We all know that excess sugar consumption is the enemy of balanced hormones– from insulin to sex hormones like oestrogen and testosterone – but did you know there are some foods known to give us a boost? We’ll be sharing 4 of these amazing short-listers that will bring harmonious hormones.
Avocado is a nutrient-dense fruit (no, it's not a veggie!) that is rich in healthy fats, fibre and plenty of those essential vitamins and minerals! Avocado is particularly high in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, lower inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Additionally, avocado contains a plant compound known as beta-sitosterol, which can help reduce cholesterol levels and promote hormone balance.
This humble cruciferous vegetable is rich in fibre and essential vitamins and minerals. Broccoli contains a compound known as diindolylmethane (DIM), which can help regulate oestrogen levels in the body. DIM works by promoting the production of a less active form of oestrogen, which can help reduce the risk of developing oestrogen-related health issues such as breast cancer. Not to mention, it can ward off your garden-variety hormone imbalance issues that can lead to acne, excess hair growth or loss and even sugar cravings.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of healthy fats, fibre and protein. They are particularly high in vitamin E, which has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. They also contain plant compounds called lignans, which can help regulate oestrogen levels by binding to estrogen receptors in the body. A condition known as oestrogen dominance is growing as a result of everything from environmental pollutants to poor exercise and diet habits – think ultra-processed sugary foods. The condition occurs when the levels of the sex hormone, estrogen, are elevated too high in relation to progesterone levels. Estrogen performs a number of functions, from initiating reproductive development, supporting egg development and ovulation to promoting bone and heart health. Sounds good, right? Well, usually it is, but when things fall out of balance, we start to see symptoms like difficulty controlling weight, anxiety, hair loss or excess growth and headaches. That’s where foods like nuts come in – they can help prevent this imbalance and instead support the regulation of sex hormones, gut health and mental health too.
It’s the probiotics in fermented foods that are so beneficial for our hormones. How? Well, they promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome – this is the collection of good and bad bacteria that lives within us, and the lifestyle choices we make have substantial sway over their balance. Probiotics can have a positive effect on hormone health, as the gut microbiome plays a critical role in our whole body – there’s a reason it’s known as the second brain! Try some of the following fermented foods:
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