Balance Hormones Naturally Part : What Should I Eat To Balance My Hormones
Heres a recent question from Lana about what could be going wrong with her food plan:
Im just so frustrated. Ive changed my diet and Im eating a balance of healthy foods. Im off sugar and mostly quit drinking wine. I havent seen the improvement in my mood that I thought would happen. I still feel so tired, irrtitable, and moody, and I cant figure out why. What am I doing wrong?
I suspect that once we take a deeper look at your foods and determine your macronutrient levels they may not be quite at the ideal balance to best support you. This balance can be tricky. We have to get this in line with what we know about your root causes to get your systems functioning at an optimal level. This should improve your energy.
Now, for you reading this, you may be confused. And thats okay, because were going to delve into what this means, and how you navigate getting your protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the right balance for you. Im going to give you my tried and tested method to do this!
What Else Can You Do To Promote Hormone Balance
There are some other ways to treat hormonal imbalance outside of diet. Heres how to balance hormones with your overall health:
- Take care of your gut health by eating a variety of high-fiber plant foods that dont cause you inflammation .
- Exercise regularly by moving your body in accordance with the fluctuations in your menstrual cyclefor example, doing light movement like yoga during your period and saving more high-intensity cardio workouts for other higher energy parts of your cycle, like ovulation.
- Prioritize good quality sleep by going to bed and waking up at regular hours .
- Manage stress as best you can, by using mindfulness practices like meditation and journaling when you do feel stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, and seeking out mental health help where possible if you need more tools to cope with anxiety or depression.
Foods That Regulate Your Hormones
The foods you eat can help you to regulate and balance hormones. What we eat has an effect on how hormones are produced and their signaling pathways.
Generally, healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil and fiber that you can find in fruits and vegetables, are good for your hormones. By comparison, artificial sugars, alcohol, and even pesticides that are in food can all contribute to unhealthy hormones.
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Learn How To Balance Your Unique Hormonal Imbalance Naturally
Balancing your hormones is a complicated process and takes time. It will often take up to 3 menstrual cycles to fully experience the benefits of bringing your hormones back in to balance. Unfortunately, there isnt one quick fix or magic solution which will fix all of your period problems. Addressing diet, lifestyle, stress, exercise, mindset and emotional and spiritual health are the cornerstones to improving your hormone health.
To get you started, Im sharing my top 6 tips to begin balancing your hormones naturally. These are a great place to start if you are new to hormonal imbalances, and will give you a taste of addressing your symptoms naturally.
Foods That Balance Hormones In Females
When most of us shop at the grocery store, we end up looking at the ingredient lists of foods, their calorie contents, and even the freshest fruits or leafiest veggies that we can find on shelves. However, what almost all of us neglect to look at are hormone-balancing properties in those food items.
Surprised? We bet you are.
A majority of us are unaware that the correct type of food consumptions can have a fantastic effect on our hormonal levels. And for those of you who dont know what to eat, dont worry! We have your back!
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When Eating Carbs Choose Complex Carbs
While complex carbs are an important part of a nutritious diet, refined or simple carbs dont usually contain a lot of fiber or micronutrients and are digested very quickly.
Refined carbs include simple sugars as well as grains that have had the fibrous parts removed. Some examples are cereal with added sugar, highly processed fast foods, foods made with refined flour like certain breads and pastries, and white rice .
Regularly consuming refined carbs can lead to several health problems, including high insulin levels and weight gain (
Replacing refined carbs, which are digested quickly and can sharply raise blood sugar, with slower-digesting complex carbs and whole grains may help lower insulin levels.
What Happens When These Hormones Become Imbalanced
When there is an excess of estrogen in your system, this can lead to heavy and painful periods, sore breasts, PMS, and weight retention around thighs and hips. The causes of estrogen excess include higher production from ovaries and poor metabolism and detoxification.
Low estrogen can also have negative effects on your health, which include low libido, missing periods, or very long cycles. The causes for low estrogen include under-eating, over-exercising, stress, and smoking.
The consequences of low progesterone include PMS, spotting before period begins, anxiety, and prolonged bleeding. The causes of low progesterone include stress and not ovulating.
Having high testosterone can cause acne, male pattern hair growth, hair loss, and irregular cycles. It is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome , which is associated with irregular cycles and excess androgens .
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Potential Causes Of A Hormonal Imbalance
There are many things that can challenge your endocrine system, therefore disrupting hormone balance and function. The longer a system is out of order the more difficult it can be to bring it back into harmony. Identifying and correcting the causes of hormonal imbalance early on will help maintain your health and prevent the onset of chronic disease. Some of the most common underlying causes of hormonal imbalance include:
- Underactive thyroid
- Cushing syndrome
- Exposure to endocrine disruptors
So how do you know if you have a hormone imbalance? Find out the signs of hormonal imbalance to look out for, and natural remedies that can help balance your hormones.
