Can what you eat really affect your hormones?
For good or for bad, the answer is yes. Without the right nutrients, our bodies will struggle to produce healthy hormones. Being more conscious about our dietary choices is a powerful way to influence how our hormones affect our overall health.
By tapping into the power of wholesome nutrition, you can unlock the secret to maintaining balance and give your body what it needs for harmonious hormone health.
Why Is Hormonal Health Important?
Our hormones affect everything.
Hormones are essential players in determining our energy levels, moods, sleep patterns, daily stress levels, metabolism, skin and hair health, and libido.
Of course, you can’t control them, but you can work with them to support and enhance all of the feel-good magic that our hormones can provide.
How to Support Hormonal Balance
Hormones are complex and sometimes difficult to understand, but there is a lot you can do to give your endocrine system a good foundation.
By implementing habits and wellness practices that provide helpful benefits, you can be on the road toward hormonal wellness.
Supportive strategies for hormone health:
♦ Adapt your lifestyle to include activities and practices that are beneficial for endocrine function and promote overall health.
♦ Eat a diet with a variety of nutrient-dense foods so your body has what it needs to produce and regulate hormones.
♦ Add extra support with herbs or supplements to assist the body in various hormone-related processes.
♦ Support your gut microbiome, which plays a role in the production and regulation of certain hormones, including estrogen.
♦ Reduce exposure to xenoestrogens and other compounds that can interfere with hormone receptors.
♦ Avoid or reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other sources of nicotine.
♦ Get help from a medical professional if you have persistent symptoms related to hormonal issues.
It can be more of a struggle for some of us to keep our hormones in balance, and there are often circumstances that may be out of our control.
Additional factors that can make it challenging to find hormonal balance include:
♦ Environmental exposures
♦ Medical conditions
Beyond that, different hormones fluctuate throughout our life, and it can be tricky to get a grasp on something that often changes.
Learning to observe how our hormonal patterns are affected by different things may be the most helpful skill we can gain to maintain hormonal health throughout our lifetime.
Discovering what helps YOU can be empowering and will help you navigate the mysterious realms of hormones and how they affect your well-being.
How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Hormonal Health
Our lifestyle can alter the rhythm of hormonal cycles and can encourage the healthy release of the proper hormones at the proper times.
Daily stress levels, sleep quality, and even our exercise habits can all impact our hormonal health. If we neglect our health or fall into unhealthy habits, common hormonal problems may arise.
Common signs often related to typical hormonal issues include:
♦ Lowered daily energy levels
♦ Weight fluctuation
♦ Common skin issues
♦ Lack of luster and hair strength
♦ Troublesome menstrual cycles
♦ Common digestive issues
♦ Mild mood swings.
A good way to keep your hormones in balance is to make small lifestyle changes that can be added to your daily or weekly routine:
♦ Daily stress management
♦ Regular exercise
♦ Drink plenty of water and keep your cells hydrated with electrolytes
♦ Weight management
♦ Promote healthy everyday detoxification (support your liver, kidneys, and skin)
How What You Eat Affects Your Hormonal Balance
Our foods give our bodies the building blocks to create and metabolize hormones. You need the basics: protein, carbs, and fats, but also micronutrients such as magnesium and B vitamins to support normal hormone production.
♦ Healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids are used to make hormones, provide support for typical premenstrual symptoms, and are beneficial for keeping cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormone levels in healthy ranges.
♦ Complex carbohydrates fuel many metabolic processes related to hormone health and affect the production of the hormone leptin, which helps to regulate other hormonal secretions.
♦ Complete proteins provide all essential amino acids necessary for the production of certain hormones and benefit the absorption of other nutrients, such as vitamins D and E, which are important for hormonal health.
♦ Liver-supportive foods such as dandelion leaves, beets, and parsley support healthy detoxification. This helps our body remove extra hormones and other compounds we don’t need, keeping hormone levels within healthy ranges.
♦ Magnesium-rich foods and/or magnesium supplements provide a multitude of benefits to the endocrine system and help keep estrogen levels in healthy ranges.
♦ Phytoestrogens are compounds that interact directly with our hormone receptors, and they can be found in a variety of foods and herbs, including beans, alfalfa sprouts, red clover, and hops. While not right for everyone, these foods have been central to traditional dietary and herbal strategies for lifelong hormonal health.
♦ Phytosterols are plant compounds similar to cholesterol that the body uses to make healthy hormones. Like cholesterol, the body can use phytosterols in the production and modulation of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
♦ Probiotics and fermented foods benefit your gut flora, supporting the ability of beneficial bacteria to regulate the amount of circulating estrogen and other hormones.
♦ Limiting sugar helps to keep insulin levels steady, promoting healthy hormonal balance and benefits common premenstrual symptoms.
♦ Reducing caffeine intake can help keep cortisol levels in a healthy range, which benefits the balance of many other hormones in the body.
♦ Herbal foods such as cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, and green tea assist the body in normal detoxification processes and reduce common oxidative stress, benefiting hormone balance and overall health.
Getting all the nutrients you need to keep your hormones happy can be challenging, and sticking to your wellness goals can be hard when life is busy.
That’s one of the reasons we created Beyond Greens™, a mystical mix of herbs, including cinnamon and matcha green tea, adaptogenic mushrooms, and superfoods that support healthy detoxification, provide abundant nutrients, and can be a great endocrine-supporting addition to your morning routine.
