Your overall health is directly impacted by the food you eat – from your metabolism and digestion to your immune system. But, did you know that your diet plays a key role in your hormone health, too?
The gut microbiota produces hormones and controls how much of each hormone should be released. Too little or too much of a certain hormone can throw off your metabolism, digestion, menstrual cycle, and much more.
To support healthy hormones and a healthy microbiome – you must first begin with nutrition. And, just like certain foods are labeled as “hormone-disruptors,” other foods work to balance your hormones.
Here are the top 5 foods for achieving hormonal harmony!
5 foods that can help balance your hormones
Good news! The beloved avocado is good for so much more than fancy toast and guacamole! Turns out, avocados can help manage your stress hormones and balance out your estrogen levels.
Estrogen dominance is one of the most common hormonal imbalances among women, and it often results in unpleasant symptoms – such as weight gain, fatigue, and mood swings. But according to multiple studies, avocados may help! In addition to healthy fats, avocados contain plant sterols which can help block estrogen absorption and promote progesterone production.
Avocados are also rich in beta-sitosterol – which can help balance the stress hormone cortisol.
Not only are flaxseeds a rich source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, but they contain phytoestrogens – plant-derived compounds known to have estrogenic and antiestrogenic effects. Studies show that consuming flax seeds can lower cholesterol levels, improve menopausal symptoms, and lower your risk of certain types of cancer.
Add flaxseeds to your oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods!
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse packed with calcium and vitamins A and K – but did you know it can also help balance your hormones? Like flaxseeds, broccoli contains phytoestrogens, which are linked to multiple health benefits in menopausal women.
In one study, eating broccoli decreased levels of 16-αOHE1 – a type of hormone linked to breast cancer, while increasing levels of 2-OHE1– a hormone that protects against breast cancer.
Broccoli isn’t the only cruciferous vegetable that can help your hormones! Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage are all rich in phytoestrogens.
Cherries are packed with hormone-balancing nutrients, such as magnesium and vitamin C. Magnesium prevents the release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, while vitamin C works with estrogen to promote bone growth.
These juicy fruits can also increase melatonin levels and improve your quality of sleep – which is great news for menopausal women and anyone who struggles with insomnia and fatigue.
This trendy grain has swept the foodie nation, and for good reason! Quinoa is packed with iron, fiber, protein, and all nine essential amino acids. And unlike other grains, quinoa can help stabilize blood sugar levels, which in turn helps balance your hormones.
Quinoa has also been shown to help balance cortisol levels. Adding quinoa to your diet is super easy! Add it to salads and veggies bowls, or use it as a rice substitute in casseroles and stir-fries.
To support healthy hormones and a healthy microbiome, you must first begin with nutrition.
Foods that cause hormonal imbalance
What’s the best way to prevent hormonal imbalance? Eating nutrient-rich foods and cutting back on processed foods, alcohol, coffee, and sugar. These foods have been shown to have negative effects on your hormone levels and your overall health. Studies have also shown that pesticides have been linked to hormone disruption in women.
In addition to a healthy diet, frequent exercise and a good night’s sleep are great ways you can naturally balance your hormones. Not sure if you have a hormonal imbalance? Look for these 10 signs and symptoms!