Anti-Estrogen Blocking Foods: The Gastronomic Way of Boosting Testosterone

Mihai Voinea
Medically reviewed by Mihai Voinea Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) — Research analysis by Alex Eriksson

Anti-estrogen blocking foods and other testosterone boosters are needed now more than ever—especially since there seems to be an increased risk of death in cases where low testosterone remains unresolved for years.

Besides, with the increasingly aging male population in the US, the number of men suffering from androgen deficiency will only continue to rise. Androgen deficiency is a signal that a person has excess estrogen levels (or in other words, estrogen dominance).

​If low estrogen is accompanied by osteoporosis, fracture, erectile dysfunction, or low sex drive, and there’s also diminished physical performance, lethargy, depression, or sleep disturbance, it may be indicative of androgen deficiency.



​Bringing the Fight to Estrogen Dominance

If you suspect you’re suffering from low testosterone, you could use a home test kit that allows you to check your hormone levels using your saliva as sample. In terms of sheer convenience, a saliva hormone test kit can’t be beat.

But if you want greater accuracy and probably a cheaper price, you should do a blood test. Your doctor will also prefer a blood test for diagnosis of low testosterone. 

​If, on the other hand, you’re not yet ready for any of those options and the symptoms you’re experiencing are quite minimal, you should check our list of anti-estrogen foods that can help boost your testosterone level.

​The term “anti-estrogenic” is synonymous to “androgenic”. Testosterone, as a reproductive hormone, is classified as androgenic or anti-estrogenic.

​Anti-estrogenic foods either prevent estrogen from interacting with its receptors or suppress the production of the so-called female hormone.

By using pregnenolone cream or pregnenolone supplements, the levels of the compound in the body increases, and this brings about various benefits such as fatigue relief, and delay of the aging process.

White Button Mushroom

​If you’ve come across the term “aromatase inhibitor” and are looking for one food item with this capacity to incorporate to your diet, this is the one that we recommend.

For those who are new to the concept, this type of inhibitor hinders the production of estrogen—though typically used on women in their postmenopausal years. 

white button mushrooms

This inhibitor is given as a form of medication. When ingested, it stops the enzyme aromatase, which is responsible for turning androgen into little amounts of estrogen.

The blocking action causes the body to produce less oestrogens, which in turn means less stimulation and growth of breast cancer cells. There’s a downside though—aromatase inhibitors can cause weakening of bones.

It’s possible that aromatase inhibitors (whether as meds or food) could limit cancer cell growth in other types of cancer, such as prostate cancer. We hope that research will be geared towards testing this in the future.

​Now What About Men?

Take note: we’re talking about white button mushrooms, not just any type of mushrooms. We know that all mushrooms have health-boosting properties, but not all of them can support androgenic activity. 

The difference lies in the ability of some types to inhibit 5-AR or 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into a more potent androgen called DHT or Dihydrotestosterone.

Many mushroom types inhibit 5-AR. White button mushroom also has the same effect, but to a significantly lower degree. In fact, white button mushroom has the lowest inhibitory action among all types of mushrooms, with the effect only reaching a maximum of 2.5%.

One study suggests that the anti-estrogenic effect of white button mushroom depends the amount consumed. It means that the more you consume, the greater your ability to control estrogen.

Still, don’t forget that aromatase inhibitors can cause weakening of bones. Therefore, if you’re planning to load up on mushrooms, at least have your bone density checked first—your doctor might recommend that you take bone-strengthening meds just to be sure. 

pomegranate

Pomegranate

Are your testes shrinking? Do you currently have problems with your sperm count or maybe the volume of your ejaculation?

Well, pomegranates might just turn your life around.

Researchers have discovered that the fruit can normalize testicle size among aged rats. While this is only an animal study, it does highlight pomegranate’s potential as a health food for men.

The fruit doesn’t block the body’s estrogen receptors. Rather, it increases testosterone by up to 24%—an impressive number in the context of natural T-boosters.

We recommend that together with pomegranates, you should also take DIM (diindolylmethane). This keeps testosterone unbound or free, and being unbound means that the hormone can spread and penetrate cells—wherever its effects are needed.

