How Diet Affects Hormones
What we eat affects the production of hormones and their signaling pathways. “Our hormones like healthy fats, like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, as well as ample fiber from fruits and vegetables and quality proteins like eggs, fish and meat,” says Melissa Groves Azzaro, RDN, LD, PCOS, hormone, and fertility dietitian at Avocado Grove Nutrition. In contrast, pesticides, alcohol and artificial sweeteners can negatively impact hormones.
You need enough calories too. “Women’s bodies especially are very sensitive to scarcity. If your body doesn’t feel like it’s getting enough, it downregulates production of sex hormones. Your body doesn’t know the difference between a war or famine or a new weight-loss diet you’re following,” says Azzaro.
How Does A Hormone Balance Test Work
Saliva, urine, and/or blood tests are the most common method for testing a patients hormone levels. Youll usually only need to provide a few small samples. Then, depending on what symptoms you experience, these samples will be evaluated by a lab to measure a variety of hormones, including:
The lab results show a snapshot of your current hormone levels at the time the samples were taken. Many of these hormones fluctuate over the course of a day, or throughout the month, so you may need to fast prior to testing, get tested at certain points in your menstrual cycle, and/or get multiple tests to get an accurate picture of your hormonal health.
Salmon And Albacore Tuna
Fat and cholesterol are the building blocks of hormones. You need enough cholesterol to make sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. The key is to choose fats high in omega-3s and to limit saturated fats . Salmon, canned albacore tuna, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, avocados and chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
“Salmon also stabilizes your hunger hormones and is high in vitamin D, which helps regulate female testosterone levels,” says Carrie Gabriel M.S., RDN, a dietitian and owner of Steps2Nutrition. “The good fats in fish improve overall hormonal communication. The endocrine system uses hormones to communicate with the brain, which in turn boosts our mood and gives us better cognitive skills.”
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Limit Sugar And Refined Carbs
Both have been linked to increased insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs when cells in your body dont respond effectively to the hormone insulin in your body.
Over time, this can leads to pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions.
Fructose, found in sugar, has been shown to promote insulin resistance, particularly in overweight or obese people with prediabetes or diabetes .
Studies have also shown diets high in refined carbs can increase insulin resistance .
Hormone Balancing Superfoods #1
Yep, turns out theres some wisdom to all those chocolate cravings. Cacao is amazing for your period and your female hormones!
Cacao is full of magnesium, which reduces cramping and PMS symptoms. Its also full of antioxidants, which are great for reducing inflammation and supporting healthy egg development .
If youre a chocolate lover, go for organic, dark chocolate as dark as you can stand it. Or use raw, organic cacao and make your own hot chocolate. Who doesnt love a hot drink to help with those period cramps? Yummmmmmm.
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Lower Your Sugar Intake
Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
The simple sugar fructose is present in many types of sugar, comprising up to 43% of honey, 50% of refined table sugar, 55% of high fructose corn syrup, and 90% of agave .
In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugars in the Western diet, and fructose is commonly used commercially in soft drinks, fruit juice, and sport and energy drinks .
Fructose intake has increased exponentially in the United States since around 1980, and studies consistently show that eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance regardless of total calorie intake or weight gain .
Long-term fructose intake has been linked to disruptions of the gut microbiome, which may lead to other hormonal imbalances .
Whats more, fructose may fail to stimulate the production of the fullness hormone leptin, leading to decreased calorie burning and increased weight gain .
Therefore, reducing your intake of sugary drinks and other sources of added sugar may improve hormone health.
Diets high in sugar have been shown to promote insulin resistance, disrupt your gut microbiome, and reduce leptin production. Thus, lowering your sugar intake may aid hormonal health.
What Should I Eat To Balance Hormones
Swap refined carbs for whole foods: Cutting back on added sugars and refined, or simple, carbohydrates will reduce insulin resistance. Refined carbohydrates are found in salty snack foods such as pretzels, crackers and chips, fast food, white bread and pasta, regular soda, and sweets such as cookies, cakes, candy and pastries.
