The 7 Best Aromatase Inhibiting Foods and Herbs

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The 7 Best Aromatase Inhibiting Foods

Aging and high levels of physical, chemical and emotional stress are associated with the loss of progesterone in women and testosterone in men.  This process of converting androgenic hormones into estrogens is called aromatization (1).  In this article, you will learn about aromatase inhibiting foods and herbs.

Aromatization leads to a state of estrogen dominance that is a major factor in many common health problems (2). Certain foods and herbs help the body reverse the process of aromatization (3).

Estrogen is a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle mass and leads to an increase in body fat and aromatase.  Testosterone and to a slight degree progesterone are anabolic hormones that promote lean body mass.  The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to use your diet to reduce aromatase and how to use the best aromatase inhibiting foods and herbs.

What is Aromatase:

Aromatase is an enzyme that is found in estrogen producing cells located in the adrenal glands, ovaries, placenta, testicles, brain and fat tissue.  Higher levels of aromatase in the body convert more testosterone and progesterone into estrogen.

Elevated aromatase activity and estrogen dominance are some of the most common factors associated with breast, uterine and ovarian cancers in women (4). Prostate, colon and breast cancer in men are associated with estrogen dominance.

Other symptoms include PMS symptoms, cervical dysplasia, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, decreased libido, fatigue, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, infertility and weight gain (5, 6).

Anti-Estrogenic Foods & Herbs (7, 8):

Cruciferous veggies:  Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower Brussel sprouts & cabbage contain several powerful nutrients that detoxify bad estrogenic molecules and are the best aromatase inhibiting foods.

These nutrients include Indole-3 Acetate, Indole-3 Carbonyl and Diindolylmethane.  These cruciferous veggies also contain sulfur containing nutrients such as Sulforaphane and Phenyl Isothiocyanates that enhance liver detoxification processes and destroy cancer cell formation (9).

Healthy Fat Rich Foods:  These are foods that are rich in saturated and omega-3 fatty acids.  It includes plant-based fats such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and avocados.  Raw nuts (other than peanuts) and seeds contain anti-estrogenic plant sterols.  Organic poultry, wild-caught salmon, wild game and 100% grass-fed beef are great for healthy hormone function (10).

Allium Family:  The alliums include garlic, onions, scallions, chives and leeks.  These are all rich in sulfur containing amino acids and the powerful flavone antioxidant quercetin that both help the liver detoxify at a higher level and reduce the production of estrogen (11).


Flavone Rich Herbs:

Dietary flavones and flavanones have been demonstrated to be the most potent aromatase-inhibitory flavonoids.  The most powerful flavones include chrysin which is found in passionflower and apigenin which is found in chamomile.

Several brands of herbal tea can be purchased that feature both organic passionflower and chamomile.  These teas are typically marketed for healthy sleep, but they are also powerful anti-estrogenic activity.

Flavanones:  These are found in citrus fruits and in particular lemons and limes.  They are classically called citrus bioflavonoids and they include diosmin, hesperidin, rutin, naringin, tangeretin, diosmetin, narirutin, neohesperidin, nobiletin and quercetin.

Antioxidant rich herbs:  Herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage and turmeric are loaded with volatile oils that promote liver detoxification.   Turmeric has a potent ability to destroy estrogen receptor positive cancer cells which are the most commonly found cells in breast, uterine, ovarian and prostate cancer.


Chlorophyll and Fermented Foods:

One of the most powerful life-giving substances on the planet is chlorophyll. This is the pigment that gives green foods their color.  Chlorophyll rich foods have a very deep green color and they are extraordinarily useful in purifying the body of toxins.

Fermented foods contain organic acids, antioxidants, enzymes and probiotics that enhance gut function and eliminatory channels.  Fermented veggies include sauerkraut, kimchi and others are powerful aromatase inhibiting foods. Fermented drinks such as apple cider vinegar, kombucha and herbal botanicals are great estrogen detoxifiers as they function as aromatase inhibiting foods as well.

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Sources for This Article Include:

1. Nimrod A, Ryan KJ. Aromatization of androgens by human abdominal and breast fat tissue. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1975 Mar;40(3):367-72. PMID: 234975
2. Lessey BA, Young SL.Homeostasis imbalance in the endometrium of women with implantation defects: the role of estrogen and progesterone. Semin Reprod Med. 2014 Sep;32(5):365-75. PMID: 24959818
3. Om AS, Chung KW. Dietary zinc deficiency alters 5 alpha-reduction and aromatization of testosterone and androgen and estrogen receptors in rat liver. J Nutr. 1996 Apr;126(4):842-8. PMID: 8613886
4. Miller WR, Hawkins RA, Forrest AP. Significance of aromatase activity in human breast cancer. Cancer Res. 1982 Aug;42(8 Suppl):3365s-3368s. PMID: 7083201
5. De Ronde W, de Jong FH. Aromatase inhibitors in men: effects and therapeutic options. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology : RB&E. 2011;9:93.
6. Goldmeier D, Scullard G, Kapembwa M, Lamba H, Frize G. Does increased aromatase activity in adipose fibroblasts cause low sexual desire in patients with HIV lipodystrophy? Sex Transm Infect. 2002 Feb;78(1):64-6. PMID: 11872865
7. PharmacistBen: Top Ten Foods For Protection From (The Stress Hormone, Fibroid Stimulating, Anti-Libido and Potentiol Carcinogen) Estrogen Link Here
8. Healthline: Anti-Estrogen Diet for Men: Foods for Lowering Levels Link Here
9. National Cancer Institute: Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention Link Here
10. Axe: 10 Ways To Balance Horomones Naturally Link Here
11. Life Extension Magazine: Quercetin: Broad-Spectrum Protection Link Here

