What if there was a specific food or food group that could help you ward off the increased risk of cancer for menopausal women? Scientific research suggests that this may be a possibility. A compound found in some of the vegetables you eat may help keep your estrogen levels in check and can reduce your risk of developing any cancers of the reproductive system. This super nutrient is called indole-3-carbinol. Continue reading to find out how you can make it work for you.
What Is an Indole?
Indoles are biochemical compounds found in cruciferous green vegetables. Once consumed, they work to give your body and blood stream a makeover from the inside by acting as antioxidants and speeding up the disposal of toxic substances.
How Do They Fight Cancer?
During menopause, women become more susceptible to certain types of cancers due to a hormonal imbalance. The higher levels of estrogen that many women experience can increase the threat of breast cancer, uterine cancer, and endometrial cancer.
Specifically for menopausal women, indoles help to correct many of the mistakes estrogen makes when there is too much of the hormone in your body. One of the primary roles of estrogen in women is to oversee the production of new cells in reproductive organs, the breasts, the ovaries, and the uterus. When there is more estrogen in your system, production of these cells becomes more rapid, increasing the likelihood of mistakes. When these cells are not produced properly, the tissues may become cancerous.
This is where indoles enter the picture. They act as phytoestrogens, which means that even though they are a foreign substance, the body recognizes indoles as estrogen. When they take the place of naturally-produced estrogen, they slow down the stimulation of these tissues, thus reducing the chances of those tissues becoming cancerous.
How Can I Get More Indoles?
Although there are supplements that include indoles among their vitamins and minerals, the best way to get enough of this nutrient is to eat more greens. Cabbage has the highest concentration of indoles. In addition, vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, collard and kale are excellent sources of this nutrient.
More Information about Estrogen Dominance
A number of factors can cause estrogen dominance, including a decrease in progesterone production and exposure to synthetic hormones called xenoestrogens. Click on the links below to learn more about estrogen imbalance.