Try replacing some of these processed carbohydrates with natural, whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, beans, chickpeas and lentils.
Try healthy fats: To support healthy leptin and ghrelin levels, incorporate foods with healthy fats into your eating plan. Examples include fish, walnuts, other nuts and seeds, and olive oil.
Look for protein: Eating protein at every meal, but especially at breakfast, can help reduce your ghrelin levels. Lower ghrelin levels, in turn, may reduce overeating later in the day. Try eggs or Greek yogurt for breakfast.
Relieve menopause symptoms: While you can’t get estrogen from your diet, foods containing phytoestrogenslike flaxseed and soycan help relieve symptoms.
Eat enough iodine: Fish, seaweed, iodized salt and eggs are good sources of iodine.
Feel fuller with fiber: Fiber can keep you full longer, too. Oatmeal, or a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast cereal will help you start the day in a healthy way.
Eat foods rich in vitamin D: Vitamin D, which is found in tuna, egg yolks, and fortified milks and cereals, is an important nutrient for women.
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Ground Flax And Chia Seeds
Both ground flax and chia seeds are hormone balancing heroes. Chia seeds, in particular, ease PCOS symptoms because they help eliminate excess estrogen. Flaxseeds also do the same. Flax and chia are high in fiber, essential for proper elimination. Theyre also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, supporting the health of our cell membranes. These membranes control the traffic of nutrients in and waste, out. Click for my coconut chia pudding recipe!
Symptoms Of Hormonal Imbalance
If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms of hormonal imbalance, then you can get checked with your doctor to find out what hormone is lacking or in excess. Blood tests can help find out levels of hormones such as cortisol, insulin, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroxin and TTH, among others.
- Excessive weight gain
Diet plays a very important in helping keep hormone levels balanced in the body. Below is a list of 8 foods that balance hormones in females.
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Your Gut And Liver Are The Keys To Hormonal Health
Your liver is the master detoxifier of your body, flushing out toxins, but did you know it plays a crucial role in balancing your hormones too? The liver is responsible for excessive hormone elimination from our bodies.
When your liver isnt working optimally, your hormonal balance will be thrown off-kilter.
Your gut also plays a crucial role, as many hormones are impacted by the health of your gut microbiome.
Focusing on eating for optimal liver and gut health will have a positive impact on how your hormones are used and produced.
The following steps, in general, will help you provide your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to support a healthy reproductive system:
Assist with the clearance of excess hormones by increasing foods rich in fiber
Eating foods probiotic-rich foods to support a healthy gut microbiome to assist in clearing toxins from your digestive system effectively
Eating foods and drinking beverages to support healthy liver function
Including an abundance of essential fatty acids in your diet to minimise inflammation
So, lets take a look at a few ways to fill your plate and cup with the foods and beverages to help balance hormones.
Add A Shot To Your Daily Diet
An apple cider vinegar and water shot, that isit’s a great way to wake up your digestion. In a small glass, mix together 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons of water. Apple cider vinegar can help with fatty liver3 and gut health by improving your gut microbiome4 and helping you to metabolize fat. Choose a brand of vinegar that is raw and organic.
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Foods That Help With Hormonal Balance
8 Foods that Help with Hormonal Balance Have you been battling hormonal issues for long enough and you feel ready to start making some dietary changes? The following seven foods have been known to help correct imbalances within the endocrine system. Remember, you didnt develop hormonal imbalances in a day, so you will need to give these foods their fair time to start working for you.
#1: Fatty Fish Eating fish that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids , such as the following can actually slow the production of cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Salmon Herring Lake trout If youre on a vegetarian or vegan diet, dont worry. You can still add Omega 3s to your daily diet by adding these foods: Chia seeds
Why are Eggs a Beneficial Food for Hormonal Imbalance? Eggs contain selenium, which is an antioxidant. Why is this important? Antioxidants remove free radicals that can cause damage and premature aging to the thyroid glands. In addition to benefiting your endocrine system, eggs are also known to reduce the risk of certain cancers and boost the bodys metabolism.
