Hi, I’m Abigail. I love food, my husband and my restaurant – in that order. There are just days when I feel off, especially at certain times during the month.
I would wake up tired even when I haven’t even started the day. Or, I would have trouble sleeping even when I’m bone-tired.
My husband, James, is a foodie himself and it was actually him who suggested I find foods that can help me overcome these ‘girly illnesses’ as he calls it. So I did, and I am sharing with you now top 10 Superfoods that can balance female hormones.
Let’s go forward together!
What Are Hormones?
These are chemicals in our bodies that act as messengers that control most body functions, like feeling of hunger, emotions and mood, metabolismand even the functions of our reproduction system.
Hormones are created in the endocrine system of our bodies and travel through our bloodstream.
Female Hormone Balance and Its Role
- Estrogen is the main sex hormone for women. Estrogen is what causes puberty, regulates our monthly menses, and effectively prepares our bodies for eventual pregnancy.
- When we experience menopause, the changes in estrogen level in our bodies mark the start of our menopausal. This is when we suffer through various physical and psychological ailments and discomforts like easy fatigue, gain weight, mood swings and a lot more.
- Any change in estrogen level causes all that. It is most apparent during menopause, but also present during days before our monthly menstruations and during pregnancy.
- In most cases, the pain or discomfort can be alleviated by pills prescribed by our doctors. However, I discovered there are natural ways to repair the balance of hormones by eating the right kinds of food.
- When doing it naturally, it is safer, healthier, and even cheaper compared to taking pills and medications.
- Eating the right nutrients can balance our female hormones and make life better for us and for the people around us.
3 Typical Warning Signs of Female Hormone Imbalance
About the skin
Hormone balance manifests on the skin with the presence of acne, eczema, allergies and other skin conditions.
Which is why during puberty, we get acne. During pregnancy, we tend to have more sensitive skins that easily bruise or discolor. During menopausal, we get dry skin which can cause itchiness and allergies.
About body weight
Hormones dictate our metabolism – how fast we burn calories. Imbalance in hormones causesabrupt changes in weight gain. For some, they gain weight fast. For others, they unexplainably lose weight.
As we also grow older, we find it more difficult to lose weight – again, something that is caused by the shift in our hormones. Ironically, during pregnancy, puberty and menopausal, we also have unusual appetite and cravings.
Changes in our hormone levels affect our moods, and we most often have mood swings.
We cry watching TV commercials with babies or dogs in it. We quickly get irritated by long lines in the supermarket.
If it’s not enough, we look at the mirror and see our dry skin and body fat, and well, there goes the day. We go through it in a rather dark mood.
Eating the right kinds of foods with the nutrients our bodies need to balance our hormones is the answer to the problem.
When we are able to shift our diet to answer these needs, we can expect lesser or fewer physical manifestations.
We would now be in better command of our bodies, and enjoy younger-looking skin, firmer bodies, and thus, be in better mood.
10 Superfoods To Naturally Balance Female Hormones
1. Maca root
- Rich in calcium, iron, fiber, potassium and protein;
- Regulates the hypothalamus and pituitary glands;
- Origin: a tuber of the radish family, common in Peru and elsewhere in South America;
- Comes in powder form or in capsules;
- How to consume: add into fruit smoothie or cereal or oatmeal;
- Daily consumption: 2-3 tablespoons of maca root powder in a day;
- Precaution: not to be taken while pregnant.
- Rich in fiber, magnesium, vitamins E and B, Folic Acid, healthy fat, potassium;
- Aids the body in the absorption and use of nutrients;
- Good for skin, enables the release of hormones to keep skin healthy-looking;
- Consume as a fruit by itself, or cut up and make into smoothies, or add to cereals and oatmeal;
- Daily consumption: half of an avocado.
3. Wild-Catch Salmon
- Rich in Vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids;
- Contains anti-inflammatory properties to curb skin problems like eczema and acne;
- Also benefits the heart and brain;
- Consumption: 4-ounce serving once to twice a week;
- May also be replaced by other cold-water fish varieties like sardines, tuna, mackerel and trout.
4. Organic Vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Kale)
- These dark green vegetables are rich in anti-oxidants, Vitamins A, B6, C and K;
- Also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper;
- Helps reduce bloating, painful cramps, water retention, and regulates mood swings;
- Improves the metabolism of estrogen, that keeps skin firm and younger-looking;
- Can be eaten directly, or mixed with salads or soups, or cut and made into smoothies;
- Daily consumption: half a cup of dark green vegetables in a day;
- Other dark-green vegetables: asparagus, collard greens, cabbage, cilantro, cucumbers;
- The best kinds are organic, or those grown in farms that do not use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to avoid consumption of these harmful chemicals.
