How To Naturally Increase Estrogen Through Food, Supplements, And Lifestyle

Increase Your Estrogen Naturally

Estrogen has a profound impact on overall wellness, especially when it comes to women’s health. As women age, estrogen levels drop and can put you at risk for uncomfortable menopausal symptoms and a cascade of chronic health problems.

In my practice, I focus on finding natural ways to increase your estrogen levels before trying synthetic interventions. Your diet, supplement regimen, and daily routines all matter when it comes to a more balanced hormonal profile.

Estrogen And Your Health

Estrogen is a group of hormones that support sexual and reproductive health. The sex hormones are primarily produced in the ovaries, but the adrenal glands and fat cells contribute.

Healthy estrogen levels support mood regulation, sex drive, bone density, and cardiovascular health. (1) A balance of estrogen and progesterone, a hormone that regulates menstrual cycles and preps your body for pregnancy, is essential to overall wellness.

@drwillcole If these symptoms sound familiar, tune into this recent episode of TAOBW podcast! 👀 I sat down with @esther_blum, an Integrative Dietitian and Menopause Expert, to discuss menstrual cycles, menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) myths and truths, and so much more. Over the past 27 years, Esther has empowered thousands of women to master menopause through nutrition, hormones, and self-advocacy. In this episode, she joins me to dive deep into these vital topics. It’s a must-listen for anyone looking to support their hormonal health! Listen now at the link in the bio, visit, or search The Art of Being Well podcast anywhere you listen. #drwillcole #estherblum #menopauseexpert #functionalmedicine #healthpodcast #menopot #intermittentfasting #hormones #HRT ♬ original sound - Dr. Will Cole

It’s important to note here that imbalances in estrogen affect both genders. Men need healthy levels of estradiol, a type of estrogen, to regulate testosterone. The major concern in men is high estrogen, which can cause similar symptoms as low estrogen in women.


Phytoestrogens are plant-derived compounds with a similar structure to estrogen. When consumed, they can interact with hormone receptors in the body and may either mimic estrogen or modulate its effects. The result in some may be more balanced hormone levels, bone health, and a reduced risk of heart disease and breast cancer. (2, 3)

Different types of phytoestrogens have unique health properties on top of their estrogen-boosting benefits. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Coumestans in sprouts, peas, and beans have been widely studied for their potential anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. (4)
  • Isoflavones are abundant in soybeans. Studies show they may affect menopausal symptoms and reduce your risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. (5)
  • Lignans found in flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and whole grains are linked to improved cholesterol levels, heart health, and reduced breast cancer risk. (6)
  • Stilbenes found in grapes, rhubarb, berries, and peanuts are known anti-inflammatories that may lower overall cancer risk and offer neuroprotective effects. (7)

Causes + Signs Of Low Estrogen

Estrogen levels naturally decrease as women get closer to menopause, but estrogen can also take a nosedive sooner for numerous reasons:

  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Chronic stress
  • Eating disorders
  • Radiation/chemotherapy
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
  • Breastfeeding
  • Pituitary gland issues
  • Hormone fluctuations after pregnancy
  • Hysterectomy

Symptoms of low estrogen levels and hormonal imbalances include:

  • Irregular periods or missing periods
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Hot flashes/night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Bone loss/osteoporosis

How To Boost Estrogen Levels Naturally

Estrogen is influenced by how you treat your body. This includes what you eat, how you manage stress, and whether you get enough sleep. These aren’t quick fixes, though. Natural remedies for low estrogen will come down to making changes you know are getting in the way of the ideal hormonal balance.

Eat Foods High In Phytoestrogens

Food sources of phytoestrogens can mimic estrogenic effects and boost overall health. Decide which foods to incorporate into your diet based on your individual needs. For example, if you’re sensitive to soy, you won’t want to start your mornings with soy products like a glass of soy milk.

Here’s a list of my favorite phytoestrogens:

  • Flax seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Legumes (especially soybeans, chickpeas, and peanuts)
  • Dried fruit
  • Garlic
  • Peaches
  • Berries
  • Whole grains
  • Tempeh
  • Rhubarb
  • Grapes
  • Cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli and Brussels sprouts)

Take Those Vitamins + Supplements

You may benefit from minerals, supplements, and vitamins to increase estrogen levels depending on your hormonal needs.

Here are a few of my favorite hormone balance supplements with added health benefits:

  • B Vitamins: B complex vitamins are essential to processes related to energy metabolism. That includes hormone production, digestion, and cell health. (8) One study found that vitamins B2 and B6 may reduce breast cancer risk in premenopausal women. (9)
  • Vitamin E: This powerful antioxidant may improve symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes and night sweats. (10) One study found that vitamin E supplementation may also benefit patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). (11)
  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient and a hormone that helps your body synthesize hormones. (12) It also helps your body absorb nutrients like calcium for bone health.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): DHEA helps the body produce estrogen and testosterone. Synthetic versions taken at perimenopause and beyond may support healthier skin, cognitive function, and vaginal dryness. (13)
  • Boron: This trace mineral helps your body metabolize vitamin D and estrogen, boosting estrogen levels overall. (14) It’s also important to bone density and cognitive health as we age.
  • Black cohosh: This herb is a common alternative to hormone therapy thanks to its effects on menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings. (15)
  • Red clover: This herbal supplement contains phytoestrogens that act like estrogen to support bone health, relieve menopausal symptoms, and boost heart health.

Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a new supplement regimen, especially if you’re on any existing medications.

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Lifestyle Adjustments

Diet and supplements are a great first step, but you may also need to make some lifestyle changes to boost hormonal health overall.

