estradiol. If you’re looking for a non-dairy alternative, try almond milk instead.
4. Alfalfa Sprouts
Alfalfa sprouts are the immature shoots of the alfalfa plant. Since the bigger bitter leaves can’t be used in the culinary world, sprouts are often used in salads and sandwiches. While they may be a healthy addition to your diet (rich in vitamins K and C), alfalfa sprouts contain a high amount of plant estrogens which can interfere with the effects of estradiol. And so, you must avoid this food.
As an alternative, try adding other foods, such as radish sprouts, broccoli sprouts, and kale sprouts, to your meals.
5. Garlic and Onions
The two staples of cooking: garlic and onion, are used in almost all food recipes. While garlic adds aroma and flavor to foods, onion gives a nice texture and a perk-me-up taste. So, whether it’s a soup or a salad, you’re likely to find garlic and onions in there.
Unfortunately, garlic and onion contain compounds that can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb estradiol. But don’t worry. You can replace garlic with shallots and onions with chives or leeks without compromising the taste.
Have you ever tried the fennel bulb? It’s a crunchy vegetable with an aromatic flavor. Fennel is an incredibly good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. But, being a leafy green vegetable, it contains phytoestrogens which don’t do well when taking estradiol.
So, foods like celery, parsley, and carrots can be used as a substitute for fennel. However, it’s always best to practice caution with vegetables.
The citrusy flavor of grapefruit, paired with its effectiveness against weight gain, makes it a popular choice for a healthy snack. People usually enjoy it as a juice or a whole fruit. But grapefruit interacts with the body’s enzymes responsible for metabolizing estradiol. And so it’s off-limits for the duration of your estradiol treatment.
8. Whole Grain Bread
The list of foods to avoid while taking estradiol might seem exhaustive by now, but it’s crucial to bear in mind. In this list comes whole grain bread too. Whole grain bread is rich in dietary fiber, selenium, and magnesium. But it also contains lignans, which are plant estrogens. Therefore, you should avoid foods like whole-grain bread and oats while taking estradiol.
As an alternative, you can choose foods like quinoa and brown rice, which are rich in fiber and low in lignans.
9. Dry Fruits
The crunchy and chewy texture of dry fruits has made them a popular snack choice. Their nutrient content is impressive, with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. But it would help if you avoided dates, figs, and plums, as they are high in phytoestrogens.
Sadly, you can’t replace the mentioned dry fruits with any other snack. But you can always try a handful of low-lignan foods like apples and melons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Take Estradiol During Pregnancy?
No, it’s not recommended to take estradiol during pregnancy. Consult your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication while pregnant.
Can I Take Estradiol with Other Medications?
Yes, but it’s advised to talk to your doctor first. Some medications may interact with estradiol and can cause serious side effects. For instance, certain antibiotics, seizure medications, and blood thinners can interfere with the effect of estradiol.
Which Form of Estradiol Is Best?
The best form of estradiol depends on your health condition and symptoms. For instance, a patch of estradiol may be the best option if you suffer from heavy bleeding. Talk to your doctor to discuss which option works best for you.
Estradiol is an effective medication used for all things related to estrogen levels. But some foods can interfere with its absorption. So, it’s important to be aware of foods to avoid while taking estradiol.
High phytoestrogen foods, foods with lignans, foods containing garlic and onions, grapefruit, and whole grain bread are among the top picks. You must also avoid meat, eggs, and dairy as they are high in animal estrogens.
But your doctor is the best person to speak to about foods to avoid while taking estradiol. They can provide you with detailed and personalized advice. Maybe there are foods your body can tolerate, but it’s best to be cautious.