Why we should be eating lots of BROCCOLI

hormone nutrition Aug 13, 2020

In the menopausal transition your main form of estrogen changes from estradiol (produced by your ovaries) to estrone (produced by your adipose tissue and liver).


Estrone is broken down into several different metabolites, the main ones being:

  • 2 hydroestrone (2-OHEI). (This calms the stimulating effect of estrogen on cells.)
  • 16 alpha hydroestrone ([email protected]) (This stimulates estrogen-related cell growth (think fibroids, polyps, cysts, endometriosis) and in excess may damage the genetic material in cells.)

Functional practitioners often test for the 2:16 estrogen metabolite ratio. I do this are a urine test.


So why are we talking about ratios of estrogen metabolites when I thought this article was about broccoli?


Broccoli naturally contains may different beneficial chemicals. Let's look at a few:

  • Diindolylmethane (DIM) - helps correct 2:16 ratio
  • Indole - 3 - carbinol (I3C) - helps correct 2:16 ratio
  • Sulforaphane - promotes liver health and detoxification, it reduces the effects of ageing by reducing oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of diabetes.

Therapeutic dose of broccoli is 500gm which is roughly 2 heads of broccoli daily. I don't know about you but I can't eat that much EVERY day. It is my favourite vegetable but I like to eat a variety of foods. So I eat as much as I can and supplement. Your options include broccoli sprout powder you can add to smoothies or a capsule for convenience. 



  1. It is best to eat broccoli lightly steamed, stir-fried or fermented. Broccoli contains glucosinolates which can have goitrogenic activity. This means it may inhibit iodine uptake and thyroid hormone formation. Slightly heating or fermentation deactivates this effect. 
  2. Some women react to sulphur containing foods. If you know you struggle to digest foods like garlic, onion, eggs, it could be a sulphur issue. Molybdenum is needed to digest sulphur and your inability to do this could indicate a deficiency. Best to correct this deficiency first to allow for optimum sulphur digestion afterwards.




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