It is not uncommon for women, younger and older, to experience hormone imbalance. Whether pre-menopausal, peri-menopausal, or menopausal, women have differing hormonal needs and can easily be thrown off, particularly because today’s food sources are often filled with substances that can wreak havoc on our delicately balanced endocrine systems, including meats and grains.
Do You Have Hormonal Imbalance?
Signs of hormonal imbalance can vary among women and depending on the particular hormones that are out of sync. However, some signs and symptoms include irregular periods, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, depression, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, appetite changes, digestive problems, low libido, and hair loss. Problems with infertility and endometriosis, and even symptoms of diabetes can be exacerbated by hormones that have gone awry.
Several common illnesses today can be the result of chronically imbalanced hormones. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), estrogen dominance, hypothyroidism, Grave’s Disease/hyperthyroidism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, and low estrogen are all commonly associated with under or over production of hormones.
How to Reverse Hormone Imbalance with Foods
Once you’ve discovered an imbalance in hormones, the first thought might be to start taking hormone supplements, but there may be a better option which helps your body to heal itself. Ask your doctor about the ways you can re-balance your hormones by carefully regulating what you put into your body in the form of foods and beverages.
Here are some of the best foods available for re-synchronizing hormones:
Matcha Tea as a daily habit could truly change for your life! For a variety of reasons that I explain more fully in my book, The Matcha Miracle, substituting Matcha tea for coffee works as an extremely efficient way to begin balancing out your entire body’s systems, including hormones.
Coconut Oil contains lauric acid which is beneficial to hormone production while adding speed to the metabolism, which is especially helpful for those struggling to lose weight because of hormone imbalance.
Avocados are filled with Vitamins B and E, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and folic acid. All of these nutritional elements are critical for keeping the hormones balances within the body.
Raw Butter, grass fed, contains Vitamins A, D, E, and K2 in fat-soluble forms which are helpful for hormone production.
Coldwater Fish, such as wild-caught salmon, tuna, and trout, offer healthy proteins as well as Vitamin D and Omega-3s, all of which are important for the body to be able to synthesize hormones.
Egg Yolks contain tons of critical minerals and vitamins including iron, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, choline, and Vitamins A, B2, B6, B9, D, and E. These are useful for healthy reproduction, hormonal balance, and particularly balancing the thyroid.
Green, Leafy Veggies are rich in antioxidants and the essential nutrient, magnesium. Spinach, kale, and other dark greens are rich in magnesium which helps the body with enzyme processing, including the synthesizing of hormones.
Brazil Nuts contain the highest concentration of selenium that can be gained from food, and it only takes a small amount to help decrease the thyroid antibodies and boost your hormone production—just two or three Brazil Nuts per day is a healthy habit.
Almonds have been shown to minimize the production of testosterone, the “male” hormone that can be such as problem for women who have excess amounts. Eating almonds regularly may help to balance out these hormones in women, possibly reducing problems such as frontal balding, acne problems, infertility, dark facial hair, and even PCOS.
Quinoa is more than just another carb. Unlike typical grains, quinoa is complex with high levels of protein that help to stabilize the blood sugar. Substituting this for other grains like wheat or white rice will help to keep insulin levels at an appropriate level, keeping androgen hormone levels balanced as a result. High levels of androgen (a “male” hormone) have been associated with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and fertility problems.
Broccoli Sprouts contain a significant amount of Indole-3-Carbinol (much higher concentrations than in the mature broccoli plant) which breaks down estrogen in the body. This can be a huge help to women who struggle with too much estrogen in their bodies, which is a common problem today related to higher estrogen content in food sources.
Seed Cycling is another great way to eat your way back to hormonal balance is through a concept called Seed Cycling. Seed cycling is a very quick and easy way to get your hormones back in balance naturally by simply adding specific seeds into your diet at two different phases of your menstrual cycle. By adding seeds like pumpkin, flax, sunflower and sesame to your diet at different phases of your menstrual cycle can encourage your body to produce, or metabolize hormones which promotes hormonal syngergy in the body. It is literally using foods to either promote estrogen detoxification, in the first half of your cycle, or to increase progesterone production in the second half of your cycle.
Why these seeds?
Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds contain phytoestrogens which work to give the body an additional boost of this healthy estrogen while suppressing estradiol, the culprit in most estrogen dominance situations.
Sunflower seed and sesame seeds contain high amounts of zinc and Vitamin E which have been correlated with a higher production of progesterone. This is critical for women who have estrogen dominance (a common problem) and need to counteract it and stabilize with high levels of progesterone. Seed cycling with is one of the best ways to get your hormones back on track.
How Does Seed Cycling Work?
You are literally eating different seeds for the two different phases of your monthly cycle because they help to restore estrogen and progesterone in the body. I highly recommend committing to seed cycling for two to three months to experience the best results.
During days 1-14 of our 28-day cycle (Follicular phase: Start of Menstruation to Ovulation) consume flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.
On days 15-28 (Luteal Phase: Start of Ovulation to Menstruation) consume sunflower seeds and sesame seeds.
Day 1 – 14 (Follicular phase):
1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Day 15 – 28 (Luteal phase):
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Eat your 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds every day according to your cycle. Ground the seeds with a coffee grinder, Vitamix, or mortar and pestle and add them to your favorite morning green smoothie, soup, oatmeal, salad, yogurt, or however you prefer to get them into your daily regimen. Note: Only stick with the seeds you are supposed to be eating in the correct phase, for example: try not to snack on sunflower seeds during your flax/pumpkin days. This will throw off the cycling rhythm.
These foods, eaten as part of a healthy and balanced diet, may increase your body’s ability to balance hormonal issues and heal itself from related problems, but you may find that you need some more guidance on this journey. I know that I did when I was working to balance my hormones several years ago. For the past six months I have been working with over 30+ experts to provide you resources, tips and blueprints for creating balance for your body and in your life. This free online event is designed to get you grounded, empowered and healthy.
YOUR BEST RESOURCE FOR YOUR HORMONE CARE:
One of my favorite ways to support my hormones is through all-natural, non-toxic essential oils. I have put together a cheat sheet of the Top 5 Essential Oils for Hormonal Synergy. Essential oils can be incredibly effective at promoting harmony within your mind and body regardless of how much you feel like a stranger in your own body. Not only can essential oils help to ease many of the discomforts associated with hormonal imbalance, but they also promote synergy among the body’s systems. In this cheat sheet, you will find descriptions of the best essential oils available for supporting hormonal synergy in your systems.Learn My Top 5 Oils for Hormone Synergy