As women in mid-life, it’s impossible to ignore the subject of female hormones and how they affect our health.
It’s a HUGE topic, and one that we will be addressing more and more over the coming weeks.
That being said, our hormone health depends on many factors, one of which involves how we excrete estrogen from our bodies.
To have a deeper understanding of the science, we are going to get a little geeky on you for a minute 🤓:
- The estrogen we produce needs to be detoxified and excreted from the body after use.
- One of the processes involves breaking down the estrogen via three different pathways, known in scientific shorthand as 2-OH, 4-OH and 16-OH.
- Though typically all three pathways are used, research has shown that women who favor using the more protective 2-OH path are healthier and have fewer menopausal symptoms and other risk factors.
- Those women who favor 4-OH or 16-OH paths in disproportionate amounts may be more susceptible to things like breast cancer, breast tenderness, migraines, clotting, osteoporosis, mood swings, fatigue, and so on.
Though there are several ways we can help steer our bodies toward the healthier 2-OH path, today we wanted to highlight one of them, specifically, the Brassica family of veggies.
Otherwise known as cruciferous vegetables, the Brassica family includes such superstars as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, arugula, mustard greens, turnips, watercress, and radishes.
This “family” is most famous for producing two major “food is medicine” compounds that can help our bodies favor more beneficial detox pathways.
These compounds are known as sulphoraphane and indole-3-carbinol (IC-3).
This is precisely why we are crazy for crucifers, in addition to the fact that they can also help lower risk for heart disease, cancer, and other chronic disesases.
Ready to include more of these veggies into your daily fare? We suggest including a couple portions a day whenever possible. Here are some ideas:
- Add shredded red or green cabbage, radishes, shredded Brussels sprouts, chopped cauliflower, or diced or shredded broccoli to salads (look for organic pre-made slaw in the supermarket for convenience)
- Use arugula as a salad green more often
- 2 words – cauliflower rice (use instead of rice, add to smoothies, add to baked goods, the uses are endless)
- Add broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage to stir fries, soups, sauces, eggs
Let us know – what is YOUR most loved cruciferous veggie, and your favorite way to prepare it?
By the way, cruciferous veggies is just one of the superfoods we highlight in PM Meal Mastery. We developed this simple program to help take the guesswork out of what to eat to feel great and support the body’s changing needs in peri and post menopause.
Jane and Stephanie help women over 50 create sustainable healthy eating habits so they can feel empowered heading into retirement. Their 3-pronged approach, which can fit into any lifestyle, encompasses not only wholesome energizing foods but powerful habit and mindset shifts.