Hormones… we all have them. So first of all what are hormones?!?! They are basically chemical messengers that travel throughout your body which essentially coordinate your growth, metabolism and fertility. They have a lot of influences on your mood, behavior, & immunity. Unfortunately for us women, we experience more hormonal changes then men do. And hormonal changes are more drastic during pregnancy, peri menopause, menopause, & post menopause.
Instead of getting technical and boring- lets just get right to the reason your reading this. How can you balance your hormones through the food you eat? Keep in mind even if you’re eating right you need to still think of your body as a whole. Everything needs to work together to manage your hormones.
Nutrition fuels and heals your body!!
Let’s start with the basics. Eat a healthy, clean, minimally processed diet. Easier said than done, right?!? And what does that even mean? ⤵️
- Healthy fats
- Limit refined sugar
When you eat a lower-quality diet it will negativity affect your hormones. So you will want to limit highly processed foods, refined carbs & hydrogenated/saturated fats. Now remember it’s not all or nothing. You can have these foods in moderation. Just not in excess ✌🏼
We want to focus on how to create healthy digestive system, stabilize your sugar levels, and decrease inflammation in your body. It may take time, meaning patience will be key in the process!! You will need to learn about your body and how you FEEL after eating.
- Journal your diet
- Before you eat anything think about what it will do or not do for you
- This process involves connecting with your body
- Positivity is key- think about what you can add into your diet not take away** picture taken at Sedona Taphouse in Phoenixville, PA. Salmon Asparagus Salad paired with an IPA.
Vitamins & Nutrients
Proper nutrients are essential to stabilizing and balancing your hormones. So the next question is -> what nutrients are we talking about and what foods should we be eating to get them into our system??
I’ve created a list a list for you⤵️
- Healthy fats
- Vitamin B12 & B6
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
1. Healthy Fats
Avocado, fatty fish, flax seeds, eggs, nuts chia seeds, coconut oil & even dark chocolate! Just to name a few 😉
Healthy fats help your body absorb vitamins & minerals, gives your body energy, protects your organs, & produces hormones.
Consuming high quality healthy fats will release the hormones that will make you feel full & satisfied. So eat some healthy fats at each meal!
**Veggie Quesadilla -> hummus, sautéed veggies, & avocado on a whole grain wrap.
Lean meats, beans, nuts, pea protein, legumes, lentils, seeds, fish, eggs, & Bone Broth.
For one, eating a diet high in protein, like healthy fats, activates those hormones that make you feel full. When you eat protein it helps control your appetite by decreasing that hunger hormone. The right sources of protein will also help regulate your insulin and growth hormones.
When you can you want to choose organic grass-fed meats over grain-fed meats to decrease inflammation and when buying protein powder always opt for plant-based/pea protein over whey.
Brazil nuts, fish, white meat, eggs, sunflower seeds, brown rice, mushrooms & oats.
An essential mineral and antioxidant that’s important part of our diet. When consumed it can remove those free radicals, benefit that thyroid gland, & help with premature aging!! Yess!!
4. Vitamin B12 & B6
Beans, grass-fed meats, fish, dairy, potatoes, eggs & spinach.
B vitamins support your nervous system, immune system, & help turn the food we eat into energy. B vitamins will also help maintain your healthy body.
When your intake of B Vitamins is low it can throw your estrogen levels off balance which can cause mood swings, inflammation & fatigue. –> B6 can help manage PMS.
Get those B vitamins in your system to help balance your blood sugar, reduce estrogen, boost progesterone, & help with nerve function.
5. Vitamin D
Salmon, dairy, eggs, canned tuna, mushrooms, & sun light!
Vitamin D is very essential. It is actually more like a hormone than a vitamin, as it helps regulate the metabolism of calcium. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium to help maintain healthy bones.
Vitamin D will help balance those thyroid hormones. And will help boost your immune system! And keep in mind that low levels of Vitamin D can actually affect your sex hormones too-> testosterone, progesterone, & estrogen. Meaning if you’re trying to get pregnant getting appropriate amounts of Vitamin D could help improve those chances.
I’m a big advocate for getting outside daily and getting fresh air and some sunshine. So on top of eating those nutritious foods don’t forget to get a little sun when you can. It’s food for your mind and body!
Tuna, dairy, seaweed, shrimp, eggs, iodized table salt.
The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones which control your metabolism and promote brain development during pregnancy.
When we get enough iodine in our diet it will help improve your energy levels, give us a clear mind, and help give us a good night sleep.
7. Vitamin E
Nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, & avocado.
Vitamin E is also known as an antioxidant. It’s works with your ovarian hormones and testosterone.
Try upping Vitamin E intake right before your period to avoid hormonal imbalance, cramping and PMS!
Vitamin E also helps manage symptoms that come along with menopause, like stress & hot flashes which usually happens because of imbalanced hormones.
With a history of breast cancer in my family I’m also happy to share that Vitamin E may help reduce risk of breast cancer!
Chicken, chick peas, lentils, edamame, black beans, oysters, grass-fed beef, & pork.
Zinc is known for helping your immune system & metabolism, reducing inflammation, and even improving acne.
Zinc also plays an important role in growth & reproduction.
Added bonus content ⤵️
Stressing will put your health at risk. Long term stress will disrupt your hormones which will put you at risk for more health problems down the road.
Ok so how can you manage your stress in a healthy way?!
- Relaxation techniques
- Deep breathing
- Create “me time” everyday
- Find the positive in every situation
- Find a healthy support system
- Find hobbies you enjoy
- Get outside and take a walk or just get some fresh air.
When you learn to manage your stress your quality of life will improve. 👌🏼
Move your body!
Exercise increases those “feel-good” hormones.
Sleep will help balance your hormones, which will help regulate your metabolism, give your more energy, and help you better able to manage your stress levels.
Lastly, I am no doctor- just a Nutritionist who loves to share knowledge that I’ve learned over many years of experience and research. Please check with your doctor with any medical questions. I’m here to guide you and help you change your mindset and make you a more positive thinker when it comes to choosing a healthy lifestyle. If’s all about making smart choices and living your best life without depriving yourself 🙌🏻