Image via Adobe Stock

Health and wellness: Five nutritional tips for hormone balance

Is weight gain, PMS, bloating or stress weighing you down? Then you’re most likely dealing with a hormonal imbalance.


Image via Adobe Stock

When your chemical messengers – insulin, oestrogen, progesterone, cortisol don’t work in harmony, inflammation in the body increases in the body leading to various conditions. But here’s the thing, your food choices impact your hormones.

Here are the top five foods to keep your hormones in balance

Crunchy crucifers

Contraceptives, pesticides in food and unfiltered water expose us to synthetic oestrogen. Excess oestrogen leads to increased toxicity in the body.

Cruciferous vegetables — like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, turnips, watercress — pack a punch in combatting excess oestrogen. They support the liver, your master filter, making it easier to eliminate excess oestrogen and other toxins.

The high fibre content of crucifers also helps to increase good bacteria in the gut which is the body’s main hormone production centre.

Plant power

Animal protein is a common cause of inflammation due to growth hormones and antibiotics used in animal farming practices. In addition, plant protein is more easily digestible than animal protein which enables the body to work less, thus reducing inflammation. While it isn’t necessary to omit animal protein entirely, aim for a more plant-based diet.

Top picks include red beans, chickpeas, lentils, seeds, nuts, and quinoa.

Healthy fats

Healthy, natural fats are the building blocks of all hormones. Include them in your diet regularly to ensure your body has sufficient natural fats to produce the hormones you need.

Avocados help manage cortisol, the stress hormone and oestrogen and progesterone which control the menstrual cycle. Opt for coconut oil, eggs, olive oil and palm oil.

Flavourful fruit

Being one of the richest sources of antioxidants, fruits help the body fight off the damaging effects of inflammation. It’s best to eat a variety of fruit as they each contain different antioxidants.

Favourites include melons, apples, blueberries, bananas, apricots.

Go green

Chlorophyll contained in green vegetables assists hormone balancing by aiding detoxification. Leafy greens are also a good source of iron which helps with headaches and fatigue.

Go green in your diet by adding spinach, kale, cucumbers, green bell peppers and cabbage.

Eating a good combination of these foods will help keep your hormones balanced, however, if symptoms persist, you should see your doctor.

Also read: Clean eating: Four hacks to get you started on your path to health