How to Maintain a Hormonal Balance with Food
Have you been feeling bloated, moody, irritable, or just overall not like yourself? You might be going through a hormonal imbalance. These occur when there is too much or too little of one hormone in your bloodstream, making their levels off-balance and causing you to feel different than usual. Making sure to maintain a healthy hormonal balance is essential for many women since our hormone levels are constantly fluctuating due to diet, exercise, age, and stress levels. With diet being the biggest of them all, I’ve put together this list of a few foods that you can eat to help maintain your hormonal balance naturally:
Stick to Healthy Fats
Studies have shown that healthy natural fats such as avocado and fatty fish can have a positive effect on your hormone levels. Avocado, being low in carbs and rich in anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy fats can balance levels of insulin—this will keep your energy going and prevent your blood sugar from crashing. Fatty fish are full of omega-3s, which studies have found have anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial for hormonal health by reducing levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Load up on Leafy Green Vegetables
Try to eat at least five servings of dark green veggies daily! Kale, spinach, and broccoli are all rich in magnesium and dietary fibers, which helps support healthy levels of estrogen and testosterone. Magnesium can also help relieve muscle tension for cramps and can boost your overall mood.
Snack on Lignan-Rich Seeds
Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, and sesame contain lignans, which normalize your estrogen levels by getting rid of excess estrogen in the body and stimulate estrogen production when you need more. Snacking on these seeds daily can help correct your hormonal imbalance.
Sweet Tooth? Try Berries!
Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are loaded with hormone-balancing nutrients. They are a rich source of vitamin C, which helps regulate progesterone levels, specifically during PMS. Berries are also full of polyphenols, which is an antioxidant that helps decrease inflammation and manage the stress hormone cortisol. If you experience rough PMS, try eating berries!
Eat Protein with Every Meal
Are you getting enough protein? It’s key for keeping your hunger hormones, such as ghrelin, in balance. Studies have shown that consuming enough protein will trigger the production of hormones that suppress appetite and help you feel full. Try to eat a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein per meal, and keep in mind that over- or under-eating may result in hormonal shifts.
If you have low energy, mood swings, or sudden weight gain, you may have a hormone imbalance. Including some of these healthy natural foods can help keep your hormones in check!