Now, our health is something that is very important to us all. It has also become a bigger topic of conversation all over the internet lately, particularly with regard to hormone health. So, ladies, as we’re on the subject, let’s talk about how your diet and the types of food you can eat to support hormone balance.
Making sure you get those all-important nutrients into your meals and snacks is vital to your hormone balance. So, let’s look into why these foods are so important and what they can do to help our bodies.
Health and hormones
We know that when discussing hormones, we automatically refer to the main sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When in actual fact, there are over 50 hormones in our bodies and each one of them has its own unique function.
One most of us are already aware of is insulin. Well, insulin controls our blood sugar (also referred to as thyroxine), which is then secreted by the thyroid gland to then stimulate reproduction and growth. Additionally, it also secretes melatonin to help regulate circadian rhythm.
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Maintaining the optimal balance of hormones is just as vital to our health as all other bodily functions. When our hormones are at the right level the other systems in our bodies work better, including:
- Boosted energy levels
- Good quality sleep
- Heightened concentration
- Better mood
Then you have the flip side if things aren’t so balanced. When this is the situation then there can be a bunch of unwanted side effects, such as:
- Thinning hair
- Troubled sleep
There will of course be occasions when our hormone health isn’t within our control, and we need extra help. However, we need to ensure we’re doing what we can control and eat the right balance of foods to make our hormones happy. When we consume all the correct nutrients required for hormone production, as we now know, our bodies work much more efficiently and everything is more balanced too.
Happy hormone foods to eat
So, now we know some more about what happens when our hormones aren’t so happy, let’s avoid it, shall we, ladies?
We’d better jump in and find out what foods we need to be eating to keep our hormones happy, let’s go.
1. Pumpkin seeds
Magnesium is a nutrient that is vital to the production of hormones, and pumpkin seeds are packed full of it. Furthermore, magnesium also helps to calm our nervous system, therefore also having a positive impact on our stress hormones. This then further supports the production of thyroid hormones and helps regulate pancreatic hormones.
When it comes to our daily recommended intake, women should aim for 310-320mg and men 400-420mg. There is about 168 mg of magnesium in one cup of pumpkin seeds, this is over half a woman’s daily intake.
Sometimes there is nothing better than a cozy bowl of oatmeal, am I right? Not only is it tasty but It’s nutritious and filling. But that’s not all, it’s good for our hormones too. Oats provide B vitamins which have been associated with hormone balance and expelling spent hormones from the body.
You can also get lots of fiber from the whole grain, which, you guessed it, also supports hormone balance. A study from 2015 discovered that fiber also has a good effect on insulin sensitivity, another hormone that is really important to our metabolic health.
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If you get tired of eating basic, old oatmeal and want to make it more exciting, make up some overnight oats and keep them in the refrigerator for the next morning. Then, you’re getting out of bed in the morning with breakfast ready and waiting for you, what a great way to start the day.
Eating gut-healthy foods such as yogurt is really important for hormone production. This is because our gut produces certain hormones and also detoxifies them too. This means it’s essential that we take care of our gut with probiotic foods to help regulate the gut microbiome. However, it’s not just yogurt, there are other probiotic foods you could get into your meals and snacks such as:
If it’s yogurt you want, go for skyr or Greek yogurt as these are both rich in protein and contain less sugar than other standard ones.
4. Pasture-raised eggs
Eggs, well more specifically, egg yolks, are a great source of vitamin D. Now, this is odd as the master hormone isn’t usually found in food, but our bodies need it to regulate the production and activity of hormones. This means that if you’re not getting enough vitamin D, it would have a negative effect on your hormone balance.
In order to make sure you’re getting all the vitamin D that is on offer, choose pasture-raised eggs. Pasture-raised means that the chickens have had access to outdoor areas and spent time in the sun. There are some studies that have revealed that because pasture-raised chickens have been exposed to more sunlight, their eggs contain higher amounts of vitamin D compared to caged chickens.
5. Sweet potatoes
Root vegetables, including sweet potatoes, help support healthy hormones by using fiber to help keep our blood sugars at the correct level.
Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and also have a low glycemic index, which means that eating them won’t cause your blood sugar to rise. Additionally, they also contain high amounts of vitamin C which we require for progesterone production, particularly in the second half of a menstrual cycle (luteal phase).
To get plenty of sweet potatoes into your diet, swap regular potatoes out of your meals and choose them instead. They are far healthier, have more nutritional value, and taste great too.
6. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous veggies are loaded with antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals. If you’re wondering what cruciferous vegetables are, they’re the likes of brussel sprouts, broccoli cauliflower, and kale. Not only do they help to keep everything balanced, but they also have a great effect on our estrogen metabolism. These particular vegetables also contain sulforaphane, which is a compound that encourages estrogen detoxification.
Well, why is that important? It’s because there are endocrine-disrupting plastics in our bodies, as well as other chemicals, that we become exposed to. This then causes a build-up of excess estrogen, referred to as “estrogen dominance”, which can then contribute to a whole array of changes from weight gain to loss of libido.
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So, we ladies have higher levels of estrogen than men, meaning they then tend to benefit more from the vegetables can offer. However, even though men may benefit from this, there has been some research that suggests there is a connection between high levels of estrogen and prostate cancer.
To keep those hormones happy, we’d recommend eating between 1-2 cups of broccoli each week. Steamed, roasted or in a soup, there are plenty of ways to broccoli without your diet becoming boring.
Salmon is a very popular fish that has many great health benefits, especially for our heart and brain. Furthermore, it can also be beneficial for our hormones. As well as this, the same omega-3 fatty acids that have those boosting powers can also help strengthen healthy hormones. Inflammation can negatively affect our hormones; however, omega-3-rich food such as salmon can help prevent this from happening.
To hit your omega-3 goal, strive to get three servings of salmon into your meals each week. If you’re vegetarian or don’t like salmon, there are plenty of other options to choose from.
Mackerel, walnuts, and chia seeds are just a few of the foods that also contain high levels of omega-3.
8. Grass-fed beef
Typically, red meat is usually given a bad rep when it comes to discussions on health. However, on this occasion, red meat is actually rather beneficial, grass-fed beef in particular.
When it comes to it and is available, it is grass-fed beef that we want as it tends to be of higher quality and has been shown to contain higher levels of antioxidants when compared to grain-fed meats.
The main benefit of beef is that it is high in iron. Iron is a vital nutrient for upholding consistency during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Not only this but there is said to be a connection between low iron levels and hypothyroidism.
To make sure you’re getting the correct amount, aim to get around three servings of grass-fed red meat into your meals each week.
The bottom line
Well, ladies, there you have it, we’ve given you a bunch of advice on what foods to get into your diet to ensure you’re promoting those happy hormones.
Getting some beef, eggs and sweet potato into your diet seems quite an easy amendment to your lifestyle, comparable to what could happen in the event of a hormone imbalance.
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