Top 10 foods to restore hormone balance
Hormones have a huge impact on our overall health and well being as they affect everything from our menstrual cycles to health issues such as PCOS, Thyroid, PMT and Endometriosis. Nutrition can be a powerful tool when addressing hormone imbalances as when hormones are in harmony you reclaim your life back! Here are my top 10 foods to eat to help restore hormone balance.
These are part of the brassica family and when cut, chewed or cooked a phytochemical known as Indole-3-carbinol is produced. Indole-3-carbinol promotes liver function which is important for hormone balance where our waste products and “spent” hormones are cleared out.
Cruciferous vegetables should be eaten daily to as part of your hormone detoxification and balancing system. Examples include:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
Eat good fats daily
Eating good fats is essential for hormone production as it is these fats that build our hormones as well as reduce inflammation. So always include a portion of fat in each meal which can come from olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, raw unsalted nuts or seeds, nut butter and avocados.
Eat a rainbow of vegetables
By eating a rainbow of vegetables with a wide variety of colours we can be sure we are getting different nutrients and a wide variety of different vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat 7-8 portions daily (a portion is roughly a fist size).
Eat quality protein at every meal
Protein fills us up and keeps us fuller for longer thus keeping our blood sugar levels balanced. Whether this is animal or plant protein is a personal choice, I would normally recommend a mix of both and with animal protein to be sure that this is hormone free by choosing organic grass fed meat.
Eat 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds daily
Flaxseeds are the richest dietary source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen which help balance oestrogen levels by promoting oestrogen but also getting rid of “spent” oestrogen. Add to your breakfast, to smoothies, soups.
Eat whole fruit in moderation
Eating 1 or 2 low sugar fruits daily, ideally raw, with their skin on helps keep our blood sugar levels in check and includes all berries, citrus, apples, pears Dried fruit and fruit juices may spike our blood sugar levels so should be avoided.
Include herbs and spices in your foods
Including an array of fresh (or dried) herbs and spices especially those that have anti-inflammatory properties such as ginger, turmeric, sumac, paprika, garlic will promote hormone harmony as well as ensuring we are adding an array of different nutrients to our meals.
Eat wholegrain fibrous carbohydrates
Including a fist size portion of wholegrain slow release carbohydrates such as brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa with 1 or 2 of your meals will ensure that we are getting much needed fibre and all important B vitamins which support hormone balance and healthy elimination of spent hormones (especially with period related problems such as PMS).
Magnesium food sources
Magnesium improves our insulin sensitivity meaning that our bodies are better able to use insulin and to regulate our blood sugar levels as well as regulating our nervous system (especially helpful with PMS symptoms and with PCOS). Magnesium food sources include and so are easy to incorporate into your daily foods!
- Dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, watercress, kale)
- Legumes – chickpeas, lentil, beans, soy beans
- Nuts (especially almonds, brazil, cashew and pine nuts)
- Seeds (especially pumpkin and sunflower)
- Wholegrains – quinoa
Feed your gut microbiome
For hormone production and balance we need to ensure our gut bacteria are flourishing so eating fermented foods daily (kefir, olives, fermented vegetables), 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 don’t hesitate to contact me using the form below.
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