Top Foods to Help Restore Hormonal Balance!
Do you seem to spend a lot of time feeling:
Craving sugar & carbs
A LOT of it is likely down to your hormones.
Luckily there is a lot you can do nutritionally and lifestyle wise to help keep your hormones balanced. If you haven't watched the live Hormones 101 teach session I did recently exclusively inside my private Facebook community then I definitely encourage you to carve some time out to have a watch/listen.
Your hormones need to receive a steady stream of nutrients for them to work properly, and we get these nutrients from the food we eat. Our complex hormonal dance works in synergy, think of it like an orchestra of different instruments that all need to play the right notes at the right time for the performance to go smoothly. This hormonal dance is dependent on internal factors such as the status of other hormones and external factors such as your diet and lifestyle.
Here are my top 7 nutrition tips for supporting hormonal balance:
1. Cruciferous Veggies.
All vegetables (especially leafy greens) are important for our health in so many ways, but cruciferous vegetables are super key for hormonal health, these are vegetables of the Brassicaceae family, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, kale, and bok choi. These wonderful nutrition powerhouses contain a phytochemical called Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C), which has been shown to improve oestrogen metabolism and so can help support healthy hormonal balance.
2. All the colours.
Once old and used oestrogen is broken down in the liver it is then sent to the bowel for elimination from the body via your stool, and we need to have a healthy bacteria population inside our gut (a healthy gut microbiome) to assist with this removal. Having too many unhealthy bacteria in your gut can impair the clearance of oestrogen and instead cause it to be reabsorbed back into the body, which is detrimental to hormonal health. For a healthy population of good bacteria we need to eat a diversity of colours and types of plants, everyday. Go for all and any colourful vegetables and berries with all their bright, deep and dark rich colourings.
3. Omega 3 ‘essential’ fats.
Omega 3 fats have a really positive effect on your hormones. They are ‘essential’ to get from our diet because we cannot make them in our body. The omega 3 fats EPA and DHA are beneficial for hormonal health because 1) they have anti-inflammatory effects which can help alleviate menstrual and menopausal symptoms and 2) they can enhance detoxification of old and used oestrogen by the liver. They also support hormone transport and communication in the body. Go for 4-6 100g portions of oily fish per week such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and anchovies.
Flaxseed is a rich source of phytoestrogens which help to regulate levels of oestrogen in the body. Therefore they can help to reduce menstrual and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and PMS. They are also a great source of fibre for you gut and can help with the elimination of oestrogen from the bowel. Add 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your day in smoothies, porridge, or sprinkled into salads and stir fries.
5. Other Seeds.
Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame are high in good fats and also magnesium. Magnesium is a key mineral for hormonal health and for relieving hormonal symptoms, particularly menstrual cramps, pain and headaches. Add these seeds to smoothies,porridge, plain yogurt, and sprinkle them on salads and stir fries.
6. Avocado & Olive Oil.
DO.NOT.AVOID.GOOD.FATS! We’ve looked at the benefits of including the omega 3 fats and we also need to include other beneficial fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, coconut, avocado, and olive oil. These good fats provide the building blocks for making hormones and their proper communication.
7. Dark Chocolate :-)
A life without chocolate for me wouldn’t be worth living! Luckily I’m a big fan of ‘healthier’ forms of chocolate such as the 70 and 85% dark kind, this is the kind of chocolate that can actually be beneficial for our health. Cacao beans are full of antioxidants and some hormone helping minerals like magnesium. Just be sure to check the sugar content and ideally choosing a bar of chocolate that provides a maximum of 25g of ‘Of which sugars’ per 100g of the bar, but the lower the better.
Start increasing these foods on a daily basis, allowing them to naturally form part of your diet, and enjoy experiencing the positive benefits it will bring!
Lots of love & hormonal harmony
P.S. If you'd like my help I'm here for you. Apply for a free exploratory call here and let's chat things through :-)