Did you know that having balanced hormones is essential to good health, longevity and optimizing vitality? Our hormones are chemical messengers of our endocrine system, and they play a crucial role in regulating many of our bodily functions. They can affect anything from our moods, emotions, hunger levels, temperature, fertility, heart rate, metabolism, sleep and more! The best and easiest way to maintain hormonal balance is through your nutrition!
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
The primary female sex hormones are estrogen and progesterone. If there is any disturbance in the normal production of our sex hormones, they can cause several problems like:
Skin breakouts (pimples, acne)
Swelling of breasts
& so much more!
In today’s stressful world, our bodies sometimes stay in a constant state of “fight or flight” mode, which puts unnecessary stress and strain on your entire body. If your stress hormones are imbalanced, you may experience the following symptoms:
Adrenal fatigue (muscle weakness, salt cravings, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia)
Inability to sleep
Disturbances in thyroid hormone levels can cause multiple symptoms which may vary, depending on whether your thyroid is overactive or under-active.
Overactive Symptoms (hyperthyroidism):
Rapid weight loss
Intolerance to heat
Underactive Symptoms (hypothyroidism):
Intolerance to cold
Foods to Eat for Optimal Hormone Balance
Avocado is amazing for balancing hormones because it's loaded with healthy fats
They provide you with sufficient beta-sitosterol that can help to increase HDL (good) cholesterol
They help maintain healthy levels of cortisol (stress hormone)
They balance blood sugar levels
The avocado’s sterols also influence progesterone and estrogen, both of which are primary regulators of the menstrual cycle
Tip: add frozen avocados to smoothies to make them creamy and hormone friendly!
Brazil nuts are loaded with selenium, which serves as an antioxidant in the body
Selenium is an essential mineral that’s crucial for regulating thyroid function
If you want to ensure good thyroid health, you must consume more selenium daily, and Brazil nuts are the easiest and best source
Tip: eat 3-5 Brazil nuts daily to get your selenium intake
Broccoli is rich in calcium, helps prevent PMS, and is known for maintaining estrogen levels in the body
It contains a compound called Diindolylmethane (DIM for short). DIM enhances estrogen metabolism and helps to eliminate bad estrogens from your body, which means broccoli is great if you have Estrogen Dominance
For all those ladies who want to block the excessive production of estrogen, consuming foods rich in DIM (including cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage) can be very helpful.
Tip: steam, roast or pan fry cruciferous veggies if you have a thyroid condition. Eating raw cruciferous veggies (like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale) can interfere with how your thyroid uses iodine
Flaxseed is a major supplier of phytoestrogens, including lignans, which work to prevent some types of cancers
Flaxseeds are great for balancing the progesterone to estrogen ratio
Along with balancing hormones, it can also help to decrease acne
These seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties
Some other significant benefits of these miraculous seeds include: reducing cholesterol, improving heart health, and strengthening bones
Tip: start incorporating seed cycling for additional hormone balancing (include flax on days 1-14 of your menstrual cycle)
Iodine Rich Foods
You might already know that not all salts used for cooking contain iodine; therefore, it’s important to consume iodine-rich foods
Iodine is important for the production of thyroid hormones and is required both during pregnancy and for breastfeeding
It is also helpful in treating diabetes and polycystic ovaries
Tip: include seafood, sea vegetables, and eggs to your diet to prevent an iodine deficiency