The development of a girl’s breast at puberty is a major differentiating factor between the silhouette of a boy and a girl. However, sometimes, men too can develop breast tissue. This condition is known as Gynecomastia. While it is not fatal or very harmful to a person’s overall health, it can cause emotional distress and affect a person’s self-confidence.
Gynecomastia can be triggered by a number of factors including diet, lifestyle, hormonal imbalances etc. One of the most surprising causes of this condition is milk. This is because milk is considered to be rich in oestrogen. When talking of milk, it can be categorised as organic and non-organic milk. In order to increase the amount of milk, a cow can produce they are often injected with hormones. Milk collected from cows who have received such treatment is known as non-organic milk while milk collected from cows who have not received any form of treatment to boost milk production can be termed as organic milk. Non-organic milk may also have a higher than normal IGF-I level. This refers to an insulin-like growth factor that aids in the development of breast tissue.
The main reason milk consumption is encouraged is for its high calcium levels. However, you can get your calcium from other natural sources as well. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and bok-choy are very rich in calcium and the calcium from these vegetables can be very easily absorbed by our bodies. Thus, skipping your glass of milk will not give you weak bones.
Gynecomastia can be treated. Increasing your intake of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower can help absorb and remove oestrogen from the digestive tract before it goes into the blood stream. Spices like turmeric can increase testosterone levels and help balance hormones. Phytoestrogens like flax seeds and soy can also help treat gynecomastia by minimising oestrogen levels and reducing cholesterol.
Two ayurvedic herbs that can increase the production of testosterone and thus, help maintain a balance between oestrogen and testosterone are tribulus terrestris and cordycep. Red clover can also help reduce oestrogen levels. Sarsaparilla is yet another ayurvedic herb that can help treat this condition by strengthening muscles.
In addition to these dietary changes and herbal medicines, one must also exercise to reduce fat tissue in the chest area. Lifting weights or chest bench presses are ideal exercises to strengthen chest muscles and reduce gynecomastia.