Does It Allow For Dietary Restrictions Or Preferences
Vegetarians and vegans: The diet includes protein sources that would work for you.
Gluten-free: You give up gluten for the first 2 weeks of this diet. After that, gluten isnt completely off-limits. Turner does advise readers to avoid some processed carbs, like white flour and white rice, and to steer clear of any foods that they felt they had a bad reaction to after the detox phase.
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The Best Foods For Hormone Balance
Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN, clues us in on the best foods to eat for hormone balance.
When we think about hormones, we often immediately think of reproductive health. But theyre not just heavily involved in keeping the reproductive system functioning: Hormones can affect your mood, stress levels, appetite, and overall health. If our hormones are off balance, we might feel more fatigued than usual. Even further, we might experience irregular bowel movements to irregular menstrual cycles, heightened stress, and general irritability. Yikes!
Many of us dont think about turning to food first as a remedy for hormonal issues too often, we tend to steer toward medication. And unfortunately, hormone production isnt something we can directly control.
Diet is integral to hormone health, especially by regulating your gut health . Thankfully, there are certain foods that can help you balance your hormones, so we can select the best foods that regulate hormones and fuel our bodies with those. Heres everything you need to know about treating hormonal imbalance with a hormone-balancing diet and other positive health habits.
Inside this article:
Symptoms Of Hormone Imbalance
- Thinning, brittle hair
Fortunately, by making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle you can balance your hormones and prevent or reverse many of these health issues. One of the easiest ways to restore proper hormone balance is to fill your plate with real, whole, nutrient-dense foods.
There are a few foods, in particular, I would recommend for their superstar ability to regulate your hunger, sex, thyroid, sleep, and stress hormones. Lets take a look at why these are some of the best foods to balance your hormones naturally!
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Consider Supplements And Alternative Medicines
There is some evidence that alternative therapies or supplements may address some hormonal issues.
For instance, a found that a Chinese herbal therapy routine resulted in doubled pregnancy rates among female participants with infertility when compared to Western, drug-based treatment.
A reports that Nigella sativa, known as black seeds or fennel flower seeds, helped raise estrogen levels in an animal model.
If studies in humans confirm these findings, the supplement may be beneficial for people going through menopause.
The following tip may benefit males:
Is The Hormone Diet Safe
The CDC recommends a rate of weight loss at one to two pounds per week but stresses that this should come from a combination of dietary changes and exercise. The Hormone Diet claims to cause weight loss of 12 lbs in the two weeks of phase one, which is much too fast for what is considered safe and sustainable. Additionally, the weight loss in phase one is due to dietary changes alone as the exercise component is only added in phase three.
Likely, much of the weight loss during the initial phase is due to water weight caused by eliminating grains and other foods. However, it is not sustainable weight loss and could easily come back after the initial phase is over or if you return to your normal eating patterns.
This weight loss in two weeks can set the framework for unrealistic weight-loss expectations when an individual is looking to achieve long-term weight loss. In addition, it often contributes to cyclical yo-yo dieting, warns Wirtz. Mowrer agrees: The worst part is the suggested 12lbs of weight loss in two weeks. That is excessive and extreme. Healthy weight loss is defined as one to two lbs per week.
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Make Some Magnesium Oil To Help Balance Hormones
Magnesium is better absorbed through the skin than the digestive tract, so thats why magnesium oil is the magnesium supplement of choice recommended by many natural healthcare practitioners. Its actually a mixture of magnesium chloride flakes dissolved in water.
Dr. Sircus, a leading magnesium researcher and author of Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, says
After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be the most important element needed by our bodies, vitally important yet hardly known. It is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and regulates all three of them. Millions suffer daily from magnesium deficiency without even knowing it.
Mineral balance goes hand-and-hand with hormone balance. Want to balance hormones naturally? Make sure you are obtaining and absorbing adequate magnesium! Heres my guide to making and using magnesium oil. There are a couple application tips that you dont want to miss in there. For example, applying magnesium oil to your legs after shaving is not a good idea!
Treating Hormone Imbalance With The Hormone Diet
A special hormone diet created by a naturopath can help you lose weight and balance your hormones. The diet is a combination of low glycemic index foods and the Mediterranean diet.
Foods that fit within the diet which is more of a lifestyle choice include lean proteins, fresh vegetables and plenty of fruits, chia seeds, nuts, olive oil, and whole grains. This eating plan suggests avoiding caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, processed foods, peanuts, full-fat dairy, artificial sweeteners and simple carbs, like cakes and white bread.
