March 24, 2017
  2 Replies
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Hi Dr. Carney,

I am concerned about the high level of Estrogen that I have in my body.

I read that actually chickpeas and beans can increase Estrogen in the body. 

Do I have to eliminate them from my diet?

Please advise.

thx in advance,



5 years ago

Hi Cygal,

Whether you personally, must eliminate those from your diet cannot be asnwered in an online forum because the answer is complex, taking into account your levels of estrogen, your percentage of bodyfat, etc.  Possibly your other lifestyle habits might be optimzed in other ways that would allow you to eat garbanzos and soy each week.

Higher fat beans, like soy beans and peanuts (a legume) can raise our estrogen levels, especially if we are overweight or suffering insulin resistance from sleep-disordreed breathing.. Because eating fats of any kind, (even whole food plant-based fats not removed from their fiber) can increase estrogen at the cellular level (where it may not even be measurable), we must each individually choose those foods that will help decrease our body fat percentage down to a level that stops promoting symptoms through estrogen excess.  Some people need to limit their intake of peanuts, soybeans, and garbanzos.  Whether you are one of those people depends on your percentage of body fat, which can measured in “The Bod Pod” or by body-fat scales such as those manufactured by the Taneka Company.

So for some of us, eating those higher fat foods, (which may include soybeans,etc) only at breakfast will have a better effect. But for some of us, we must cut out soy or peanuts or limit them to infrequent usage.  However if nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut were kept ot a minimum, so that a normal bodyfat percentage could be reached if you are not there already, you mght be able to tolerate the occasional use of edamame and garbanzos.

Because each bodyfat cell is a factory for excess estrogen, a better question would be this:  which of my habits are promoting excess bodyfat?

Garbanzo beans are not the beans lowest in fat, but not everybody need to eliminate them.  If one has weight to lose, perhaps exploring the following principles may help them even more than eliminating garbanzos:

The prevention of excessive bodyfat or excessive estrogen levels may require these factors:
            1. An oil-free, low-fat plant-based diet of whole unprocessed foods eaten only 3 times per day, all before 6 PM.
            2. Daily exercise of 30 minutes cardiovascular aerobic exercise, 20 minutes weight-lifting, and 10 minutes of stretches, warm-ups, and cool-down exercises.
            3. Avoidance of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and all between-meal snacking.
            4. Asleep by 10 PM each night and adequate airflow at night by correction of nasal obstruction, throat obstruction by the tongue, or sleep apnea if suspected.

           Get the majority of your calories eaten before 2 PM each day, eating a hearty breakfast of large quantities of these categories of foods: greens, beans, squash, yams, and intact whole grains.

In terms of when to eat the most calories of the day:

Big breakfast, medium lunch, small supper. Eat Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper.

If you are eating supper (it is optional), eat a 'northern fruit', like an apple, or a pear (but not canned), because fruits grown in the north of the USA have more fiber than do tropical fruits.  Fiber can lower the estrogen more than do tropical fruits, citrus fruits, or fruits in the blender which breaks down the fiber.

Try to finish all calorie intake prior to 6 PM, earlier if you are overweight.

Wash the skin of the apple with soap and water and eat the skin too, to stabilize blood sugar.

Remember to drink at least 8 glasses of water (64 oz. total) each day before 5 PM. If you drink them all BEFORE the evening hours, you'll sleep better which may help to normalize your levels of bodyfat and estrogen.

Eating fiber-rich foods like legumes (lentils, split peas, beans) helps stabilize blood sugars and body-fat and estrogen levels, especially when eating legumes/beans at breakfast.

Increase your dietary fiber by choosing beans, starchy root vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, & greens (like spinach, bok choy, Swiss chard, & salads often), colorful vegetables, whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat, and brown rice pasta with marinara tomato sauce or white sauces made from pureed cauliflower or cooked beans.

5 years ago

Each person's nutritional needs differ and what might be health promoting for one person might not be for another.  However, here's my personal take on whether I should eat something or not. If the evidence shows that eating something is likely to provide my body with nutrients that are likely to extend my life, then I would eat it.  I put all beans into this category including chickpeas, as the evidence shows that eating them will extended my life when compared to not eating them.

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