Our Favorite Foods for Supporting Hormone Health
Broccoli, Kale, and Other Cruciferous Veggies
Broccoli, kale, and other cruciferous veggies are powerful for everyday detoxification and help the body to remove surplus hormones, keeping our levels in a healthy balance.
Cabbage, collards, arugula, and other plants from this family provide compounds called glucosinolates and sulforaphane that help our body to eliminate hormonal overflow and also assist in the removal of environmental substances, such as xenoestrogens, that can interfere with our hormones.
Plus, they are super nutritious and provide vitamins and minerals essential to the production of hormones, including vitamin C, folate, and vitamin A.
If you have concerns about your thyroid, discuss this with your doctor before loading up on these veggies, as there may be people with certain conditions who should not eat an excessive amount of cruciferous vegetables.
These delicious seeds are little bursts of hormonal support. Flaxseeds are filled with omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for progesterone and estrogen balance. These healthy fats are precursors that your body uses to make hormones and can have positive effects on estrogen production.
The fiber in these mighty seeds also assists with keeping your digestion regular, which helps maintain healthy levels of many different hormones throughout the body.
Lignans in flaxseeds bind to hormones and hormone by-products that are overly abundant, escorting them out of the intestines and out of the body. These lignans also function as phytoestrogens and can be helpful when estrogen levels begin to drop as part of the normal progression of menopause.
Phytoestrogens are not right for everyone, so discuss this with your doctor if you have any health concerns.
Hormonal and menstrual health is greatly supported by giving your liver the opportunity to do its job performing everyday detoxification, and artichokes are a superfood for your liver.
The slightly bitter flavor of artichoke helps to enhance the release of bile and other digestive juices, and it contains liver-loving compounds such as cynarin and silymarin.
Eating artichokes on a regular basis helps your liver function properly and can have a cascade of beneficial effects on endocrine health.
Artichokes also contain helpful prebiotics that nourish your gut microbiome, helping your microbes to maintain healthy estrogen and progesterone levels.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in phytosterols that your body uses to make healthy hormones.
They’re also a rich source of zinc, which is essential to hormone regulation.
Other nutrients found in pumpkin seeds, such as vitamin E and magnesium, help to support the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and can be quite beneficial for fertility and in helping to reduce common premenstrual symptoms.
There is a reason behind the cravings.
Chocolate is loaded with tryptophan, which helps support the release of feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. These act as hormones in the body and are linked with the way our estrogen levels make us feel.
Chocolate has also been shown to help diminish the amount of daily stress we experience by reducing the release of the hormone cortisol.
So yes, that bite of chocolate really does make you feel better. It can help relieve mild menstrual cramps and fill you with a sense of well-being. And don’t forget about the magnesium and iron found in chocolate. These are also necessary for healthy hormones as well as chocolate’s potent flavonoids that reduce that pesky but common oxidative stress that can contribute to hormonal issues.
Choose 75% or darker for higher concentrations of compounds that are beneficial for hormone health and less sugar. You can also mix pure raw cacao into smoothies or other recipes.
Yes, hummus counts!
Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans offer a nutritional foundation that helps to support hormone health.
With protein and complex carbohydrates, legumes can help to keep insulin levels steady and promote healthy blood sugar levels. This contributes to keeping the balance within many of the hormonal systems, including those related to menstrual cycles as well as cortisol and thyroid hormones.
Fiber and prebiotics help keep things moving through the digestive system and nourish the microbiome. Since our gut bacteria influence the metabolism and elimination of hormones in the body, legumes can help keep levels of various hormones within healthy ranges.
Legumes are also packed with B vitamins and other nutrients that play vital roles in hormone synthesis and metabolism.
Some legumes, such as soybeans, are a rich source of phytoestrogens and have been used traditionally for female hormone balance, especially to reduce common symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause. Check with your doctor to see if this is the right strategy for you.
Last but not least, we don’t want to forget some very powerful players when it comes to hormonal support, mushrooms.
Because of their adaptogenic qualities, functional mushrooms, such as reishi and turkey tail, can help keep everyday stress levels in check, which is critical for hormonal wellness. Polysaccharides and triterpenes in these mushrooms may also help to regulate estrogen levels.
Even common button, shiitake, and maitake mushrooms can help regulate the immune system, keep blood sugar in balance, and provide the prebiotics that help support the microbiome in sending signals out for the release of hormones.
We also know that mushrooms are incredible for reducing everyday oxidative stress, which can make it difficult for our body to maintain healthy detoxification and production of hormones.
A good way to include these superfoods in your diet while reducing your caffeine intake is by replacing your morning or second cup of coffee with a mushroom coffee substitute such as our formula, Beyond Brew.
With six different kinds of functional mushrooms, Peruvian cacao, plus pre and probiotics, it’s a delicious way to enhance your hormonal health!
Awaken to Wellness
Exploring how our hormones are affected by our choices can shed some light on how we can take charge of our own health and support hormonal balance. At Live Conscious®, we support your wellness journey through encouragement and education and offer skillfully designed products to help you reach your health goals.
Whether you choose to support hormonal health with a high-quality turmeric supplement, a sustainable fish oil, or a delicious and uplifting morning brew, we’ve got you! We love the simplicity of Beyond Greens and the extensive health benefits it provides. It truly supports whole body health, including your ever-precious hormones!
We know how challenging it can be to find time for self-care, so we make it easier for you to find solutions that bring you convenient options that make a big impact.