Hormones have an effect on every aspect of the human body. From hair growth to digestion, to memory - hormones regulate it all. If your hormone levels are out of balance, you will likely feel symptoms like fatigue, weight gain or loss (or both), and mood swings. These symptoms can often lead to other health problems.
Foods That Promote Hormonal Balance
Hormone imbalance is not always easy to detect; if you suspect your hormones are out of whack, make an appointment with your doctor for a hormone test, but in the meantime here are 7 foods that help promote hormonal balance that you may want to add into your diet!
1. Flaxseed: Flaxseed contains high amounts of lignans which help modulate estrogen metabolism by the number of estrogens that end up in the bloodstream. Flaxseed contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that help lower inflammation caused by excess estrogen metabolites and also contain antioxidants like quercetin, which help turn bad estrogens into good ones.
2. Walnuts: Like flaxseeds, walnuts contain Omega-3 fatty acids and lignans; both essential for reducing inflammation and harmful estrogens in the body. They are high in Vitamin E, which has been shown to reduce PMS symptoms by controlling excessive menstrual bleeding, improving mood swings, regulating appetite cravings, and balancing serotonin levels, which directly affect sleep patterns.
3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Many people may be surprised to see olive oil on this list but its benefits are far-reaching. It provides monounsaturated fat, which helps lower LDL cholesterol, and is a major source of oleic acid, another type of healthy fat that is known to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, olive oil contains polyphenols which have been shown to increase testosterone levels when consumed on a regular basis.
4. Lean Meats: To get the best results from your lean meats, make sure you're buying hormone-free chicken, beef, and pork products. Grass-fed animals are usually recommended because they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol, which reduces the risk for heart disease and strokes.
The animals also have higher concentrations of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid), which has been shown to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. They can also potentially help control cancer, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
5. Garlic: Garlic is a superfood that contains compounds called allicin which has been shown to inhibit the aromatase enzyme in the body. Aromatase helps turn testosterone into estrogen so blocking this enzyme will prevent excess estrogen from building up in your system. This means less of those unwanted weight gains or mood swings.
In addition, garlic contains selenium, which regulates thyroid function and reduces inflammation associated with indigestion and cardiovascular disease.
6. Beans: Beans are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are an excellent source of zinc, which helps control estrogen levels in the body and promote testosterone production, both of which have been shown to increase libido in men and women. In addition, beans contain many antioxidants that protect cells from free-radical damage, a known contributor to cancer growth.
7. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt can be a great addition to your diet if you're looking to reduce bloating associated with bad bacteria in the gut or carbohydrate intolerance. It's high in calcium that helps maintain strong bones and teeth while also reducing PMS symptoms like cramps and mood swings by stabilizing serotonin production. It contains probiotics that promote good bacteria growth throughout the entire digestive system bringing balance back into play where there was once too much bad bacteria.
It's important to remember that not all yogurts are created equal so be sure you read the labels carefully. The best yogurt will contain high amounts of protein, little or no fat or added sugars, and lots of active bacterial cultures.
Hormone balance is something that can be achieved through diet, exercise, and herbal supplementation designed to create the most effective results for your body. Remember to choose hormone-balancing foods whenever possible to reduce the symptoms associated with excess estrogen in the body. These foods will help improve your mood, sleep patterns, sex drive, and weight loss efforts by helping to optimize bodily functions.