What are the best foods to balance hormones? Here are some you can add to your diet.
RELATED: 4 Herbs for Happy Hormones
Foods to Balance Hormones and Tips to Avoid Hormonal Imbalance
The Importance of a Hormone-Balancing Diet
Balancing hormones naturally can be hard to do, especially if you’re feeling all kinds of hormone imbalance symptoms. For mood, digestion, energy, and metabolism, learn to balance hormones with food.
Feeling like your hormones are out of control? Nothing to fear; you might just need to balance them!
These chemical messengers are the masterminds behind our mood, digestion, energy, metabolism, and even our libido.
Both men and women may experience hormonal imbalance. Men may have problems with their testosterone levels, while women face issues with estrogen and progesterone levels most of the time.
Some hormones your body needs to balance include:
- Insulin: Produced by the pancreas, insulin regulates your body’s use of blood glucose and fats. Low insulin sensitivity may result in diabetes.
- Somatotropin: Also known as a growth hormone, somatotropin stimulates cell reproduction and regeneration.
- Adrenaline: Responsible for the fight or flight response, this hormone increases the blood flow to various organs during emergencies. It also preps the body for exercise.
- Cortisol: This hormone is mainly responsible for the body’s response to stress as well as sleep regulation.
An imbalance with any of these hormones may lead to inflammation, digestive issues, and other serious health concerns. One way you can balance them is through food.
Getting the right nutrition from a plant-based diet can help you get rid of the imbalance.
What Causes Hormonal Imbalance
Women experiencing an imbalance in their hormones may be pregnant, menstruating, going through puberty, breastfeeding, or going through menopause.
Other causes may also include polycystic ovarian/ovary syndrome (PCOS), taking birth control, or ovarian cancer.
What is polycystic ovarian syndrome? This happens when the female body produces more male hormones than female hormones. It results in skipped periods and difficulty in conceiving.
As for men, puberty or aging disrupts hormone health. It may also be due to prostate cancer or low testosterone production.
How Does Food Affect Our Hormones?
If we don’t eat the proper nutrients, our body can’t produce the proper hormones. Everything we eat is either helping produce hormones or causing hormonal imbalances.
While some people may think you need to get rid of protein or fat when trying to balance hormones, you don’t have to avoid them.
A well-balanced diet of fat, protein, and carbohydrates is essential for proper hormone function.
Fat is especially important for the female reproductive system, and our body needs certain types of fat for rebuilding cells and stabilizing hormones. Also, make sure to eat good bacteria type foods to balance your gut and hormones.
Stay away from processed sugar and refined carbs as these can send hormones out of whack and create insulin resistance.
What is insulin resistance? The inability of your body to recognize insulin, which processes glucose from the bloodstream to the cells.
How to Tell if You Have Unbalanced Hormones
Unbalanced hormones show up in multiple ways. Some symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Lack of focus
- Hair loss
- Constipation or bloating
Women’s symptoms may include:
- Brittle bones
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Excessive hair growth on arms, legs, and back
Men can also experience the following symptoms:
- Low sperm count
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
How to Balance Hormones Naturally
It is important to look out for these symptoms because hormonal imbalances can increase risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues like PCOS and infertility.
Here are some foods to balance hormones:
Foods to Eat
1. Clean Protein
This includes nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils, as well as quinoa. You can get the protein you need in plants instead of getting it from animals.
2. Healthy Fats
This includes coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, and MCT oil.
3. Colorful Veggies
This includes spinach, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, red cabbage, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and yams, squash, and turnips.
4. Healing Herbs
Herbs can also help normalize your hormones. This includes turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne, cumin, garlic, and ginger.
Additional Ways to Balance Hormones
Exercise helps hormones by reducing insulin levels. Whether you walk for ten minutes or run a marathon, adding exercise to your daily routine can help with hormonal health.
2. Stress Management
Cortisol is the stress hormone, and high cortisol levels can lead to weight gain and poor immune system response. Some ways to reduce stress include meditation, listening to music, and enjoying nature.
Proper sleep helps restore hormone balance, while poor sleep increases hormonal imbalances. Ways to get proper sleep include avoiding electronics an hour before bed and meditating at night.
Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep.
4. Probiotic Foods
These are great for your gut bacteria which helps with balancing hormones. Some probiotic foods to include are kefir, bone broth, kombucha, sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, and yogurt.
5. Digestion-Friendly Teas
Include some calming teas in your diet daily, such as lemon, ginger, peppermint, chamomile, and green.
6. Increase Omegas
Add more healthy fats to your diet such as olive oil, walnuts, and other tree nuts. These are great sources of omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids that help our brains function and regulate hormones.
Try Sunwarrior Omega-3 supplements to help balance hormones and reduce inflammation.
Benefits of Eating Hormone-Balancing Foods
By balancing hormones naturally, you allow your body to get back to its normal functioning without having to take in chemicals.
There are various benefits to knowing how to balance hormones naturally. The list goes on and on! But some key improvements to look out for include:
- Improved and stable moods
- More energy
- Reduced fatigue
- Healthy-looking skin
- Less PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms
- Improved fertility
- Mental clarity and focus
- Decrease hot flashes and night sweats
- Weight loss
Stress management is a must! See how you can reduce stress naturally in this video from Sunwarrior:
Hormone imbalance symptoms don’t have to disrupt your daily activities. By taking care of yourself and changing the food you eat, you can balance your hormones the natural way.
What foods to balance hormones have worked for you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
- Foods to Keep Your Endocrine System Happy and Healthy
- Maintaining a Healthy Thyroid
- Why Men Need Collagen More Than Women
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 12, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.