  • Get better sleep. Hormonal balances can lead to sleep issues like insomnia, but it’s important to try to keep to a routine that supports uninterrupted sleep. Solid sleep hygiene, melatonin, and behavioral therapies can help.
  • Reduce your stress. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, which can inhibit estrogen production. Setting boundaries on your time and mindfulness routines can do wonders for stress levels.
  • Move more. Regular exercise is excellent for stress, weight management, and bone health, all key predictors of healthier aging. One study showed that anaerobic exercise like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be a way to boost estradiol naturally. (16)
  • Limit alcohol. While red wine contains phytoestrogens from the grapes used, studies show alcohol is linked to higher rates of hormone-related cancers like breast cancer. (17) This may be because of its effects on the glands that release hormones like estrogen.

Struggling with stress management and improving your sleep? Check out my Calm Yourself pack,  a trio of supplements designed to promote relaxation and support your body’s anti-inflammatory responses.

A Word On Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT is a popular treatment used to boost low levels of estrogen, particularly in menopausal women. It can come in the form of estrogen pills, patches, or vaginal creams that deliver synthetic estrogen to restore the hormones to proper levels.

While hormone therapy can be an effective solution for some, it often comes with its own set of uncomfortable side effects. Those include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Breast tenderness
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion

HRT can also lead to an increased risk of blood clots, breast cancer, stroke, and heart attacks, so it’s never recommended for long-term use. Many functional practitioners use bHRT (bioidentical HRT) for hormone replacement that most closely matches the hormonal compounds made by your own body.

Natural ways to increase estrogen are a good first step in addressing your symptoms and, most importantly, feeling good as you age.

LISTEN: Menstrual Cycle, Menopause & Hormone Replacement Therapy Myths & Truths | Esther Blum

Discover The Root Cause Of Low Hormone Levels

The best way to restore hormone balance is to uncover the root cause of why your estrogen levels are low in the first place. A whole-body approach is important to making this happen.

In my telehealth functional medicine approach, that’s exactly what we do. We look at every aspect of your health, including diet, lifestyle, and stress levels, to determine what is contributing to any imbalances.

If you’re looking for highly individualized support in boosting your hormonal health, schedule a consultation today.

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  1. Xiang, D., Liu, Y., Zhou, S., et al. (2021). Protective effects of estrogen on cardiovascular disease mediated by oxidative stress. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2021, 5523516.
  2. Domínguez-López, I., Yago-Aragón, M., Salas-Huetos, A., et al. (2020). Effects of dietary phytoestrogens on hormones throughout a human lifespan: A review. Nutrients, 12(8), 2456.
  3. Roca, P., Sastre-Serra, J., Nadal-Serrano, M., et al. (2014). Phytoestrogens and mitochondrial biogenesis in breast cancer. Influence of estrogen receptors ratio. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 20(35), 5594-5618.
  4. Tu, Y., Yang, Y., Li, Y., et al. (2021). Naturally occurring coumestans from plants, their biological activities and therapeutic effects on human diseases. Pharmacological Research, 169, 105615.
  5. Vitale, D.C., Piazza, C., Melilli, B., et al. (2013). Isoflavones: estrogenic activity, biological effect and bioavailability. European Journal of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, 38(1), 15-25.
  6. Rodríguez-García, C., Sánchez-Quesada, C., Toledo, E., et al. (2019). Naturally lignan-rich foods: a dietary tool for health promotion? Molecules. 24(5), 917.
  7. Al-Khayri, J.M., Mascarenhas, R., Harish, H.M., et al. (2023). Stilbenes, a versatile class of natural metabolites for inflammation-an overview. Molecules, 28(9), 3786.
  8. Hanna, M., Jaqua, E., Nguyen, V., et al. (2022). B vitamins: functions and uses in medicine. The Permanente Journal, 26(2), 89-97.
  9. Agnoli, C., Grioni, S., Krogh, V., et al. (2016). Plasma riboflavin and vitamin B-6, but not homocysteine, folate, or vitamin B-12, are inversely associated with breast cancer risk in the european prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition-varese cohort. The Journal of Nutrition, 146(6), 1227-1234.
  10. Feduniw, S., Korczyńska, L., Górski, K., et al. (2022). The effect of vitamin E supplementation in postmenopausal women-a systematic review. Nutrients, 15(1), 160.
  11. Heidari, H., Hajhashemy, Z., & Saneei, P. (2022). A meta-analysis of effects of vitamin E supplementation alone and in combination with omega-3 or magnesium on polycystic ovary syndrome. Scientific Reports, 12(1), 19927.
  12. Chu, C., Tsuprykov, O., Chen, X., et al. (2021). Relationship between vitamin D and hormones important for human fertility in reproductive-aged women. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 12, 666687.
  13. Wierman, M.E. & Kiseljak-Vassiliades, K. (2022). Should dehydroepiandrosterone be administered to women? The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 107(6), 1679-1685.
  14. Pizzorno, L. (2015). Nothing boring about boron. Perspectives on Integrative Medicine, 14(4), 35-48.
  15. Sadahiro, R., Matsuoka, L.N., Zeng, B.S., et al. (2023). Black cohosh extracts in women with menopausal symptoms: an updated pairwise meta-analysis. Menopause, 30(7), 766-773.
  16. Razzak, Z.A., Khan, A.A., & Farooqui, S.I. (2019). Effect of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on estrogen level, fat mass, and muscle mass among postmenopausal osteoporotic females. International Journal of Health Sciences, 13(4), 10-16.
  17. Shield, K.D., Soerjomataram, I., & Rehm, J. (2016). Alcohol use and breast cancer: a critical review. Alcohol, Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(6), 1166-1181.

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Dr. Will Cole, DNM, IFMCP, DC is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Will Cole provides a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is also the host of the popular The Art of Being Well podcast and the New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting, Ketotarian, Gut Feelings, and The Inflammation Spectrum.

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