Hormones play such a big role in almost all of your systems. They affect your complexion, which you know because your skin probably spazzes out around your period. They affect your sex drive, which is also all over the place during that special time of the month. They can play a major role in your moods, causing terrible depression when they’re out of whack. If we can be entirely honest, women seem to get the brunt of the hormonal issues, too. Between having a period most of our life only to be met with menopause when that’s over (and let’s not even mention how hormones can be if you decide to be pregnant at any point), we have quite a roller coaster of a relationship with hormones. What’s the worst that happens to men? They lose a little hair or their sex drive declines? Boo-freaking-hoo. Luckily, we can gain some control over our hormones if we eat right. Here are foods to balance your hormones.
Keep protein pure
Stick to organic or farm-raised chicken, beef, and other animal sources of protein. Remember that non-organic varieties are often fed hormones, and you don’t need any surprise external sources of hormones messing up your balance.
Eat egg yolks
Unless you’re avoiding them because of the cholesterol, keep the egg yolks in your scramble. They’re rich in several vitamins—including three B vitamins—and nutrients like iron and calcium, which contribute to hormonal balance.
Get more Lauric acid
Lauric acid is important to the healthy production of hormones. It’s often found in foods that are also sources of healthy fats. Coconut oil is an excellent source of Lauric Acid, and by simply switching to coconut oil for your cooking purposes you can easily get more of it.
Get more healthy fats
In general, healthy fats are important for hormonal balance. Your body needs a certain level of fats to produce hormones, so get healthy ones from foods like fish, nuts, organic butter, and olive oil.
Stick to a low-sugar diet
Remember that insulin is a hormone and a diet high in sugar can lead to insulin resistance. Even though you may crave sweet things during those hormonal times of the month, going overboard on the stuff can make symptoms worse.
Avoid refined carbs
I know, this is bad news, because bagels and pasta sound pretty good when your hormones have you in a mood swing. However, refined carbs turn into sugar, and we know too much sugar isn’t good for your hormones.
Eat colorful produce
Consuming enough antioxidants is also important to maintaining a hormonal balance. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more colorful the item, the higher it likely is in antioxidants. Think blueberries, orange and yellow bell peppers, carrots, and red cabbage.
Enjoy nutritious carbs
If you need a way to get more carbs in your diet now that you’re avoiding refined carbs, try nutritious starches like sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash. These are all high in hormone-balancing antioxidants.
Easy on the trans fats
Trans fats, like those found in many packaged pastries, frozen foods, and vegetable shortening, can cause inflammation in the body, which can mess with hormones. It’s part of the reason we can feel so moody if we eat a lot of these foods.
Go easy on the dairy
Avoid heavy dairy products like ice cream, sour cream, and cream cheese. These can also be inflammatory foods that mess with hormonal balance. Some dairy foods are good for your hormone balance, like probiotic yogurts and cheeses. Just know the facts on which dairy foods to consume and limit.
Get plenty of fiber
Research suggests that a diet high in fiber can reduce ones chances of breast cancer, because it affects the levels of circulating estrogen concentrations. Be sure to get high-fiber foods like brown rice, whole oats, quinoa, and bran in your diet.
Gut disorders can be directly linked to hormonal imbalances, and getting enough probiotics is important to preventing gut disorders. Try adding more kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and other fermented foods to your diet to get more probiotics.
Get more prebiotics
Prebiotics and probiotics work together, so it’s important to get both too boost a healthy gut and prevent hormone-affecting gut disorders. Prebiotic foods include bananas, onions, leeks, barley, apples, and garlic.
Easy on the alcohol
Heavy alcohol intake can greatly affect the endocrine system and throw off hormonal balance, making it harder for the body to respond to changes in environment like stress. Women should consume no more than one alcoholic drink per day to maintain healthy hormones.
Caffeine can increase cortisol levels, essentially making the body believe it is under stress. It’s best to limit caffeine to one or two cups of regular coffee maximum per day.