Followers of this lifestyle change swap their daily coffee for green tea and opt to cook their own meals instead of eating boxed foods or pre-made snacks. Even those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet can find plenty to like about this hormone diet. People with celiac disease who must avoid gluten can also succeed with this diet.Couple this diet with 30 minutes of exercise, six days a week, rotating among strength training, interval training, yoga, and cardio.
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Can Plastic Disrupt Your Hormones
Plastics contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals . These chemicals disrupt your hormones and some examples of them include Bisphenol A , phthalates, dioxin, toxic metals like lead, and UV-stabilizers.
Many different plastic items you handle and encounter can contain these chemicals, such as food storage materials.
These chemicals can cause a variety of health problems, such as fertility issues, immune function problems, nervous system function problems, breathing problems, cancer, heart health, metabolic issues, neurological problems, and disabilities.
How these chemicals disrupt hormones in the body is that they either interfere with how they function or they mimic them. When a chemical mimics a hormone, it makes the hormone receptor think that the EDC is itself a hormone. This triggers hormonal imbalances.
Based on this, its important to prevent your food from coming into contact with EDCs in plastic. So, avoid putting foods in plastic when microwaving them, replace non-stick pans with ceramic-coated ones, and avoid drinking from plastic bottles that contain BPA.
Other things to do include the following:
Eat Lots Of Vegetables Legumes Beans And Fruit
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of nutrients for a healthy microbiome.
They are high in fiber, which your body cant digest. However, certain bacteria in your gut can digest fiber, which stimulates their growth.
Beans and legumes also contain very high amounts of fiber.
Some high fiber foods that are good for your gut bacteria include:
One study found that following a diet rich in fruits and vegetables prevented the growth of some disease-causing bacteria (
Many fruits and vegetables are high in fiber. Fiber promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, including specific types such as Bifidobacteria.
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Your Hormone Health Is In Your Hands
No one wants to talk about hormones, periods, or menopause but its time to change this! So, lets get talking!
Join the to chat with other women like you who want real talk about hormonal imbalances, periods, perimenopause, estrogen dominance, and menopause lets get the conversations going!
And remember to read my other blogs about hormone health and to I want you to know what I know about hormones, health, weight gain, belly fat, and balancing your hormones naturally.
Congratulations for taking charge of your health!
Feed Your Gut Microbiome
For hormone production and balance we need to ensure our gut bacteria are flourishing so eating fermented foods daily , prebiotic foods and probiotic yoghurts etc as well as eating as many different foods as possible in a week will help maintain the diversity you need.
If you feel that you could benefit from additional support, they you can learn more by reading my page about hormone imbalance or dont hesitate to contact me using the form below.
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Foods That Are High In Natural Fats
Fats are the raw material for:
Without enough healthy, natural fat in your diet, your body is basically starved of the raw material that it needs to make all of those hormones.
So, its important to eat healthy fats on the regular.
Here are some to choose from:
How To Balance Hormones Naturally
1. Swap Carbs for Healthy Fats
Foods that balance hormones include a variety of fat-containing foods that provide short, medium and long-chain fatty acids. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol.
Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
Healthy fats have the opposite effect of refined carbohydrates, which lead to inflammation and can mess with the balance of your hormones.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include:
- coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon.
- Coconut oil uses are plentiful for example, coconut oil has natural anti-bacterial and fat-burning effects.
- Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients such as potassium.
- Salmon nutrition is also impressive: its one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses.
2. Supplement to Fill Nutritional Voids
3. Address Emotional Imbalances
6. Get More Sleep
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If You Can Breastfeed For At Least 6 Months
A babys microbiome begins to properly develop at birth. However, studies suggest that babies may be exposed to some bacteria even before birth .
During the first 2 years of life, an infants microbiome is continuously developing and is rich in beneficial Bifidobacteria, which can digest the sugars found in breast milk .
Many studies have shown that infants who are fed formula have an altered microbiome with fewer Bifidobacteria than infants who are breastfed (
A number of studies have shown that vegetarian diets may benefit the gut microbiome, which may be due to their high fiber content.
For example, one small 2013 study found that a vegetarian diet led to reduced levels of disease-causing bacteria in people with obesity, as well as reductions in body weight, inflammation, and cholesterol levels .
A 2019 review noted that plant foods are rich in specific nutrients that can increase levels of beneficial bacteria and decrease harmful strains of bacteria to support gut health .
However, it is unclear if the benefits of a vegetarian diet on the gut microbiome are due to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may also play a role.
Vegetarian and vegan diets may improve the microbiome. However, it is unclear if the positive effects associated with these diets can be attributed to a lack of meat intake or if other factors may be involved.