The ketogenic diet, otherwise known as keto diet has been one of the popular ways to lose weight. With its promises of removing the excess weight are more benefits to a person’s health like lessening the risk of having diseases like epilepsy, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s. And because it is a high-fat low-carbohydrate type of diet, it can be a big help to women who are experiencing symptoms of having low estrogen in their systems.
Estrogen is an essential hormone in every woman, that is why there is effect on their entire body system like being bloated, irregular menstruation, menstrual pains like headaches and cramps, and hot flushes. Aside from stress management and adequate sleep, the diet they are doing can make or break their estrogen levels.
What is Ketogenic Diet?
Keto diet is low-carb high-fat type of dieting where it reduces the carbohydrate intake drastically and substitute it with fat, a process called ketosis.
During this process, the body becomes more capacitated to burn fat to be used as energy and as ketones in the liver that supplies energy to the brain.
In addition, keto diets also intense blood sugar and insulin reduction.
How Ketogenic Diet can Help Improve the Estrogen Levels
1. Being high-fat diet can aid in improving hormone support.
In true keto diets, 75 percent of the fats consumed should come from healthy sources like coconut oil, butter, avocado and nuts. Fats from these foods helps in establishing and maintaining hormone production because they are building blocks of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
2. Being low-carb diet helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
Ketogenic diet requires only 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates every day. This amount also helps to balance the insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. A well-balanced insulin can be used properly by the cells in the body plus it helps to minimize the discomfort brought by the irregular estrogen levels in the body.
3. Keto diet detoxifies the body which eases premenstrual syndrome
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) happens because of having estrogen dominance and being exposed to toxic forms of estrogen. Consuming foods recommended in keto diet like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage can detoxify the body from too much estrogen.
4. Keto diet helps fight PCOS and improves reproductive health.
Research in Duke University proved the possibility of balancing insulin and other hormonal levels, improving weight and infertility by doing keto diet.
How to Increase Estrogen using Ketogenic Diet
Regardless if a health professional advised a particular treatment options or not, there are still ways to boost estrogen levels even if you are on a ketogenic diet. These are some of the following:
1. Consume foods that are rich in soy.
Soy products like tofu, soy sauce and organic tempeh are rich in phytoestrogens, estrogens that are found in plants. These mimic the estrogen in the body, stimulating the same receptors estrogens inside do.
2. Lessen the sugar intake.
Sugary foods should be minimized because aside from this is avoided in keto diet, glucose and fructose (sugars that are found in fruits, vegetables and processed foods) bring lowering effects on the estrogen levels because it has the capacity to decrease the estrogen production.
3. Avoid over exercising
Working the body too much causes to secrete more cortisol, the stress hormone. More cortisol means hormonal imbalance, including the estrogen in the body.
However, this does not mean you should not exercise. It helps to prevent fat accumulation which happens more on menopausal stage where estrogen fluctuation can also happen.
4. Get rid of processed foods.
Too much consumption of processed foods has been proven to have negative health benefits. This is also prohibited in keto diet because it adds the bad fats that can affect the ketosis in the body. Moreover, these foods block the optimal functions of the body which can also aid in producing estrogen for women.
What to Expect and Not to Expect in the Body
Any kind of diet, even the ketogenic diet, take some time before effects manifest in the body and its functions. Here are some of the things that you can or cannot feel and have while in keto diet in connection to the estrogen dominance:
- After an irregular period for a long time, you can experience having regular menstrual cycle.
- For those who are using contraceptives or experiencing amenorrhea due to breastfeeding and other natural matters, your menstrual period may go back, but expect heavier flows from its onset.
- As part of the body adjustments, you can have heavier bleeding and longer periods than the usual. This is because the body tries to compensate with all the changes in estrogen levels, body fat and its storage. Once the body is able to handle, the period will go back from its normal state.
- Some of the PMS symptoms can be cured in ketogenic diet, except the bloating. It is due to the immense estrogen on this phase.
If you are new in this kind of diet, consultation with trusted health professional must be done in order to get the information and preparation needed before doing this diet.