Hate it or love it, hormones play a huge role in your health. They affect everything from how you eat, how you feel to your menstrual cycle. When trying to fight hormonal imbalances, hormone balancing diets is your best bet. If you’ve found yourself surfing the internet looking up “female hormones”, “PCOS” or “hormonal imbalance”, chances are you want to learn more about your own hormones. When trying to fight hormonal imbalances, a hormone balancing diet is your best bet. Aside from exercising, what you eat can help balance your hormones.
What are hormones?
Before talking about hormones balancing diets and how effective they are, it\’s best you understand what hormones are. Basically, hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system. They are responsible for telling the organs what to do and when to do it. Hormones aid the regulation of metabolism, heart rate, sleep cycle, reproductive cycle, sexual function, general growth, physical development, stress level and body temperature.
What do Hormones Control?
As mentioned earlier, hormones are found throughout the body and have a wide range of effects. They\’re the messengers, informing your organs of what needs to be done. As a result, they have complete control over a wide range of bodily processes and health. Here are just a few of the ways they affect your body on a regular basis:
- Heart Rate/Health
- Sleep Cycles
- Sleep Quality
- Reproductive/Menstrual Cycles
- Sex Drive/Health
- Growth and Developent
- Muscle Mass
- Healthy Weight
- Mood and Stress
- Body Temperature
As you can see, a hormone imbalance can have a wide range of effects on your body. You’ll find it tough to overcome the side effects of this imbalance if you don’t pay attention to the balance of your hormones.
We already established that hormones play a vital role in one’s health. Having too little or too much in your bloodstream can lead to hormonal imbalance. When there is an imbalance, it can affect your bodily functions, causing a decline in your health. When your hormones are not balanced, you begin to experience symptoms such as joint pain, tiredness, headaches, high blood pressure among others.
Causes of Hormonal Imbalance
On a daily basis, your body sends out signals to suggest any form of imbalance. Hormone imbalances can be caused by problems with the adrenal glands, thyroid, gut, liver, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors.
Anxiety, irregular cycles, loss of appetite, sadness, mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, acne, sleeplessness, lethargy, energy loss, digestion problems, and blood sugar imbalance are just a few of the symptoms. It is a rather frequent condition these days as a result of bad nutrition and lifestyle choices.
Hormonal imbalance is caused by a number of factors including:
- Lack of sleep
- Environmental toxins
- Poor diet and other lifestyle choices such as smoking
How are hormonal imbalances dealt with?
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), birth control pills, insulin injections, and fertility therapies are all typical treatments for hormonal abnormalities. The efficiency of these varies depending on the individual.
Diet, on the other hand, is critical because it provides the body with the basic ingredients and fuel it needs to produce hormones. If a person\’s nutrition is poor and they make bad lifestyle choices while also living a stressful life, it\’s no surprise that they may suffer from an endocrine (hormone) or metabolic illness.
Hormone Balancing Diets – What are they?
Hormonal imbalance can greatly impact your overall health. As a result, dieticians recommend foods that can help maintain hormonal balance and hence, improve health. These are called hormone balancing diets.
There are different hormone balancing diets that have been introduced. One came from a book written by Doctor Natasha Turner. The idea was to help control women’s hormone changes that cause weight gain and other health issues. The book outlines a 3-step diet plan for a period of six weeks. It’s fully packed with diets, exercises, detox methods and supplements all promising to strengthen your hormones and fix any imbalances.
How does the Hormone balancing diet work?
The first phase consists of a 2-week detox in which you stay away from certain kinds of foods such as cow dairy, peanuts, sugar, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, citrus and artificial sweeteners. However, certain supplements such as fish oil and probiotics are allowed.
The second phase involves reintroducing various foods while documenting your body’s reaction to each one. This phase is still limiting, as it requires you to avoid “hormone-disrupting” foods. Fish with high mercury levels, non-organic meat and coffee, dried fruit like raisins and dates, peanuts, and high fructose corn syrup are among these items. During this phase, you should avoid anything processed, artificial sweeteners, nitrates, and refined grains.
In the third phase, you can include some physical activities and body movements. Exercise during this phase includes strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
As the name suggests, ‘rainbow’, you have food of different colours included in your daily diet. This goes beyond foods to include fruits and vegetables. The idea behind this diet is that eating as much coloured food as possible increases your body’s immune system, fixes hormonal imbalance and improves your overall health.