- Rich in vitamin A and D, also the anti-inflammatory omega 3;
- Also full of calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium;
- Good for skin and hormones;
- Best consumed ground and mixed into dishes, like as a meat sauce ingredient;
- Also comes in form of tablets;
- Consumption: 2-4 servings in a week.
6. Super-nuts (Walnuts and Almonds)
- Rich in proteins and anti-oxidants;
- Improves and balances the secretions of hormones throughout the body;
- Improves metabolism, keeps away acne and keeps skin glowing;
- Also regulates mood swings, feeling of depression and anxiety;
- Can be eaten as a snack in between meals, or added into salads.
7. Pasture-raised Egg Yolks
- As with organic vegetables, free-range chickens are healthier that other poultry;
- Eggs from these free-range chickens are recommended because these animals are not fed synthetic feeds, and not given booster vitamins. They get all their nutrition from grass and nature;
- Egg yolks (yellow part) are rich in Vitamins A, B2, D and E, as well as calcium, iron, choline and phosphorus;
- Contributes to maintaining a healthy reproductive system;
- Balances hormones and gives healthy skin;
- Daily consumption: 1 egg.
- An algae, a fresh-water plant colored blue-green commonly found in lakes and ponds;
- Cultured in Mexico and Hawaii;
- Rich in calcium, potassium and magnesium
- Contains fatty acids;
- Balances hormone imbalance and prevents inflammation;
- Can be consumed by itself, but tastes like pond water;
- Comes in powder form that can be mixed into smoothies or cereals;
- In smoothies, it is best mixed with flavorful fruits like bananas, mangoes or pineapples;
- The powder can be mixed with water;
- Also comes in capsule or tablet forms;
- In health-food restaurants, the powder form is added into desserts like in raw chocolate brownies or mixed with pureed dates and nuts;
- Best consumed during morning or noon;
- Best advice: the powder can change any drink into blue-green, almost black, so drink plain water after consumption to prevent discoloration of your mouth and teeth.
9. Super-fruits (Sweet Bell Peppers and Tomatoes)
- Sweet bell peppers are rich in anti-oxidants, while tomatoes contain flavonoid that produces healthy hormones;
- Both also contain Vitamin C and calcium;
- Balances hormones in the body, aids in the production of healthy hormones;
- Add to any dish or salad or to your sandwiches;
- Or can be made into soups (tomato soup) or chutneys;
- Raw bell peppers are most effective, but if you can’t hack it, try steaming it, cut into smaller pieces, toss with some salt and pepper;
- Daily consumption: as many as you can.
10. Coconut Oil
- It is the best kind of good fat, which produces healthy hormones;
- It creates, processes and eliminates hormones to create balance;
- Contains lauric acid which promotes healthy skin, kills bacteria and virus which can cause ailments and speeds up metabolism;
- Consumption tips: Can be mixed and blended with coffee or tea, taken as it is (1 spoonful), used for cooking, used for baking, mixed into smoothies;
- Daily consumption: 2-3 tablespoons.
If there are foods to eat to counteract hormonal imbalance, there are also foods to avoid:
- Sugary foods like desserts, or in flavored beverages;
- Caffeine usually in coffee and tea, which can cause hot flashes;
- Alcoholic beverages likewise cause hot flashes;
- Spicy feeds. Try instead mild spices and flavorful herbs.
If your ‘girly illnesses’ start to cramp your lifestyle or affect you so much, visit your doctor. You can also supplement it with a visit to a nutritionist who can draw up some healthy menu for you, incorporating these super foods we just discussed.
Remember, when it comes to good health, the key word is balance. Don’t over-indulge in one thing, but take these superfoods, mix and match it with your daily menu.
There is also a very important thing that is food safety. Always ensure the highest quality for your Superfoods! Because these foods contain very high nutritional content, they need to be properly preserved otherwise you are wasting the money and damaging your health. The best way to preserve your foods is to use a foodsaver vacuum sealer.
Your diet should always be a good balance of portions and ingredients. A professional nutritionist may help you achieve that.
Best Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
While eating right is a great way to balance hormones, I discovered that diet is just one factor. I also had to exert effort to exercise daily, sleep right and drink loads of water.
- I do at least an hour of exercise a day, mixing some dance (for cardio activity) and weights. Once a week I try to swim because I enjoy it and it really gives a whole body work-out.
- I also discovered night sleep is different from day sleep so I try to sleep early at night, at least 6 hours in a day.
- And water, it practically cures anything. Hydration is very important. When not drinking water, I eat water-rich fruits like watermelons.
The superfoods diet and the healthy lifestyle is not only something we do when we feel our ‘girly illnesses’. It should be a constant and consistent thing we do even when we feel good.
Not only do these superfoods and healthy lifestyle promote good health, but we are pro-actively preventing these ‘girly illnesses’ from recurring. As the doctors would say, prevention is always better than cure.