Our hormones are powerful chemical messengers that travel through our bodies in our bloodstream, controlling lots of different functions including our sex hormones. Eating the right things or supporting our diet with key foods can help to balance them internally. Sluggishness, weight gain, bloating, sugar craving and spots can be some of the symptoms we see during our monthly cycle. This is why we have created a short guide below to help you understand the best foods to eat to balance your hormones and feel better!
Balancing Blood Sugar
Sugar is in so many foods, everything from strawberries to sandwiches. While sugar can provide a quick rush it is also highly volatile. People can experience large crashes when their blood sugar drops after eating too much, leaving them needing more later. Insulin is one of our hormones and although it is not a sex one, balancing it is crucial as if this hormone is too high or too low, it can have an affect on the others. Always make sure to keep stable blood sugar levels by eating throughout the day and not consuming large quantities of sugar in one sitting. Look at the GL guide (glycemic load) of foods, the lower the better and try and stick to these foods. We do need carbohydrates but making sure we are eating the right ones is key.
Ever since fat was demonized, people started eating more sugar, refined carbs and processed foods instead. However, studies have now shown that fat isn’t the devil it was made out to be. All sorts of healthy foods containing fat like avocados, are now considered superfoods by many. Cutting out trans fat found in heavily processed foods and replacing them with good fats, found in legumes and avocados, plus oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring and anchovies are a great way to improve your health. Plus you need healthy fats to make your hormones!
Most of us need to eat more fibre and reduce our intake of added sugars. Eating plenty of fibre is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes and Bowel Cancer. To increase your fibre intake you could try increasing your intake of wholegrain and fresh vegetables. Around half of the UK population only get half of their recomended 30g of fibre a day. Fibre is also necessary for helping form our stools (poo) and this is one of the ways our hormones are exerted from our bodies when they are broken down.
Other key foods to look at incorporating into your diet for hormonal balance are cruciferous vegetables. These include broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and Kale plus others. This group of vegetables are able to help our liver excrete our hormones, this is important as we don’t want re-used hormones recirculating around our bodies as they may cause more damage then help. This group of vegetables are jam packed full of great hormone balancing nutrients so try and get them into your diet where you can! One thing to note with this family of vegetables is that if you have been diagnosed with low thyroid (hypothyroidism) please cook them as this breaks down the goitrogens (a component of these veg) which may interfere with the bodies ability to process iodine.