As we age, hormonal imbalances can become a real issue, leading to a range of physical and emotional symptoms - such as decreased energy, sleep deprivation, low libido, or simply less joy. While these changes can be difficult to deal with, it's important not to downplay them. Instead, we need to understand our bodies and do our best to combat those changes as precisely as possible.
One effective approach to supporting hormonal balance is through food and nutrition. The food we eat plays a significant role in our overall health, including our endocrine system. By making better dietary choices, we can help our bodies produce and regulate hormones more effectively, thus reducing the chance of hormonal imbalances. And as a result? Getting more out of life every day!
In this article, we'll explore ways in which food can support hormonal balance, answer some common questions, and share our favorite recommendations for healthier dietary choices. By prioritizing nutrition, you’ll be able to take an important step towards better hormonal health, and feeling a couple years younger (whoops).
While there are many factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalances, diet is a key factor that’s under our control. By introducing certain ingredients, we can support our bodies in producing and regulating hormones as soon as today.
A balanced diet, rich in nutrients and fiber, might mitigate the negative effects of hormonal changes. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help ensure that our bodies receive the nutrients they need to function properly. Additionally, reducing our intake of processed foods and sugar can lower inflammation and support the body's natural hormone production processes.
On the other hand, an imbalanced diet can contribute to hormonal issues and further health problems. For example, a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can lead to insulin resistance, which in turn can affect the production and regulation of other hormones. Similarly, consuming too much caffeine or alcohol can disrupt your hormone production and lead to multiple imbalances.
By prioritizing a healthy, balanced diet, we can take an important step towards supporting our hormonal balance and so much more. In the next section, we'll reveal some powerful types of foods that can help with hormonal balance, including those that support the gut, liver, and reduce stress. Bon Appétit!
When it comes to supporting hormones through diet, there are certain foods that seem to be particularly beneficial. These foods can be grouped into three categories: those that support gut health, those that improve liver function, and those that help reduce stress. Here’s more about this trio…
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Studies show evidence that gut microbiota plays a part in the metabolism of hormones. In the process, things such as appetite, immune response, and stress response can be affected1.. Therefore, just like with most health issues, it’s important to pay attention to the gut, which is the ‘epicenter’ of most diseases. Here are our top choices to upregulate your gut microbiome:
Fermented foods such as kimchi, cabbage, and kefir contain beneficial probiotics that can restore balance in the gut, especially after the use of antibiotics.
High-fiber foods like beans, lentils, and whole grains help feed the good bacteria in our gut and promote healthy digestion.
Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts contain compounds that may support detoxification processes in the body, which is important for optimal hormone levels.
The liver has some important functions when it comes to hormonal balance. This organ is responsible for the direct production of some hormones, and partakes in metabolizing thyroid & sex hormones2.. Unfortunately, after years of poor diet and addictions, some people may be prone to various liver dysfunctions. The good news is that certain ingredients are able to rewind the clock and boost the liver for better performance:
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens contain antioxidants and other nutrients that promote healthy liver function and hormone production.
Healthy fats & Omega-3 rich foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish can support liver health and reduce inflammation.
Turmeric, a spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties, may also help support liver function and improve hormonal balance.
Stress might be the leading cause of hormonal imbalances today. What’s worse, many people don’t seem to realize its profound effects on health. It has been shown that living in a state of ‘fight or flight’ can lead to endocrine disorders and even obesity3.. While most of our stress comes from the outside world, there are some foods that can help uplift our mood and make us feel less anxious:
Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and holy basil can help reduce stress and support adrenal function, while giving a small energy boost at the same time.
Dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) contains high amounts of magnesium, which promotes a strong immune system and (surprisingly) boosts energy levels. Bitter chocolate also offers flavanols, which are a type of antioxidants promoting longevity.
Melatonin and Vitamin D supplementation can improve sleep quality and energy levels. It’s best to obtain them naturally through sunlight exposure, but additional supplements can work too.
By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can easily support your natural hormone production and give yourself a blast of energy to make the most out of each day. Plus, most of the above can easily become a casual addition to your present meals.
You already have an idea what foods to include in your diet, but what if you want to take things to the next level? Well, here are some of our suggestions if you want to spice things up in the kitchen:
Kefir smoothie with berries and spinach
Grilled salmon with avocado salsa and roasted broccoli
Roasted sweet potato and cauliflower bowl with tahini sauce
Dark chocolate and berry chia seed pudding
Green tea and blueberry antioxidant smoothie
You obviously don’t have to limit yourself in any way - let the creative cooking take over!
Food plays a big part in shaping our health and energy levels, but it’s definitely not the only factor. In addition to diet, you may want to consider:
Regular exercise and movement
Stress management techniques such as meditation or yoga
Avoiding exposure to toxins and chemicals
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy or supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional
By taking a holistic approach to your health, you’ll be able to see the results much faster and clearer. Not to mention that once you begin to see the difference, you’ll never want to quit your new lifestyle… Good luck!
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