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Balancing Hormones with Food

Written by Jennifer Krivoshen, CHN

As you may know, foods such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol can all contribute to hormonal imbalances. However, the great news is that not all food is bad, and in fact, most food can be extremely beneficial in balancing hormones. Hormones depend on healthy fats as building blocks, particularly Omega 3’s and saturated fats, so if your diet is lacking in those healthy fats, your body may not be able to efficiently build those essential hormones. Healthy fats include coconut oil, avocado and wild salmon which all have anti-inflammatory properties (and taste great!).

Caffeine can interfere with your sleep cycles which in turn can affect your cortisol levels among other things. Limit caffeine or choose an alternative, such as Matcha green tea, if you require a little boost during the day which has a lower amount of caffeine then a cup of coffee does. Alternatively, herbal teas such as peppermint and dandelion root tea are also beneficial in helping to balance hormones as well as being great liver cleansers.

Dairy can also be a trigger for hormone imbalances particularly because of the natural hormones found in the dairy itself. It may also play a role in aggravating hormonal acne. So, if you are sensitive to dairy and experiencing hormone imbalance, alternatives such as coconut milk and almond milk are extremely versatile and readily available in most supermarkets. When working to improve hormone balance, try to avoid soy-containing products as they can mimic estrogen in the body.

A great food source for balancing hormones is eggs, as they contain vitamin D and vitamin B6, which is beneficial for estrogen metabolism. Eggs are also a great source of HDL cholesterol, which is the healthy cholesterol your body needs for creating hormones. Look for “pasture raised” eggs as they will contain the least amount of added antibiotics and hormones, which can also play a factor in hormone imbalance. Try cooking your eggs over medium heat in olive oil with spices such as garlic and turmeric. Then add a slice of avocado and there you have an amazing hormone boosting meal!

Below is an example of a simple 3-day meal plan for kickstarting your journey to hormone balance:

Meal     Day 1     Day 2     Day 3
Breakfast     Toasted sprouted grain bread with smashed avocado and 1 egg with salt & pepper. Paired with lemon water. Get the recipe    

Quinoa porridge (made with water or milk alternative) topped with mixed berries and raw honey. Get the recipe

   

Sweet potato hash with peppers, onion, garlic and asparagus. Topped with 1 egg. Get the recipe

                   
Snack    

Matcha green tea with melted coconut oil. A hand full of trail mix. Get the recipe

    1 Apple    

Coconut yogurt parfait with mixed berries (or nuts – any topping you like). Get a recipe

Lunch    

Mediterranean cauliflower rice bowl with beans, broccoli, peas (or any vegetable). See the recipe

   

Spinach salad with salmon, tomatoes, carrots (or any great salad topping) with a homemade olive oil + lemon juice dressing. Get the recipe

   

Zoodles with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, celery, carrots with coconut aminos. Add protein of choice. Get the recipe

Snack     Carrot sticks with garlic hummus.     Strawberries and blueberries or fruit of choice.     Baked sweet potato chips sprinkled with either garlic or cinnamon. Get this recipe
                   
Dinner    

Teriyaki chicken lettuce wraps with sautéed peppers, zucchini (or any vegetable). Try this recipe

   

Spaghetti squash bowl with ground turkey, organic tomato sauce, mushrooms and spinach. Here is the recipe

   

Homemade turkey burger with lettuce as a bun. Topped with tomato, avocado etc. Drizzled with sugar free ketchup. Get the recipe

Dessert    

1 frozen banana blended with a spoonful of natural almond butter as “ice cream”. Try this recipe

   

Chia seed pudding topped with real maple syrup (or any topping of choice). Here is a tasty recipe to try

   

Sauteed apples (or pears) in coconut oil, topped with cinnamon and raw honey. Get the recipe