Wellness

Regulate Your Hormones the Natural Way With These 6 Foods


Half Baked Harvest

Anyone who's experienced a hormonal imbalance can speak to theirВ pervasive role in influencing behavior. From determining fertility to shaping the way you experience stress and anxiety, your hormones canВ have a profound influence on your mental and physical health.

In the words of Melbourne-based nutritionist Steph Lowe, "Hormonal control is the cornerstone of health," she writes on My Body + Soul. "Your hormones can determine everything from anxiety to your zest for life." More specifically, aВ hormonal imbalance can manifest in "low energy, fatigue, cravings, unexplained weight gain, anxiety, and low sex drive," she explains.В

While you should definitely discuss any hormonal concerns with your doctor, Lowe kindly shared some dietary and lifestyle changes that may helpВ in the meantime. "You can help your hormones calm down with these natural solutions-all of which are worth doing more of, even if you're feeling great." Below, find her list of all natural hormone-balancing tips.

The Modern Proper

Avoid Refined Sugars

"Sugar can cause an estrogen overload and lead to an abundance of the 'wrong' bacteria in our gut," which is linked to a host of health issues. Refined sugars can be found in processed foods like cookies, cakes, crackers, flavored yogurt, frozen meals, tomato sauce, and salad dressing. Counterintuitively, low-fat processed foods are the most sugar-laden, since manufacturers use sugar to add flavor. Stick to a natural sugar source like raw, organic honey.

Nature Nate's 100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Organic Honey $8Shop

Eat Good Fats

"Fat is essential for hormonal production, which is just one of many reasons why there is no requirement for low-fat products or diets," she explains. She recommends cooking with a healthy saturated fat like ghee butterВ and adding sources of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, avocados, and almonds to your diet.

Thrive Market Organic Raw Almonds $15Shop

Support Your Digestion

"Remember, so much of our good health starts in the gut," she notes. "Good digestion and regular elimination assists in the efficient removal of estrogen, which is important to create balance in the body." She recommends loading up on probiotic foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir, in addition to fibrous vegetables, like kale, broccoli, and cabbage.

365 Everyday Value Organic Sauerkraut $4Shop

Load Up on Vitamin C

"Vitamin C is essential for progesterone production, which helps to balance estrogen in the body," explains Lowe. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, and strawberries are great sources of this essential vitamin.

Amazon Fresh Organic Strawberries $4Shop

Minimize Your Intake of Processed Soy

"Soy contains high levels of phytoestrogens and usually, sugar," she writes. "This may create an estrogenic (high estrogen) environment and insulin spike with consumption." Processed soy is commonly found in meal replacement drinks and supplements, plus energy bars with "soyВ protein isolate" or "texturized vegetable protein" listed on the ingredients label.В Fill up on traditional or fermented soy foods like tempeh or miso instead.

LightLife Original Soy Tempeh $3Shop

Consider Supplementation

While supplements like omega-3, vitamin D, maca powder, and herbs likeВ ashwagandha and rhodiola can help balance hormones, always consult your health practitioner first. "Ensure you focus on the balance between what you obtain from food and what additional support your unique body might need," clarifies Rowe.В

Whole Foods Market Organic Maca Powder $7Shop

Take a Look at Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors also play a pivotalВ role in shaping hormonal health-especially how you deal with stress. "Elevated stress hormones are the enemy for hormonal control," Lowe says. "Be sure to walk, breathe, meditate, and find a yoga class you love. And don't forget good quality sleep."В

Adidas x Stella McCartney Yoga mat $129Shop

Next up: These five hormones affect how you age. Here's what to eat to balance them.