Today, let’s talk about keeping our hormones in balance. As women, our lives are closely connected to the ups and downs of our hormones. Whether it’s the monthly changes during our childbearing years or the transitions during perimenopause and menopause, hormones play a significant role in how we feel.
Our aim is to understand and support these hormones so we can feel our best. Symptoms like weight gain, migraines, fatigue, mood swings, hot flushes, and sleep problems can all be linked to hormonal imbalances that impact our daily lives.
When I help clients with hormonal balance, I take a comprehensive approach. I use a combination of herbal remedies and nutritional supplements, but at the core, it is about guiding my clients toward lifelong dietary choices that promote hormonal health.
Now, let’s talk about foods that can help your hormones balance. Believe it or not, what you eat becomes a part of you, and if your food choices don’t support your hormones, it can lead to problems. On the other hand, choosing foods and nutrients that are known to be good for your hormones can lead to a more balanced life.
It’s interesting to note that many cultures worldwide have traditional diets that focus on hormonal balance. Women in these cultures often don’t experience issues like weight gain, menopausal symptoms, or heavy periods. So, let’s learn from them and see how we can incorporate their ideas into our diets.
The goal is to create an eating plan that works well with your hormones. Food choices can help regulate your hormones, improve your mood, and even counteract any weight gain caused by hormonal changes.
So, what are some of these hormone-friendly foods?
Let’s start with healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These foods are great for hormone balance. They help hormone production, keep your weight in check, and stabilise your mood. When you include them in your daily meals, you’re actually helping balance different types of hormones, not just the ones related to reproduction.
Why not add avocado to your salad, make a salad dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or snack on nuts and seeds during the day. These foods can easily become a natural and helpful part of your daily routine.
Let’s talk about cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and watercress. These veggies have a phytonutrient called glucosinolates, which help your liver detoxify. This means they help break down hormones and keep them in check.
As we go through life, our bodies use hormones like estrogen and progesterone to handle different jobs. But after these hormones have done their work, it’s important to say goodbye to them. Letting them accumulate can often lead to hormonal imbalances.
Phytoestrogens are compounds in some plant foods. These compounds can influence our hormone balance. Now, there is a bad rap about phytoestrogens and hormonal influences. I am here to say phytoestrogens are not the bad guys. The reports of these foods causing hormone-dependent diseases are misleading.
Phytoestrogen compounds can help to balance our hormones by either supporting low hormonal status or blocking the effect of high hormone levels.
Think about adding sesame seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, tempeh, edamame, alfalfa, legumes, and soy to your daily meals. These foods can help bring balance back to your body. Enjoy them in our regular meals in moderate amounts to support your overall health.
Whether from animal or plant-based sources, protein is crucial for making hormones.
When we don’t get enough protein, our bodies lack the essential components to create hormones. This can leave us feeling a bit tired. So, ensuring you have a good amount of protein in your diet is important for hormonal balance.
They’re a great way to introduce essential nutrients and medicinal herbs that help keep your hormones in check.
For instance, take green tea. It supports liver detoxification, and Theanine in green tea helps boost your mood.
There are other herbal teas like red clover, licorice, and raspberry leaves, each with its unique way of promoting hormonal balance. Red clover tea, for instance, supports hormonal equilibrium. Licorice not only aids hormones but also gives a helping hand to your adrenal glands, especially during stressful times.
Mix these herbs or experiment with flavours like chamomile, lavender, or lemon verbena. It’s a simple way to incorporate the health benefits of herbal teas into your daily routine. You effortlessly support your hormonal balance by sipping a cup or two throughout the day. Think of your food as a kind of medicine, a tool for maintaining harmony in your hormones and overall well-being.
Feel free to include some of these foods in your meals because you hold the power to decide what lands on your plate.
Your plate and the food it holds can significantly influence your well-being.
Consider whether it supports your health, helps you maintain a healthy weight, enhances your mood, and contributes to hormonal balance.
Remember, the choice is yours. You can opt for these foods to foster hormonal harmony in your life.
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This is how gut microbes can influence weight!
Probiotics can help you gain weight or lose weight by interacting with our genetics, food and metabolism.
And yes, I did say lose or gain weight……..
Firstly, let me explain that the trillions of microbes in the gut need to be varied, meaning that there should be a large variety of species. There are many different species (or breeds) of microbes, and they all have their place in aiding health — the more variety and balance, the better health results.
Back to the weight loss or weight gain issue….
Do you eat yogurt and berries for breakfast? Thinking that it’s helping you lose weight?
Well, Lactobacillus acidophilus (like the species found in yoghurt) has been connected to weight gain.
I am not saying throw your yoghurt and berries in the bin. Instead, I am suggesting looking at the overall picture. If Lactobacillus acidophilus is the predominant micro-organism of the gut, then weight gain can result.
It is about the variety of species of gut microbes. Imagine if we only have trained german shepherd guard dogs in the world. It may be a safe world, but I am sure that other breeds may be more suitable as a family pet.
While Lactobacillus acidophilus is associated with weight gain, other Lactobacillus species correlate with weight loss.
Species like Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus gasseri, and Bifidobacteria animalis have been found to support weight loss.
Want to lose weight?
Look at your gut flora to support your goal.
Tests can be performed to identify the predominant species of the gut, and specific species can be utilised to support weight changes.
Want more information about your gut health?
Or want to look at all the factors contributing to weight gain, I’d love to be able to help.