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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


Food Herbs




  1. Would flax seed and chia seed (under the category of Healthy Fat Rich Foods) be beneficial as well since they are good sources of Omega 3 oil?

    1. I don’t think flax is recommended as anti-estrogenic as I’ve personally found it increases my estrogen levels. Chia doesn’t. You might want to read on how flax has messed up the monthly cycles for a lot if women before considering taking flax.

    2. Particularly for men, flax seed is really bad for testosterone levels. It has a lot of protein and easy calories and omega-3 but it really screws with your hormones. Would advise against it for men.

  2. I believe that flax seed and chia seed would be beneficial as long as flax seed is ground. But do not forgot about EPA and DHA from fish oil as it has properties that go beyond flax seed.

  3. Dr. Jockers would flax seed also block aromatase as it is the best source of lignans which have anti-estrogenic properties.

  4. Its great to learn about the aromatase inhibiting foods. The pharmaceutical remedy prescribed for those with breast cancer are often aromatase inhibitor medications. Why do the medications have so many bad side effects?

    1. Hey Ingrid,

      Unfortunately medications are synthetic and do not work with the natural balance of the body like real foods and herbs do. So the medications do effect aromatase levels but also have a lot of unwanted side effects. Many Blessings!

  5. Hello Dr David
    Awesome information on Aromatization process. Does Benign prostate hypertrophy has got similar underlying pathological mechanism in its causation? If yes, what could be the best remedies ?
    Awaiting your kind feedback.
    With warm regards,
    Dr Prakash

  6. I have been on an anti- estrogen diet for over a week. I have been ill for 3 yrs.& I mean really ill
    This was due to mold exposure & breathing in a lot of insecticides. I had to find out for myself through days & days of googling.
    I had weight loss of 116 Ibs. to 94Ibs. Yet my stomach was bloated & my head throbbed. My whole system had gone haywire & my doctor gave me one thyroid test ( He was ordered to by a concerned Dr.@ emergency.)
    I have a new doctor now & we are working together to get me better.
    This is a hormonal problem brought on by stress & a toxic environment. I have tried every treatment & I remained sick & exhausted. I never thought of hormones until I cleaned my apt.non stop for 2 days & I got so ill I could not move.
    Fibromyalgia, swollen ankles & PMS symptoms which I thought was long over. My heart was racing & thumping & it dawned on me to that it felt like a disruption of hormones. That’s what it is.
    So for the last week I have been eating only foods low in estrogen. It
    was helpful also to take a flat teaspoon of crushed cloves twice a day & now I also take Turmeric with Cumin.
    I bought Calcium- d- Glucarate today which will gather up much of the estrogen & detoxify my body.It’s very sad that doctors are so ill informed on
    such a common problem. So hopefully this & the diet such as yours will put some health & hope back into people’s lives.This is a good site, the problem is explained clearly & the food program is encouraging.
    Thank you for informing people of this hormonal upset that is all around us & even in our food.Unfortunately we trust that unsafe methods & unsafe food is illegal. It’s not & you have to look up information constantly & take
    it seriously when you come across information like this.

  7. After recurring breast cancer, I do not want to take aromatase inhibitor anymore. I’ve developed osteoporosis and am thinking what quality of life will I have it I ruin my skeletal system?? Are these aromatase inhibiting foods and supplements enough to take the place of the Aromasin I’m supposed to be taking?

  8. Thank you fir this information. I was diagnosed with stage 2 invasive carcinoma of my left breast on April 10th. That same day I started a path of organic/vegan diet, stopped the intake of sugar and tofu along with many supplements to boost my immune system, detoxify my liver. A month later I had a lumpectomy. All tissue outside the surrounding walk of my tumor and three lymph nodes tested negative for an cancer cells. Which actually means the cancer was no longer invasive. The estrogen blocking strategies worked! But yet doctors still want me to do radiation and the 5 yr pill. I will not do either, I believe God has allowed me to see what I need to focus on through prayer, diet, and proactive education about what’s best for my body to be healthy in this stage of my life, 61 post menopausal female. Thank you Dr Jockers for being a giver of hope and not a destroyer. God bless you!

      1. well dr desolauniers and others perhaps contribute breast cancer to tight bras and root canals among other things

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