Do you often feel anxious?
Do you often experience massive food cravings?
Or have fluctuating body weight? Are you also a victim of mood swings and acne?
Does your anxiety feel bigger than it used to? More pronounced?
Or do you feel relatively calm some weeks and unbearably anxious during others?
YOUR HORMONES FAULT!
We tend to think of all these symptoms as ‘all in our head’.
The culture we grew up in taught us to believe that women and hormones are synonymous with being crazy, fat, tired, having no control and going on birth control pills to “manage it all.”
But that’s not true! Not at all!
Many factors fuel this painful feelings:
- external circumstances
- imbalanced brain chemicals
- nutrient deficiencies
But there is one, very significant root cause:
From mood swings to fatigue, skin issues to insomnia, the plight of hormones run wild seems nearly inescapable…, especially for women.
The good news!
Eating hormone balancing superfoods will help balance your hormones and reduce inflammation. To help lower your risk for disease, try adding more of the following to your diet.
WHAT ARE THE SINGS OF HORMONAL IMBALANCE?
When there’s too much or too little of a particular hormone flowing in your body, you get a hormonal imbalance. And this is very common during puberty, menstruation, PMS, pregnancy, and menopause.
Hormone imbalance and inflammation are often the culprit behind symptoms such as:
- hight blood pressure
- digestive issues
- hot flashes (at any age)
- sensitive skin
- low libido
- painful periods
- peri-menopause and menopausal symptoms
- weight gain/inability to lose weight
For women, monthly hormonal fluctuations—which often result in mild symptoms like temporary fatigue, skin breakouts, a heightened sense of emotion, bloating, and/or food cravings—are a normal (albeit annoying) part of life.
However, if those monthly fluctuations become more-than-mild and start interfering with your life and happiness, it’s highly likely something’s going on into your body – a hormonal imbalance is to blame.
Unfortunately they can increase the risk of more serious diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.
While there are a few treatments available for hormonal imbalances such as oestrogen therapy, hormonal birth control, testosterone therapy, etc–you can always opt for a natural way!
2 HORMONAL IMBALANCE CAUSES YOU CAN’T IGNORE!
We are not talking enough about our hormones. We often ignore the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
In my belief the causes behind the surge in hormonal issues are:
1. toxic exposures – from our foods, personal care products and environment, of course.
Protecting your body and balancing your hormones doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, there are incredibly powerful hormone balancing superfoods you can eat every day to protect your body’s endocrine system, support detoxification and create better hormonal balance and overall health.
7 Hormone Balancing Superfoods That’ll Make You Feel Better
Hormone balancing superfood #1: apple cider vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has very important benefits for your hormones.
-helps your body to convert the proteins found in foods into usable amino acids. Drinking a shot of apple cider vinegar you’re actually giving your body what it needs to make hormones – addressing any imbalances between estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
-balances your blood sugar, preventing blood sugar soars and crashes and supporting healthy, consistent ovulation.
-contains acetic acid which helps your body to draw nutrients out of the foods you eat.
I drink a small dose of apple cider vinegar before every meal. I literally take a shot of apple cider vinegar!
How to use apple cider vinegar:
Make your salad dressings with apple cider vinegar and lemon/lime juice.
It’s perfect for your skincare routine. Use it as a rinse for your face after a face mask.
Use apple cider vinegar when cleaning your house.
Hormone balancing superfood #2 – lemons, limes, and bitters
Drink at least one glass of lemon or lime water per day.
Lemons and limes contain the antioxidant: d-limonene, which has been shown to activate liver enzymes that help facilitate the two phases of detoxification.
Hormone balancing superfood #3 – maca root
Maca root is rich in minerals and fatty acids. You can consume it in capsule form or put it in beverages if it’s in powder form.
Hormone balancing superfood #4 – healthy fats
When it comes to fertility and your female hormones, fats are good.
The problem is, most of us are eating too much of the wrong fats…and/or not enough of the right fats.
Processed vegetable oils are bad for you!
“During the extraction process of many oils, they undergo a heat and/or chemical process to remove oil from the seed and to clarify and deodorise it. This process completely changes the molecular structure and in turn the body will treat it as a harmful chemical. It then has to be eliminated from the body by the liver by manufacturing specific enzymes. If your body’s metabolism is compromised in any way, like disease, this will cause further in health”.“Recipes and Diet Advice for Endometirosis”, by Carolyn Levett.
The only vegetable oils to eat are those which have been produced by being cold-pressed during the processing. They need to belong to the group of oils that contain essential fatty acids, like omega 6 and omega 3. These can be found in:
- Fish oil
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
- Walnut and walnut oil
- Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
- Linseed oil
- Borage oil
- Star flower oil
- Avocado and avocado oil
Hormone balancing superfood #5 – magnesium rich foods
Magnesium is a powerful mineral and my recent internet research has made me realize it plays a super important role in our bodies! This is especially important if you’re struggling with PMS, with symptoms like migraines, irritability, low mood, and cramps.
