Ladies, let’s talk about hormones for a hot sec.
Produced by the endocrine glands, hormones are chemical messengers that have a major impact on your overall health and well-being. They play a significant role in regulating many critical processes in the body, such as metabolism, digestion, reproduction, appetite, growth, and mood.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see how a hormonal imbalance can quickly lead to issues like acne, fatigue, weight gain (or weight loss), and high blood sugar levels — not to mention infertility and period problems like PMS or an especially heavy flow.
In other words, keeping your hormones in check is of the utmost importance! Unfortunately, though, this is often much easier said than done as things like stress can quickly cause hormones to fluctuate.
So, what’s a gal to do?
Enter: hormone-balancing foods
Food can have an incredible impact on your health — and when you fuel your body with the right nutrients, you just might be able to keep hormonal imbalances at bay.
Interested in learning more? Love Wellness has your back! Read on as we explore the relationship between food and hormones to uncover the best hormone-balancing nutrients for females.
What Is the Relationship Between Food and Hormones?
A woman’s hormonal system is an intricate and delicate thing. While many hormones circulate throughout the human body, progesterone and estrogen are the two primary female sex hormones. When these hormones are balanced, you feel good. When they’re off-balance, you don’t.
There are many various reasons why an imbalance can happen. It could be due to genetics, illness, certain meds, blood sugar levels, or increased stress. That said, a hormonal imbalance can also result from your diet.
You read that right — food can restore or throw off the balance of your hormone health. This is because certain foods can provide the nutrients needed to facilitate the healthy production of hormones.
What Is a Hormonal Imbalance?
By now, you know that hormones are little chemicals that are produced by your endocrine glands. They keep your body running smoothly and optimally. In fact, the more balanced your hormone levels are, the higher you’ll likely function — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
When your hormones are healthy, balanced, and working in perfect harmony, you probably won’t notice them, and that’s a good thing. It’s when they’re thrown out of whack that you could potentially start to see cascading health issues take over.
Some of the telltale signs that your hormones aren’t in sync include:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- Hair loss
- Low libido
- Dry skin
- Heavy or painful periods
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Poor focus
Hormonal imbalance results from your body making too much or too little of a certain hormone. That said, although just about any chemical in the body has the ability to go haywire, the hormones that are most commonly associated with an imbalance include:
- Cortisol, the main stress hormone
What Foods Affect Female Hormones?
Hormones can become off-balance due to a number of reasons, but they are especially common in women during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Some people, however, experience continuous hormone irregularities, which — needless to say — can greatly dampen one’s quality of life.
That said, if you think your hormones are out of whack, the first thing you should do is review your diet. Some of the worst ingredients that are well-known endocrine disruptors include:
- Growth hormones
In addition, processed and refined foods can affect hormone function by increasing inflammation and stress on the adrenal glands — so if you’re dealing with a hormone imbalance, be sure to cut these foods from your diet as well.
So, what are some of the best foods that may help to get your hormones in sync, you ask? Well, believe it or not, there are quite a few — here are some of them:
Yolks have gotten a pretty bad rap over the years for being high in cholesterol. Still, the variety they contain — HDL cholesterol — is actually the kind your body needs to make hormones!
Eggs also provide a healthy dose of choline, which is an important nutrient that supports the production of acetylcholine — a neurotransmitter that is essential to memory and development, the nervous system, and brain health.
2. Flax Seeds
Adding flaxseed to your diet can do some amazing things for your health. Why? Because these itty-bitty seeds are rich in healthy fats, dietary fiber, and antioxidants in addition to plant-based estrogens like lignans, which promote hormone balance and provide menstrual support.
Need we say more?
Salmon is rich in nutrients, such as protein, good cholesterol, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids — the core building blocks of balanced hormones and a healthy diet. This tasty fish also helps to stabilize hunger hormones and is very high in vitamin D, which helps regulate female testosterone levels, according to the American Heart Association. Vitamin D also plays an important role in bone health and immunity, too.
Good fats are essential for healthy hormone production — so avocados are an excellent choice when looking to get your hormones in check! Not only are they rich in good fats like monounsaturated fatty acids, but avocados are also great sources of other body-nourishing nutrients, such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid.
