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
Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale, are rich in essential nutrients which contribute to balancing hormones
These veggies are packed with antioxidants and consuming more leafy greens can fight inflammation (the root cause of numerous health issues, including PCOS and endometriosis)
Leafy greens also contain magnesium, which can lower your stress and anxiety by controlling the production of stress hormones
In addition to improving levels of cortisol, these vegetables are also a great source of iron, which is required for normal thyroid functioning
These veggies can also help to get estrogen back in balance
Tip: add handfuls of leafy greens in a smoothie, you won't taste it!
This delicious fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants. It can help decrease the production of estrogen
Eating this fruit can hinder the production of estradiol and lower the chances of some cancers
Eating pomegranate can also help with PMS. It regulates monthly periods and promotes fertility in women.
Men should also take note that pomegranate also positively impacts the reproductive system of males.
Lastly, this fruit also supplies sufficient levels of potassium and vitamin C.
Tip: add a little pomegranate juice to sparkling water to make a healthy little mocktail
Foods to Avoid
Alcohol can spark hot flashes, but it also affects blood sugar levels and causes a spike in estrogen.
Drinking alcohol in large quantities causes significant hormonal problems.
Beverages like coffee and sodas promote hot flashes and stimulate the release of stress hormones. These stress hormones throw off blood sugar balance and insulin release. Start by cutting down on the amount of caffeine you ingest, then work on finding healthier substitutes to get rid of the caffeine altogether, like herbal teas and Dandyblend.
Cut down sugar intake, including corn syrup, white sugar, and brown sugar. Sugar is known for causing hormone imbalances and increasing the chances of developing insulin resistance. Avoiding sugar helps to maintain a hormonal balance, but it is also helpful for losing weight and keeping skin clear and glowing.
Your Hormone Health is In Your Hands
You Are Responsible for Your Food Choices
The most effective way to control endocrine health is by controlling your diet. What you eat and what you avoid really matters. Try including all the foods mentioned above in your daily diet and lower the use of sugar and caffeinated drinks. Your hormones will thank you!
P.S. If you want to learn how to balance your hormones through cycle syncing, my new course SYNCED is perfect for you! https://nutritionmoderation.thinkific.com/courses/synced