Do you walk around feeling hormonal every day?
or just ‘odd’ and not like your old self?
I get it, as this was me 25 years ago when I was living in London. I suffered with chronic PMT for years. Two weeks every month I found it hard to cope with a days work and had to go to bed when I got home. I felt shaky, dizzy and like I had flu. I would wake up a lot in the night too so I was constantly tired. I was off The Pill by this stage in the hope that it might help my symptoms. My Doctor had put me on The Pill since I was 16 as a result of getting periods every two weeks. Whilst this did regulate my periods I believe now that it contributed to my chronic PMT.
Have you ever thought that your symptoms might be down to your hormones?
Hormonal imbalances are not just for teenagers and menopausal women. Hormones can affect any of us at any stage of life and unfortunately most of the time we are only aware of our hormones when they bring with them a host of not-so-desirable symptoms like PMS, headaches, mood swings, weight gain, spots, bloating, insomnia and sadly the list goes on…
Luckily there is a lot you can do nutritionally to help keep your hormones balanced!
Hormones need a steady stream of nutrients for them to work efficiently, nutrients we need to get from the food we eat. This complex hormonal dance works in synergy and is dependent on internal factors such as the status of other hormones and external factors such as diet and lifestyle.
So let’s start by taking a look at diet. Below are my top food tips to start implementing into your diet to get you on the path to hormonal balance:
There are so many reasons I recommend a variety of green vegetables to my clients, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnips and watercress. These powerhouses contain the phytochemical called Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) which has been shown to increase oestrogen metabolism and can help reduce with the dreaded PMS.
Each day, we need to eat an array of fibrous foods to stay regular and keep our blood sugar levels in check. You guessed it, that means eating your vegetables. I keep talking about vegetables because unfortunately, they are totally underrated and missing in most people’s daily diet! Eat the rainbow and aim to get in 5 portions of veggies a day, if you are not having any at the moment start small and build yourself up, your hormones will thank you for it.
Seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds are high in good fats as well as magnesium. This superhero Magnesium, often referred to as ‘mother nature’s relaxant’, is vital for calm in this often stressful world and to help keep cortisol in check! In addition having optimal levels of magnesium can help with fatigue, insomnia, constipation and cramps to name a few. Sprinkle them on a porridge, salads or add to your protein shake.
Another seed to throw into the mix! Flaxseeds are a rich source of phytoestrogens which help to regulate levels of oestrogen in the body. They can be extremely helpful in reducing menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and PMS. In addition, they can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels – help keep that abdominal fat away!
Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormones and lucky for us delicious avocados contain the good kind of fat plus the added bonus of fibre and nutrients such as potassium and vitamin E. Include more of these in the diet, versatile and easy.
I thought this one would grab your attention! I have left the best till last but it’s not the milky type of chocolate, only 75% and up or raw chocolate is even better! The cacao bean is full of antioxidants and many hormone friendly minerals like magnesium. But watch the sugar content as some are sky high and that will wreak havoc with your hormones, the darker options often have less sugar.
I am always going on about protein! But we need protein to make all our hormones. We need protein to balance our blood sugars. We need protein to fuel our metabolism to burn fat. So no more vegetable soups or salads without protein. We need it at every meal. If that’s hard in the morning then try using protein powders. I like whey protein from Nutrilink and Sun Warrior Warrior Blend from Amazon or your local health food shop.
So there you have it, the first foods to start including. What should you do with these? It’s simple, try including more of these foods into your diet to help bring everything back into balance.
To truly get to the root cause of your hormonal issues book in for a consultation or take a look at my genetic testing to find out where the problem is coming from.
Read more about the hormone test I provide.