#3: Healthy Carbs To many, the word carbohydrates may set off alarm bells, but not all carbs are created equal. Carbohydrates, like the ones on this list are not only loaded with nutrients, but they help to regulate your blood sugar. Oats Legumes
#3: Strawberries Strawberries are a delicious summer treat that can be enjoyed year-round. They can be added to your Cereal
Worst Foods For Hormone Balance
Eat less processed foods, fried foods, sugar, and artificial sweetenersand drink less alcoholto avoid hormone imbalances. Research suggests that downing artificial sweeteners may alter our gut bacteria, which may impact the balance of hunger and satiety, those same hormones leptin and ghrelin, says Gabriel.
Alcohol interferes with several hormonal processes, from blood sugar control to estrogen metabolism. Booze is associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, as well as other cancers. Stick to no more than one drink a day if youre a woman and no more than two drinks per day if youre a man.
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New Mom: Good Foods To Focus On W/ A Busy + New Schedule:
Postpartum is really a period of recovery. Many women are so focused on quickly returning to their pre-pregnancy body that they do not allow time to properly heal.
Typically I have my clients focus on incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet to help support the healing process. This involves lots of antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, nourishing fiber rich grains and starches and high quality proteins. I also incorporate natural stress reducing compounds like magnesium rich nuts/seeds, blood sugar balancing cinnamon and anti-inflammatory rich garlic.
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What Foods Help Balance Female Hormones
One of the nutrients that soy contains that will help you balance your hormones is phytoestrogens.Packed full of fiber, vitamin k and c, as well as fat burning nutrients such as chromium, and b vitamins, broccoli is a must have food for hormonal balance.Refined carbohydrates, fried foods, soft drinks, processed vegetable oil, and trans fats may all alter hormone balance.Salmon also stabilizes your hunger hormones and is high in vitamin d, which helps regulate female testosterone levels, says carrie gabriel m.s., rdn, a.
Some are made from the same raw materials e.g.Soy is a great source of protein along with other vitamins and nutrients.These leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, and swiss chard, can all.These phytoestrogens can help women raise their estrogen levels.
They provide a rich source of.Theyre rich in healthy fat that helps our body absorb and use nutrients they are also full of fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin e, b vitamins, and folic acidall essential for maintaining hormonal balance in the body.* raw butter/ghee:Vitamin d is important for bone health and immunity, too.We all know that you should eat your greens to stay fit and healthy.
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Skin And Hair Changes
Acne. A sudden increase in acne is one easy way to identify a possible hormonal imbalance. One of the few hormones involved is androgens. Androgens, typically referred to as male hormones, but found in both males and females, regulate your skins sebum production. If your body produces androgens in excess, sebum can build up in your pores and cause a pimple to surface.
Hair loss. The quality and vitality of your hair is also directly related to your hormones. Thyroid abnormalities, for example, may cause dry hair or skin, thinning hair, or brittle nails. Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and parathyroid disorder can also cause hair loss.
Go With The Flow Helps Female Hormonal Imbalance
Think of this like a multivitamin for hormone balance.
Go With the Flow features a curated blend of adaptogenic herbs and plants that help balance hormones related to PMS, mood swings, menopause, and even PCOS. The formula includes:
- Black cohosh root, a proven relief for vasomotor menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
- Dong Quai, a root that treats the symptoms of PMS, including mood swings and cramps.
- Chasteberry, a plant that contains hormone-like compounds that help alleviate issues like PCOS, early menopause, and infertility.
- Maca root, a powerful hormone balance herb used to treat depression and fatigue, as well as provide a natural boost for your libido.
Go With the Flow ingredients are 100% plant-based and non-GMO. Theyre highly bioavailable, which means that you can start bringing your hormones back into balance in just a few doses.
