Your diet plays a very important part in your body’s overall health and function. The foods that you ingest can affect your mood, your metabolism, and especially your hormone production. In this article, we’ll look at a few powerful hormone balancing superfoods.
A hormonal imbalance is an over- or under-production of hormones and can lead to many health issues. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the concept of Yin and Yang balance is intricately linked with hormonal balance. Despite being opposing forces in nature, Yin and Yang are interdependent and must function harmoniously together.
Hormonal balance is achieved when the interchange between Yin and Yang is seamless, allowing for growth and transformation. Maintaining a balanced Yin-Yang ratio is as crucial as achieving a stable level of estrogen and progesterone. Imbalances in the Yin-Yang equilibrium, whether excessive or deficient, can result in hormonal imbalances.
Following a good, well-rounded diet is essential for your hormonal wellness. Consuming a variety of healthy foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is crucial to providing the body with nutrients for hormone production and eventual breakdown.
On top of a healthy and well-rounded diet, you can consume certain ‘superfoods’ to make sure that you’re fulfilling all of your body’s nutritional needs. The term "superfood" refers to foods with a high nutritional density and a substantial amount of nutrients but few calories. They contain a high volume of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants and can be an excellent addition to your diet.
Signs of a Hormonal Imbalance
A hormonal imbalance occurs when your body produces too much or too little of certain hormones. An imbalance of hormones can lead to a plethora of illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions.
Many of the conditions caused by hormonal imbalances can be treated by adjusting your diet, thanks to the healing powers of certain superfoods.
Tell-tale symptoms of a hormonal imbalance include, but are not limited to:
Unexplained or sudden weight loss or weight gain
Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
Constipation or more frequent bowel movements
Increased thirst & appetite
Decreased sex drive
Sudden or worsening depression
Anxiety or irritability
Thinning or fine, brittle hair
These symptoms range from mild to severe, and can seriously impact a person’s quality of life.
10 Powerful Hormone Balancing Superfoods
Let’s look at 10 of the most powerful hormone balancing superfoods.
1. Green Tea
Green tea consumption may be beneficial for improving insulin sensitivity and balancing insulin levels in the body. Furthermore, green tea may help you lose weight, which reduces your risk of developing hormonal imbalances.
Green tea also contains theanine, which reduces the release of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your system. Adding green tea to your diet (as a tea, a supplement, or with matcha powder) can be extremely beneficial to your health and hormones.
2. Goji Berries (Gou Qi Zi)
Goji berries contain powerful antioxidants that can help boost hormone nutrition, promote natural conception, and generate new blood.
3. Ginseng ( Ren Shen)
Ginseng is one of the most powerful medicinal herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and was given the name panax, which means “all healing.”
Ginseng works by regulating the HPA axis, which helps regulate hormones in the body. One of the hormones it helps balance is estrogen, which is vital to the reproductive system, the bladder, the heart, the blood, the brain, and many other important bodily functions.
4. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds contain lignans, which help with an excess of estrogen in the body. High estrogen can lead to hormonal conditions in women, so flax seeds are especially helpful when dealing with disorders such as PCOS and endometriosis.
Ashwagandha may lower cortisol levels, which are hormones released by the adrenal glands in retaliation to stress. It also has a significant impact on testosterone levels, thereby improving sexual function and fertility.
6. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains high amounts of magnesium. A diet that contains dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% concentration of cocoa has been shown to ease symptoms of endometriosis, which is a condition caused by excess estrogen. Studies also show that higher amounts of magnesium in the body may lead to lower estrogen levels and higher progesterone.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are extremely high in Vitamin A, which has been shown to boost fertility and assist in the early stages of pregnancy. In addition, a study found that vitamin A deficient women had low levels of a gene that triggers meiosis, suggesting vitamin A may be mandatory to initiate cell division.
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is rich in antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation and free radicals in the body. Antioxidants are beneficial for reducing internal stress, which can help balance progesterone and estrogen, resulting in decreased inflammation.
The healthy fats in avocados make them one of the best hormone balancing superfoods. Polyunsaturated fats found in avocados have been found to increase progesterone and decrease anovulation. As a result, avocados help balance hormones by promoting ovulation, which indicates fertility and optimal hormone production.
Postmenopausal women can benefit from maca by reducing discomfort related to their hormone levels. A study found that women reported improvements in their symptoms when they consumed this nutrient.
There are plenty of amazing superfoods that can help with hormonal imbalances. However, following a healthy diet and lifestyle is crucial to maintaining full hormonal wellness.
Whenever possible, opt for organic foods and hormone-free meats. The use of pesticides, chemicals, and hormones to treat produce and animal products can introduce synthetic estrogen-like substances that negatively impact our organs and endocrine systems. Additionally, it's beneficial to eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from your diet, avoid junk food and regularly take time to engage in fun or relaxing activities.