If you’re trying to avoid supplements or anything synthetic, you should consider eating cruciferous vegetables. What cruciferous vegetables do is supply the body with indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that yields DIM upon being broken down.

Therefore, if you have pomegranates and DIM at the same time, you get a powerful team that supplies you with testosterone and keeps the hormone free for use by your cells. 

There’s much more to pomegranates being a health-enhancing agent:

  • It helps lower blood pressure.

If you have pomegranates and DIM at the same time, you get a powerful team that supplies you with testosterone and keeps the hormone free for use by your cells.

By using pregnenolone cream or pregnenolone supplements, the levels of the compound in the body increases, and this brings about various benefits such as fatigue relief, and delay of the aging process.

Cruciferous Vegetables

​We’ve already talked about the DIM advantage of cruciferous vegetables. We are including this section because there’s much more to know about them.

These vegetables are loaded with chlorophyll—the green pigment found in plants. And yes, chlorophyll has been found to have a testosterone-increasing effect.

broccoli

That’s courtesy of the vitamin E that is in chlorophyll.

What’s the relationship? Well, vitamin E reduces stress.

When stress is reduced, the body doesn’t produce too much cortisol, a steroid hormone that suppresses testosterone production.

One particular cruciferous vegetable to mention is cabbage—eat it daily and you might just be able to cut your estrogen level by half. Also, cabbage has sterols which can further keep estrogen under control.

Of course, don’t forget to load your plate with the other cruciferous such as watercress, radish, turnip, cauliflower, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli.

We can’t give you all the details about these food choices in this short space. But we guarantee that they are a must for any healthy anti-estrogen diet.

​The Maca Controversy

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) also belongs to the cruciferous group. If you want to have more DIM in your system, this vegetable is a suitable alternative to cabbage, kale, and other common cruciferous vegetables.

The problem with Maca though, is that it’s been associated with somewhat conflicting claims. In some cases, it’s even considered an estrogen enhancer despite the existence of studies proving otherwise.

As you’d expect, there are also those in support of using this cruciferous root vegetable to boost the male hormone—and unfortunately, Maca doesn’t seem to offer much in this aspect either.

Well, even if it doesn’t have any direct influence on your hormonal balance, it does have a proven and rather impressive aphrodisiac effect.

​However, with it being more expensive than other sources of DIM and assuming that you’re not really after raising your libido, it might be better to simply choose from the other cruciferous vegetables we’ve listed.

Olive Oil and Coconut Oil

Not all oils are bad—you just have to make sure that you’re going for the right kinds. In fact, if you’ve been spending on testosterone supplements, you will see that some ingredients in these are actually oils.

What’s in olive oil though? What makes it stand out from other commonly available oils?

olive oil

For one, it can supply you with good amounts of lutropin, a substance that has been proven to limit aromatase.

Olive oil has also been shown to have the ability to change cholesterol into testosterone, and does this job right in the cells of the testes.

coconut oil

Now, are you battling against erectile dysfunction? Try coconut oil.

Coconut oil is known to increase the production steroid hormones, including testosterone. In addition, this oil has positive effects on the thyroid gland and has antioxidants for cancer prevention and healing.

​Citrus

The ubiquitous citrus fruit deserves a place in this list. After all, it’s really packed with antioxidants and flavonoids.

Citrus can give you huge amounts of compounds that can quickly make you recover your lost testosterone. What are these exactly?

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    Naringenin
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    ​Limonoids
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    ​Quercetin
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    ​Calcium-D-Glucarate
orange

Don’t forget that you also get lots of Vitamin C from citrus, and you know the vitamin is capable of reducing oxidative stress.

​Now these fruits are pretty accessible. You can easily find limes, lemons, grapefruit, guavas, and oranges in supermarkets and grocery stores.

kelp seaweed

Eucheuma Cottoni

​This might be the first time you’ve heard of this, but yes it is food and it has ingredients that can inhibit aromatase. The good thing about E. cottoni is that it does not directly alter estrogen levels.

As we’ve known all along, lowering estrogen levels drastically can also be harmful to health. So when you eat foods that can boost testosterone, make sure that you aim for moderation.

