Hormone balancing foods are, in my opinion, one of the most underrated tools in managing the hormonal imbalances all of us face. We have so many hormones throughout our bodies that are affecting us in ways we don’t even recognize, it can be easy to overlook a simple cure such as changing your diet to help. If you’re feeling tired, depressed, foggy headed, moody, or are experiencing a low libido or fluctuations in body temperatures, your hormones are likely to blame. I recommend implementing these foods to help balance out your hormones before seeking treatment, which may still be necessary. These foods can help with hot flashes, mood swings, low energy and depression. Though this isn’t an extensive list, or conclusive advice, the following hormone balancing foods have been proven to contain key nutrients that relieve a vast array of symptoms. Dig in so you can go back to feeling like your old self in no time!
Seafood, primarily low mercury sources of fish, is one of the best hormone balancing foods out there. Why so? Fish is rich in five key nutrients that balance hormones, increase energy, lift depression and enhance the thyroid and metabolism. Seafood is rich in zinc, selenium and Omega 3 fats, along with B vitamins and magnesium. All of these nutrients are essential to your metabolism, testosterone production, which gives you energy and vitality, and fats that nourish your thyroid and aid in preventing depression. B vitamins and magnesium give you energy and also help balance your nervous system.
2. Maca Powder
Maca powder is one of the best hormone balancing foods for women I can recommend. Maca is rich in libido enhancing properties, and adaptogens that help the body cope with stress. Maca is unique because depending on the imbalance you face, it can either give you more energy, or if you’re anxious, it can calm you down. Maca powder, which is the ground powders of the maca root, a veggie that originates from Peru, can be found in health stores, or online. I recommend choosing an organic brand whenever possible.
3. Lean Poultry
Chicken and turkey, preferably organic, are two of the best foods you can eat to balance hormones. They are both rich in protein and tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates serotonin in the brain and promotes a sense of well -being. They are also wonderful sources of zinc and B vitamins that help to fuel proper hormone production in women.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is fantastic for thyroid hormones. You thyroid controls everything from your energy levels to your digestive system, your mood, your weight, and your body temperature. Coconut oil’s fats help increase metabolism to give you energy and burn fat. They also help to calm your nerves and prevent nutritional deficiencies in the body. Consume 1 tbsp. per day and increase up to 3 tbsp. per day if you wish for best results. Buy a brand that is organic, and preferably raw or cold pressed.
5. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are fabulous for you, ladies! They are rich in magnesium, which aids in energy level production and regulates your nervous system, along with iron for proper red blood cell formation to prevent fatigue and anemia. Leafy greens are also rich in fiber and chlorophyll, which help to flush the body of harmful estrogens and toxins that can make you gain weight, and feel moody, foggy headed and fatigued. Leafy greens are extremely nourishing, which makes them one of the best comfort foods to ground you and keep you from being anxious.
6. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and limes are excellent for your hormones. These foods help to cool you off and also help remove excess estrogen from the body. They are also rich sources of Vitamin C that can cleanse the liver, where stored toxins can accumulate. Anytime stored toxins are in the body, our hormones will suffer, so be sure to include lots of citrus fruits whenever you get the chance.
Berries are another excellent fruit for your hormones. Berries also help remove excess estrogen and increase testosterone that can enhance your libido and regulate your body temperature. Berries are rich in anthocyanins, which give them their vibrant, colorful hues. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants in the body that protect it from free radicals and endocrine disruptors, which harm our hormones.
Flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds should be a staple in your diet if you’re looking to balance your hormones with food. These foods help cool you off by warding off anxiety and enhancing your metabolism. These foods are also rich in nutrients and fiber that keep you satisfied for longer than sugary carbs do. It is essential to prevent insulin spikes in the body when your hormones are out of whack. Be sure to eat plenty of healthy fats, protein and fiber to ward off sugar cravings, and utilize the nutrients in seeds to your advantage. Seeds are a rich source of minerals like selenium, zinc, magnesium and copper. All of these help to nourish the thyroid, which regulates your metabolism, mood and weight.
9. Sweet Potatoes
If you’re suffering from carb cravings, try having a sweet potato instead of breads and sweets. Sweet potatoes are excellent for hormonal health. They are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin A. They also help to reduce sugar cravings and increase tryptophan production that signals serotonin production. This wards off anxiety and depression, and sweet potatoes actually help to squash your hunger more than most other starchy foods.
Broccoli is an excellent food for your hormones, along with cauliflower and kale. All of these fibrous veggies help to excrete harmful estrogens and toxins from the body that can cause mood imbalances, body temperature fluctuations, low metabolism and low thyroid. Though we need a certain amount of estrogen in our body, too much is not a good thing. These veggies help to regulate insulin and estrogen in the body to balance everything out perfectly. If you have low thyroid, known as hypothyroidism, be sure to cook these veggies instead of eating them raw. Raw cruciferous veggies like these have been found to contain high levels of goitrogens, which are naturally occurring substances that can interfere with thyroid gland function by inhibiting iodine uptake, which is a critical nutrient for hormone production. Cooking eliminates most of the goitrogens, making them safe.
Seaweed such as kelp, dulse, and wakame are excellent for your hormones, because they are natural sources of iodine. Iodine helps to regulate and enhance the thyroid, which increases your metabolism and balances your hormones. If seaweed sounds unappealing to you, try sprinkling kelp flakes or dulse flakes on a salad. You’ll find you’ll love the salty taste and the sprinkles look a little more appealing than the seaweed in its regular form. You can get seaweed sprinkles at health stores or online, and they are extremely affordable and last forever.
I know we’ve all had times where our hormones have gotten out of control. Exercise and nutrition are key to take care of your hormones, along with good amounts of rest. Be sure you fill your grocery carts and your plate with these hormone balancing foods and try to stay away from the processed foods, too much alcohol or caffeine, and sweets! What are your favorite ways to eat some of these foods?