- Blue – Blue Berries
- Yellow – Avocado, Yellow Bell Pepper
- Red – Apple, Plum, Water Melon, Beetroot, Strawberry, Cherry
- White – Banana, Mushroom, Ginger and Cauliflower
- Green – Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Cabbage
- Purple – Raisins, Black Current and Purple Cabbage
Herbal tea infusion
Due to the health issues associated with hormone imbalance, herbal teas are often considered the safest and best way to fix these imbalances. Your liver plays a key role in hormone metabolism and detox cleansing. When it comes to hormone balance, the herbal infusion is a great solution. For best hormone balance results, try the following herbal tea infusions: dandelion tea, Chamomile tea, green tea, red raspberry leaf tea and Cinnamon among others.
Diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids
Another hormonal balancing diet is the omega 3 fatty acids. We see this mentioned among the healthy foods to consume, yet few take it for granted. In essence, omega-3s help with hormone imbalance and boosts your mood. Foods rich in oily fish, nuts and seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids work to suppress inflammation which is greater in people with hormonal imbalances.
Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce the levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. It also aids in the reduction of insulin resistance associated with obesity and PCOS.
A good omega 3 diet is salmon burgers, Greek roasted fish with vegetables, creamy lemon pasta, mackerel with crushed potatoes, grilled oysters and stir-fried grains with shrimps and eggs.
6 Natural Ways To Balance Your Hormones
If diets don’t work for you, here are other natural and healthy ways to promote hormonal balance.
Keep a healthy weight
A healthy weight is important for harmonizing hormone levels, but a sophisticated diet isn’t the answer. Consuming fewer calories, choosing higher-quality, less-processed meals, and drinking enough water are all long-term methods.
Concentrate on the quality of your diet
Overall, diets high in whole foods rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals encourage healthy hormone levels.
A low-quality diet, such as one high in refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated and saturated fats from fried foods, fatty meats, and highly processed foods, can negatively influence hormones like insulin, cortisol, and sex hormones. Eating too much or too little is also bad for your hormones: overeating causes insulin levels to rise, while undereating or persistent dieting causes cortisol and sex hormone levels to drop.
Maintain your pace
Cardiovascular exercise and resistance training have been demonstrated to help maintain muscle mass as you age by lowering insulin levels and balancing testosterone levels.
Restorative exercises such as yoga can help lower stress hormones, while resistance training such as Pilates and weightlifting can assist hormones release at their optimal levels.
Control your anxiety
Although stress is an unavoidable aspect of life, it is critical to your general health and well-being to manage it. Stress management strategies like yoga and meditation can help reduce cortisol levels, which can aid weight loss.
Sleeping for eight hours a night on a regular basis can assist to enhance low testosterone levels and improving cortisol, leptin, and insulin levels.
Get rid of the white things
Sugar consumption has long been related to poor health. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain, which is a risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as hormone imbalances.
All sweeteners, including table sugar, maple syrup, fruit molasses, honey, and agave nectar, are classified as “added sugars.” To reduce the impact on blood sugar levels, keep these foods to a bare minimum and eat them with meals.
Hormone Balancing Foods
The most natural way to balance your hormones is food. Regular intake of power-packed nutritious food – carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein, should be your goal. Below are 5 food categories that you can find in your kitchen which will help you control hormone imbalances.
Consume enough fibre
According to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey in the United Kingdom, only 4% of women and 9% of men consume the recommended 30 grams of fibre per day.
Most often, when we hear the word ‘fat’, we think of bad fats. There are, however, healthy fats that should be consumed often since hormones flourish when fat is produced.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid and MCT, both of which are excellent for hormone balance and weight loss.
Egg yolks are packed with vitamins and minerals including A, D, E, Calcium, Iron and Selenium. These help in naturally balancing hormone levels and having healthy skin.
Omega 3 is abundant in unsalted Brazilian nuts, Macadamia nuts, and Walnut. Omega 3s\’ anti-inflammatory properties help to maintain hormonal equilibrium
Hormone Balancing Supplements
Hormones can be problematic for many women, especially as they approach perimenopause. Variations of all kinds can occur, and these can affect every area of a woman\’s life.
Hormones can be problematic for many women, especially as they approach perimenopause.
Variations of all kinds can occur, and these variations can affect practically every area of a woman\’s life.
- B Vitamins
- Vitamins C
- Vitamin D
How can we help?
We work with a number of women to help balance hormones. Everyone is busy and stressed out; this shoots our stress hormones level and creates an imbalance in other hormones including the female sex hormones. If you’re looking for a holistic meal and Nutrition plan designer to help control hormonal imbalances, we’ve got you covered. Get professional guidance on your healthy journey here.