Your best food-based sources of magnesium are:
- Dark, leafy greens
- Dark chocolate (yay!)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Black beans
Hormone balancing superfood #6 – leafy greens and colorful veggies
Colorful vegetables contain specific nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, and other substances that help your liver metabolize excess hormones like estrogen
Dark leafy greens such as kale provide a wide spectrum of nutrients, in particular the antioxidant Vitamins K, A and C. Similar to bell peppers, kale’s Vitamin C will help shore up our adrenals and its B vitamins will nourish our nervous systems. These antioxidants also help to combat the damage caused by stress.
Dark green vegetables:
- Collard greens
Upping your plant consumption is one of the most effective, inexpensive, and delicious ways to help support hormonal balance.
Hormone balancing superfood #7 – Clean proteins
Proteins support cellular function, as they provide the body with essential amino acids that help you build cells throughout the body. They also help your body produce specific hormones, including insulin and growth hormone.
- Soaked or sprouted nuts
- Organic pasture-raised/grass-fed chicken, turkey, beef, bison, elk, pasture-raised eggs
- Wild-caught fish
THE WORST FOODS FOR YOUR HORMONES
I must admit there are certainly some foods that are toxic to your hormones and that I do advise to stay away from completely.
Changing your diet could be really hard. Over the past few years I’ve realised what works best for me – the 80% rule.
80% of the time you eat those foods that best support the current hormonal phase. The rest 20% – for the foods that may not be healthy for your hormones.
- Caffeine – coffee and all teas that contain caffeine.
I’ve had a long and turbulent relationship with coffee and caffeine. When you start drinking coffee at the tender age of 15 because your grandma drinks it 4 times a day and the house smells of Italian roast all day long, you slide right into it and it becomes a part of you.
But one day…
Coffee, Endometriosis and me…
As a person with endometriosis, I’ve come a long way. Diagnosed in 2017, I managed to get all the symptoms and pain down to 20% by making significant diet changes (mainly repairing my gut), eliminating stress and honoring my body’s need for sleep.
First, asked myself “what is the most difficult change I could make that I have been resisting all this time?”
And the answer was coffee.
If you are suffering from thyroid issues, Hashimoto’s, adrenal fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, hot flashes, or hormone-related conditions, it’s important to be fully aware of the “bad side of coffee” and make an educated decision whether it is good for you. Here is why:
- Increases Blood Sugar Levels
- Creates Sugar and Carbohydrate Cravings
- Contributes to Acid Reflux and Damages Gut Lining
- Exhaust the Adrenals
- Worsen PMS and Lumpy Breasts
- Gluten-cross Reactive Food
- Impacts the Conversion of T4 to T3 Hormones
- Can Cause Miscarriages
- Is Highly Inflammatory
- Can Cause Insomnia and Poor Sleep
High levels of phytic acid in soy reduce assimilation of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. Phytic acid in soy is not neutralised by ordinary preparation methods such as soaking, sprouting and long, slow cooking. High phytate diets have caused growth problems in childrens.
- Soy phytoestrogens disrupt endocrine function and have the potential to cause infertility and to promote breast cancer in adult women.
- Vitamin B12 analogs in soy are not absorbed and actually increase the body’s requirement for B12.
- Soy foods increase the body’s requirement for vitamin D.
- Soy foods contain high levels of aluminum which is toxic to the nervous system and the kidneys.
- The various negative effects of soy weaken the immune system.
3. White potatoes
Eating white potatoes on even a weekly basis (in any form, including fries!) causes blood sugar levels to spike and crash quickly. Research shows this has an impact on blood pressure and long-term health. This will affect your fertility and whether your body is able to ovulate regularly. Starchy foods act like sugar in women’s bodies. I am a HUGE fan of sweet potatoes, however, which are just as satisfying and get rid of sugar cravings.
4. Pesticide-laden and GMO foods
When the produce you eat is covered in pesticides this adds additional synthetic hormones to your body, while also hampering your liver’s ability to detoxify. So, make your all grocery list organic and pesticide-free.
5. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can affect your gut bacteria and impair the balance of hunger hormones like leptin and ghrelin causing an increase in appetite. Sugar is equally bad though and can cause hormonal imbalances.
Balancing your hormones doesn’t have to be complicated.
There are many foods that help balance female hormones. Making sure your hormones are balanced is crucial in maintaining optimal health and fertility. Make sure to try out these hormone balancing superfoods if you suffer from symptoms of hormone imbalance. Always make sure to consult with your primary care provider before taking any foods or supplements to ensure they are not interacting with any medications you are taking or any existing conditions you may have.