Woman Walking On Fence balancing hormones and pendulum

Foods For Balancing Female Hormones

Using foods for balancing female hormones, your body’s chemical messengers is the most natural way to feel and look your best. As the female body ages, your sex hormones fluctuate and ultimately decline. Without improvements to your diet, how you look and feel will certainly be impacted. Since we are eating anyhow, we may as well make sure our meals are packed with nutrient-dense foods.

I know that when I improved my diet, decreasing sugar and increasing protein, the biggest benefits I saw were losing weight and sleeping better. Two big wins for me!

Nutrition is a powerful way to regain your hormone balance and reclaim your life. Choices you make around your diet can either improve your health or contribute to an imbalance in your hormones.

Reject the diet mentality. Remember to eat intuitively as you recognize hunger and fullness cues and honor your health with gentle nutrition. Check out my blog post ‘How to Start Eating Intuitively‘ to learn more!

Instead of normalizing poor sleep, bloating, mood swings, and weight gain as you age, let’s normalize how to age more comfortably by improving your eating.

healthy foods in a bowl to balance female hormones.

How to Know if Your Hormones Are Out of Balance

Understanding that hormones control many major functions in the body helps you understand how important it is to keep them in balance. They help control your metabolism, blood sugar and blood pressure, growth and development, immune and reproductive systems, and the sleep-wake cycle.

Don’t accept feeling miserable as a consequence of menopause and aging. Many women need permission to step away from this mindset. Although sex hormones are changing and ultimately declining, there are natural ways to keep them more balanced.

Imbalanced hormones can present as:

  • night sweats
  • mood swings/depression
  • acne
  • irregular periods
  • change in heart rate
  • fatigue/muscle weakness
  • insomnia
  • infertility
  • weight gain
  • breast changes

Why do Female Hormones Become Imbalanced?

As you age, your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) will naturally decline, and many of you will go through menopause (no period for one full year) at about age 51. However, it is not uncommon to begin experiencing fluctuating hormones in your late 30’s (peri-menopause). This means menopause can arrive in your early 40’s. This was the case for me. Many of the women I work with are surprised to hear this.

Premature menopause is defined as experiencing menopause before the age of 40. Early menopause happens before the age of 45. It’s important to have discussions about changing hormones with your doctor starting in your 30s so that you are prepared and understand your changing body.

If you suspect premature menopause, it’s important to talk to your physician to have further testing and rule out underlying health concerns. In some cases, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be an option for premature menopause as well as helping with symptoms on a natural path to menopause.

Major changes can happen in the body with even the slightest change in the amount of hormones. It’s important to tune into your body, record symptoms using my symptom tracker, talk to your doctor, and begin with lifestyle choices to achieve optimum health.

In addition to improving your diet, your doctor may also recommend regular exercise, improving sleep, and reducing stress. For added support, read my blog on tapping into your vagus nerve to help with alleviating stress and anxiety.

Factors that can contribute to hormonal imbalances:

  • Poor gut health
  • High body mass index (BMI)
  • Poorly managed stress
  • Chronic inadequate sleep
  • Diet rich in sugar, processed foods, and saturated fats.

Foods for Balancing Female Hormones

cruciferous vegetables for balancing female hormones

Since hormones greatly impact your health, improving your diet is the perfect place to start feeling better.

Don’t strive to eat perfectly or restrict yourself. Consume rich, nutrient-dense meals as a way to balance female hormones. Focus on what you’re adding rather than deprivation.

  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale) help produce Indole-3-carbinol which promotes liver function. This is where our ‘spent’ hormones get removed from the body. Learn more about estrogen dominance in my blog post.
  • Good fats (flaxseed oil, avocado oil, olive oil, nut butter, avocados, unsalted seeds and nuts) help reduce inflammation and help build our hormones.
  • Protein-rich foods (eggs, lean meat, chicken, beans, fish and nuts) are made up of amino acids, which our bodies cannot make on their own. Women should aim to eat 20-30 grams of protein at each meal for optimum health.
  • Herbs and spices (turmeric, sumac, paprika, cinnamon, garlic, fennel and sage) have anti-inflammatory properties and add flavor and additional nutrients to meals. You can also talk to your doctor about taking herbs such as Ashwagandha, Black Cohosh root, Chasteberry or Marjoram for additional, natural help with balancing hormones.
  • Prebiotic foods (apples, bananas, artichokes, kimchi, yogurt, almonds, asparagus) help promote good bacteria to keep your gut health balanced.

Phytoestrogens in Your Diet

You can’t obtain estrogen, the main female sex hormone, from your diet, but you can consume various plant foods which contain phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds derived from plants. These foods may help reduce menopausal symptoms and several studies have proven the protective effect of consuming these foods on cardiovascular disease:

  • Fruits – plums, pears, and apples
  • Vegetables – beans, sprouts, cabbage, spinaches, grains, hops, soybeans
  • Flaxseed- I enjoy and consume this brand by Spectrum to help with my gut health and to get the natural phytoestrogens.
  • Sweet potatoes

Many women admit to having less severe hot flashes after incorporating some of the above foods into their diet regularly.

Importance of a Well-Balanced Diet

As we age and our hormones change, it’s important to support our overall health. Begin by avoiding processed and junk foods, a high amount of red meat, and foods high in sugar, and saturated fats. Consume a nutrient-rich diet full of foods to balance hormones, relieve menopausal symptoms, and prevent some of the longer-term health risks we may face.

Feel free to contact me to further discuss how I can help you feel your best at this time in your life! Changing hormones are inevitable, but suffering is not.

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