Nutrition For Hormone Balance:
What to Eat & What to Avoid
According to Live Strong, more than 80% of the population doesn't eat enough fruits, vegetables, and dairy. A healthy diet provides people with numerous benefits, including balancing their hormones. Many people don't realize that the food they consume can have a detrimental or beneficial effect on their hormones.
If you have problems with your hormones, you might be looking for natural ways to get your body in check. Educating yourself on the best nutrition for hormone balance is a great way to get started. Improve your life and health in multiple ways by consuming healthy foods.
This guide will discuss everything you need to know about foods and hormone balance. Discover what foods you should add to your diet and which ones you should avoid.
What's the Connection Between Food and Hormone Balance?
Balancing hormones through diet is a healthy way to improve your body's function. We fuel our body with what we feed it, whether healthy or fatty, processed foods. We should consider our hormones when choosing what to eat.
Our hormones act as chemical messengers in our bodies. They're part of the endocrine system. Hormones help with the following functions:
When our bodies are created too much or too little of a hormone, it can result in various health problems. These problems include infertility, weight gain or loss, or diabetes.
Eating specific foods provides our body with the nutrients needed to produce hormones effectively. A healthy diet will help your body keep its hormone levels in sync.
Keep in mind that you need to be consuming enough calories as well. The female body is very susceptible to calorie scarcity. If your body thinks it's not getting enough food, it'll decrease how many sex hormones it's producing.
What Are the Signs of a Hormone Imbalance?
Many women suffer from hormone imbalances as they age. There are a few signs you should keep an eye out for. They include:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Continual weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Lighter or heavier periods
Foods to Eat to Balance Hormones
There are many foods to eat to balance hormones and improve your health. Let's discuss some of the most commonly used foods.
Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Two of the main building blocks of your hormones are cholesterol and fat. Your body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to create sex hormones, like testosterone and estrogen.
It's important to choose fats that are high in omega-3s. You want to limit your consumption of saturated fats and get rid of trans fats from your diet.
Some healthy foods that have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids include:
- Olive oil
- Canned tuna
- Chia seeds
For example, salmon is high in vitamin D, regulating a woman's testosterone levels. It's also great for stabilizing your hunger hormones.
According to Eat Right, cruciferous vegetables contain a lot of nutritional value. Cruciferous vegetables help our livers efficiently metabolize estrogen. Regularly consuming cruciferous vegetables can help protect you from getting certain estrogen-dominant cancers.
Some examples of cruciferous vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
One way to prepare cruciferous vegetables is to roast them in your oven. Spread the vegetables on a cookie sheet, drizzling them in olive oil. The olive oil will help your body absorb the vitamins.
Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Consuming foods with a high amount of pesticides sprayed on them can impact your hormones. According to Beyond Pesticides, many pesticides can disrupt our hormones. Pesticides can affect how your hormones function or mimic hormones in the body.
You should avoid consuming foods that have been sprayed with endocrine-disrupting pesticides. For example, glyphosate is commonly sprayed on fruits and vegetables. By eating organic fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals.
However, it's essential to keep in mind that not everyone can afford to buy organic produce. The benefits of consuming vegetables and fruits outweigh not eating them because you can't afford them. Minimize your pesticide exposure when you can, but know that produce contains many nutrients and vitamins that can help you.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
The good bacteria that live in your gut are called probiotics. The fibrous foods that good bacteria eat to survive are prebiotics.
Your gut is the biggest endocrine organ in your body. It secretes and synthesizes over 20 hormones that affect your metabolism and appetite.
Some prebiotic foods you can consume are:
- Raw garlic
Consuming many high-fiber foods can help your body get rid of excess hormones. You should focus on eating vegetables low in starch in most of your meals.
A quarter of your plate should have a starchy veggie, like whole grains or potatoes. You can also add root vegetables to your plate. Some examples of healthy, high-fiber carbs include:
- Sweet potatoes
Eating small portions of starch at dinner might also help regulate your cortisol and melatonin levels.
Foods to Avoid for Hormone Balance
There are many foods to avoid for hormone balance. Let's discuss some foods you should eat small amounts of or wholly cut from your diet.
Red meat is high in hydrogenated and saturated fats. These fats are generally considered unhealthy and shouldn't get consumed regularly.
Eating a lot of red meat can also increase your estrogen levels, disrupting your hormones. You can swap out red meat with fatty fish and eggs that have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Milk products contain a lot of essential nutrients. Unfortunately, they can affect your hormones. Milk can also cause your gut to get inflamed.
Consuming large quantities of milk can also raise your triglyceride levels. Increased triglyceride levels might contribute to diabetes.
Soy products, like soy milk and tofu, contain phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogen is a bioactive substance that functions like estrogen in your body.
If you eat a lot of soy products, your body will think it has high estrogen levels. Your body will produce less estrogen, resulting in your hormones getting out of balance. Your ovulation cycle might be affected by the reduction in estrogen production.
Drinking too much caffeine can affect more than your sleep cycle. According to Hormones & Balance, caffeine can cause an increase in your cortisol levels. Cortisol is your body's stress hormone.
Refined and processed foods are linked to many health problems. Processed foods contain high amounts of preservatives, sugar, and sodium.
When you eat processed foods, the ingredients increase stress and inflammation in your adrenal glands. This results in a hormonal imbalance and unintentional weight gain.
Processed foods include:
- Ready-to-eat meals
- Fast food
While not a food, alcohol can disrupt the production of sex hormones and insulin in your body. Alcohol can also impact your body's stress hormones as well. Consuming alcohol can also affect your pituitary gland, where your brain produces most of your hormones.
Start Balancing Hormones Through Your Diet Today
Learning about food and hormone balance can be a fun experience as you discover new things to eat. Just because you're reducing your intake of certain food groups doesn't mean you can't enjoy delicious meals.
A well-balanced breakfast is a great way to start your day. Below are some of our favorite ideas for healthy breakfast dishes:
- Blueberries and oatmeal
- Fruit and Greek yogurt
- Whole grain toast with eggs
It's essential to have a few healthy snacks ready in your fridge to grab when you get hungry throughout the day. You want to avoid having easy, processed snacks in your house. If it's not there, you won't eat it.
Some of our favorite snacks are:
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Sliced vegetables and hummus
- Cheese, whole wheat crackers, and fruit
Your lunch dishes should include a good balance of protein, vegetables, and healthy starches. You want to ensure you feel full to get yourself through the rest of the afternoon.
Some lunch ideas you might want to try include:
- Cannellini bean salad
- Veggie wraps
- Vegetable and quinoa stir-fry
Your dinner should include similar items to your lunch, like protein, starch, and vegetables. You can end your night with a healthy dessert like fruit and yogurt drizzled with honey.
Our favorite dinner ideas are:
- Roasted chicken, veggies, and sweet potatoes
- Salmon with brown rice and roasted carrots
- Lean meat with whole wheat pasta and steamed green beans
Learn More About Nutrition for Hormone Balance
Learning about nutrition for hormone balance is key to keeping your body in sync. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle can help your body feel balanced. Incorporate mild to moderate exercise a few times a week to help improve your health even more.
The Knowell supplement is full of natural vitamins and minerals that can work with your nutrition to balance your hormones. Browse our online store today to discover more about our product.