E. Cottoni is actually a type of seaweed that has natural effects comparable to that of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). SERMs are potent but not recommend for men aiming to tame the female hormone.

These drugs have long- and short-term side effects, including vision problems, neurocognitive deficiencies, hot flashes, weight gain, and even blood clotting.

Nutrition-wise, here’s what you can get from this seaweed:

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    ​Fiber (cleanses your system for better hormonal health)
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    Calcium and Phosphorus (strengthens your bones)
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    ​Good Cholesterol (prevents heart disease)
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    ​Collagen and Vitamin E (improves skin health)
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    ​Iron (lowers mental and physical fatigue)

E. Cottoni is actually a type of seaweed that has natural effects comparable to that of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). These drugs have long- and short-term side effects, including vision problems, neurocognitive deficiencies, hot flashes, weight gain, and even blood clotting.

By using pregnenolone cream or pregnenolone supplements, the levels of the compound in the body increases, and this brings about various benefits such as fatigue relief, and delay of the aging process.

Red Wine

Alcohol, when consumed in moderation, can indeed make you healthier.

Specifically though, the resveratrol and polyphenols in red wine have been established to have the capacity to lower estrogen. Resveratrol can block aromatase activity and increase testosterone.

grapes

You also get proanthocyanidin from alcohol, which is a substance that can make your heart healthier. The substance is also anti-estrogenic.

Red wine is made from grapes—so if you’re not into drinking wine, eat grapes instead. Grapes (particularly the skin) is loaded with quercetin, a flavonoid that has anti-estrogenic properties.

turmeric

Turmeric

This is quite popular in India and has been in used in that country for health purposes for centuries now. The compound also has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative effects.

Most importantly though, turmeric can increase testosterone by more than 200%. Aside from that, it’s naturally anabolic and can lower estrogen.

Most of these beneficial effects come from a specific component of turmeric: a polyphenol called curcumin. While you could look for isolated curcumin, it would be better to stick to whole turmeric—the spice, after all, has other components with impressive qualities, including:

​Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are your best alternative if you’re keeping yourself away from the harmful effects of flax. Yes, flax seeds are highly estrogenic with their phytoestrogens and you must not consume them, even though they’re a source of omega-3 fatty acid.

Chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3, which are actually potent estrogen-fighting compounds. You can cook chia seeds together with rice, oatmeal, or quinoa.

​Chia seeds have other health benefits:

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    ​​Powerful anti-inflammatory
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    ​​Helps with hydration
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    ​​Fight insulin resistance

​Important Reminders Before You Begin

As you have probably realized from this article, these anti-estrogenic food have their counterparts—specifically food items that could potentially increase your estrogen levels or ruin your hormonal balance.

You need to carefully plan your anti-estrogenic diet (or anything else, such as the Warrior Diet) to limit natural estrogen production. Likewise, you’ll have to avoid food containing isoflavones or lignans (like soy and, as mentioned, flax), as these compounds act in a way similar to estrogen.

You should also do your best to avoid xenoestrogens—chemical substances that mimic the female hormone and interfere with estrogen metabolism. Plastics, insecticides, cosmetics, and even industrially-farmed meat may contain these harmful hormone-like substances.  

Alternatively, do get more antioxidant-packed food and beverages (such as green tea) and those loaded with zinc (like wild-caught fish and low-fat yogurt). Don’t forget that keeping estrogen under control won’t make sense if your body doesn’t have enough of testosterone’s building blocks.

​All in all, we strongly advise that you consult with your doctor on how much anti-estrogen blocking foods you should consume on a regular basis.  Remember that you need to balance your hormone levels to ensure both health and wellbeing.


author
Alex Eriksson (Research Analysis)

Alex Eriksson is the founder of Anabolic Health, a men’s health blog dedicated to providing honest and research-backed advice for optimal male hormonal health. Anabolic Health aspires to become a trusted resource where men can come and learn how to fix their hormonal problems naturally, without pharmaceuticals.

author
Mihai Voinea (Editor)

Mihai is a medical doctor and entrepreneur with a burning obsession for performance and health. Mihai is also an IronMan, ultramarathon runner, and co-founder of Marsilian, which owns two e-learning platforms for future medical students and doctors.