Plus, avo’s are the bees-knees for skin and may ease conditions like acne, dryness, itchiness, and even eczema. Pair this food with Clear Skin Probiotics to balance your skin’s microbiome for fewer breakouts, smaller pores, and less irritation.*
A member of the cruciferous family, broccoli contains high amounts of phytonutrients, such as glucosinolates (sulfur compounds that may help to neutralize carcinogens) as well as isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol (I3C) — important nutrients that may prevent estrogen-related cancers.
Broccoli is also high in fiber which supports healthy digestion and good gut health.
When you consume foods with a high glycemic index, such as pasta, potatoes, and white bread, spikes in blood sugar can occur. And these spikes may result in a hormone imbalance.
Quinoa — a low glycemic food — provides complex carbs and protein. Swapping white rice for this superfood can help promote hormone health by preventing insulin spikes and controlling blood sugar. Also, the high zinc content in quinoa assists with normal thyroid hormone synthesis to support healthy endocrine functioning.
Lentils are little gems that pack a big dose of nutrients in every serving. These tasty legumes are an excellent source of fiber and protein — which can reduce estrogen levels — as well as zinc, which can raise testosterone levels.
In addition to being oh-so-good for you, almonds can increase your body’s adiponectin hormone, which is directly responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. The hormone-balancing effect of these little crunchy morsels can also do wonders for your complexion and mood.
9. Coconut Oil
Arguably one of the best foods you can eat for your health, coconut oil is an excellent natural remedy for a hormone imbalance due to its high fatty acid content that nourishes the immune system, gut, adrenals, and other systems that affect hormone health.
The oil also contains caprylic acid, which is known for its incredible ability to banish harmful bacteria and get rid of excess candida — so if you’re one of the many women plagued by chronic yeast infections, you may want to try upping your coconut oil intake. Or, simply take Perfect Condition Vitamin (which contains coconut oil) — a vitamin for your V!
According to a recent study, researchers found that cinnamon could cause muscle and liver cells to respond more readily to insulin. An improved response to insulin means better blood sugar balance and, therefore, less insulin in the body!
But that’s not the only benefit of this coveted spice — cinnamon contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which experts say can increase the hormone progesterone while decreasing testosterone production, ultimately lending a hand to balance hormones.
11. Brussels Sprouts
The cruciferous connection to healthy hormone metabolism, brussels sprouts have been used for centuries as healing foods to support optimal health and hormone balance. They effectively metabolize excess estrogen to help keep the body healthy, strong, and balanced — perfect for those with PCOS who may be dealing with too much estrogen (aka estrogen dominance).
Another hormone-balancing food comes from a perennial tree located in parts of Asia and the Mediterranean — chaste berry. These little berries contain phytochemicals like flavonoids that are thought to have many positive effects on health.
One known benefit of chaste berry is that it can influence certain hormone levels in the body, especially progesterone and prolactin. This is why it’s used by many women as a holistic remedy to soothe symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and PMDD, such as cramps, irritability, and mood swings.
Can’t get your hands on chaste berry? Try #Mood Pills — a feel-good supplement that offers total cycle support and PMS relief.* Our clean formula contains organic chaste berry, St. John’s Wort, GABA, and other gentle herbs to help you feel your best, regardless of where you are in your cycle.
A Final Word
And there you have it — 12 body-nourishing foods to help balance your hormones.
Here at Love Wellness, we know all about hormone fluctuations. Why? Because we experience them, too! From tender boobs and heavy periods to acne flares and moodiness, a hormone imbalance can put a damper on just about anyone’s day.
Fortunately, foods like eggs, almonds, and broccoli can help to keep misbehaving hormones in check — you just have to eat them. Not particularly fond of leafy greens or other nutrient-dense foods? Supplement your diet with Daily Love Multivitamin + XOmegas to provide your body with what it needs to support healthy hormone functioning and well-being.
Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids | American Heart Association
The cancer chemopreventive actions of phytochemicals derived from glucosinolates
Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults | Pub Med
Coconut oil predicts a beneficial lipid profile in pre-menopausal women in the Philippines | PMC
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cinnamon | Medical West Hospital
Cinnamon Extract Improves Insulin Sensitivity in the Brain and Lowers Liver Fat in Mouse Models of Obesity | NCBI