The effects of vitamin D on the body are notable. You need it for a range of different functions including:
- Maintaining immunity.
- Preventing weak and/or brittle bones .
- Ensuring good dental development and oral health.
When it comes to this vitamin for hormone imbalance in women, however, its your thyroid that benefits the most. Vitamin D plays an important role in insulin regulation and the production of the thyroid hormones.
Without this vitamin to balance hormones, you could develop both a vitamin D deficiency and hypothyroidism.
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How Do Keto Diets Work
The ketogenic diet primarily focuses on strategies to change the body’s fuel source, or what it chooses to use to provide energy for daily activities. According to Forbes Health, in a natural state, the body would prefer to utilize glucose as the primary source of energy. However, when glucose levels are low in the body, the liver can metabolize stored fat, creating an alternative fuel source known as ketones. Most keto diets focus on limiting the daily intake of carbohydrates for consecutive days to force the body into a state of ketosis .
Once the body has begun burning stored fat, the body is said to be in a state of ketosis. Sounds simple enough, right? However, Forbes Health explains that it can take several days for the body to enter ketosis. In addition, ketosis can be easily interrupted by the individual consuming carbohydrates or even consuming too much protein, as explained by Harvard Health Publishing.
The keto diet and those diets that are “keto-ish” are touted for the ability to help individuals shed unwanted weight. But can keto diets help individuals to balance their hormones? The short answer is yes, but not in the ways you might think.
Nutrition And Impacts On Hormone Signaling
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Specific nutrients, dietary patterns, and overall nutrition may play either beneficial or detrimental roles in hormonal balance. Various nutrition intake patterns, from fasting to excess calories, as well as foods with a higher glycemic load, are known to impact circulating levels of certain hormones. For example, thyroid hormone regulation is influenced by the state of the body, from fed to starved,1 and adequate intake and availability of the nutrients selenium, iodine, and iron contribute to healthy levels and functioning of thyroid hormones.2,3 In addition, the steroid hormone cortisol regulates a wide range of body processes. While cortisol itself has an appetite-stimulating effect,4,5 extremes in nutrition intake, from overeating to starvation,6-8 as well as intake of specific nutrients such as fish oil,9 may impact cortisol production and secretion.
While understanding nutritions potential impact on hormone levels is important, another puzzle piece to consider is nutritions potential impact on hormone sensitivity.
Do dietary factors impact cell sensitivity to hormonal signals, meaning how strongly they respond to the hormone message? Specifically, are tissues and cells more resistant or more sensitive to hormones based on specific nutrients, dietary patterns, or overall nutrition?
Direct Nutritional Impacts on Hormone Signaling Sensitivity
Indirect Nutritional Impact on Hormone Signaling Sensitivity
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Six Foods That Help Balance Hormones
Six foods to help balance your hormones? Does it sound too good to be true? Peri/menopause is all about our hormones and the food we eat can have a significant effect on hormonal balance.
As our fertility declines so do our estrogen and progesterone levels. This can lead to hot flushes, weight gain, moodiness, bladder weakness, itchy, dry skin and so much more. However, the foods we choose to eat can help.
When it comes to managing your peri/menopausal journey looking at your diet and lifestyle choices is key. We have40+ and 55+ to balance the effects of hormones on your body adding hormone balancing foods and throwing out the ones that arent makes sense too. In our experience a multi-pronged approach is powerful.
Perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause sees a change in hormone balance by default. Thats why a daily dose of the three known hormone imbalancers nutritional deficiencies, xenoestrogens and stress adds fuel to the fire.
To help combat this:
1. Try adding the following six foods to your diet.
2. Remove processed foods, sugar, chemical-laden household cleaners and personal care products from your life.
3. Diarise a minimum of 30 minutes per day for you. A a gentle walk, listening to music, meditating, or taking a yoga class.
4. Were sorry about this, but to seriously help balance menopausal hormones bypassing caffeine and alcohol is recommended.