The word nourish originates from nūtrīre, a Latin verb that means ‘to feed’ or ‘to care’ and words like nurture, nutrition, nurse and nutritious all stem from the same verb.
When we seek to nourish our body with the right food, we care for it to keep it healthy and well.
This simple act plays a major role in all bodily systems, including our intricate and delicately balanced hormones. As our hormones help manage a number of biological processes such as thyroid, adrenals and reproductive organs, we want to ensure they are happy.
Lifestyle, injury and age can impact hormonal imbalances, but poor nutrition can alone create a chaotic scramble.
If you are able to optimally nourish yourself through the years, especially women over 35 years old who start to experience significant fluctuations in hormones, it will go a long way to an energised, healthy and prolonged life.
The aim is to eat for optimum nutrition, not deprivation, with a real whole-food (organic where possible) diet that contains certain foods that support certain bodily processes to help balance hormones.
Liver support and detox
Why? Supports and promotes the liver’s detoxification function which helps to extract any unwanted hormones.
Food Types: Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, rocket, bok choy), berries (whatever is in season), salad leaves and herbs (the wilder and wider the variety, the better), spinach, kale and baby spinach, lemon and lime, seeds like flax seeds, teas (green tea, rooibos and ginkgo biloba), and seasonal vegetables like butternut and baby marrow.
Gut health and digestion
Why? You can’t address adrenals and hormones without ensuring that your gut and digestion are working optimally as your gut microbiome supports the synthesis and regulation of hormones.
Food Types: Sauerkraut or some type of fermented food, olives, apple cider vinegar, tea (licorice tea), resistant starches like green banana flour.
Support healthy inflammation
Why? Inflammation is often the root cause of hormonal imbalance. Chronic inflammation can damage cells which leads to an overproduction of certain hormones for repair.
Food Types: Spices (turmeric, sumac, paprika, cinnamon and marjoram), raw garlic and ginger, activated nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and pecans), avocado, tea (ginkgo biloba).
Balance blood sugar levels
Why? Your body uses sugar and proteins instead of fat when your blood sugar is imbalanced, which leads to spiked energy along with the release of cortisol which causes a hormone imbalance.
Food Types: Organic grass-fed animal protein, free range (organic) eggs, fibre (quinoa and good quality brown or wild rice, hummus), healthy fat (olive oil, coconut oil and grass-fed butter) and fatty fish (tinned mackerel and sardines, sustainably sourced salmon and trout), fruit with skin and in moderation.
Maintain body alkalinity
Why? An acidic environment can lead to hormone irregularities, aggravated by things like yeast, bacteria and viruses.
Food Types: Drink mineral water with a good pH balance (between 6.5 and 8.5), drink lemon water, seasonal root vegetables (sweet potato, beetroot), cruciferous vegetables, darky leafy greens and seaweed like nori sheets.
In addition, you may want to have these on your supplement shelf:
Helps normalise cortisol and thyroid hormones
Magnesium works on many levels to help to bring your system into balance, including your hormones.
The natural compound of the spice turmeric. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory supporting balanced hormone release
Influences your body’s and mood/cognition hormones.
- Milk Thistle
Helps cleanse the liver which is vital for hormonal balance.
Also to support liver function, as above.
Helps support blood sugar levels also important for hormone stability.
A dietary resistant starch fibre that supports gut health, therefore supports hormones
My recommended weekly dietary guideline
- Cruciferous vegetables to be eaten daily
- Add loads of greens and bitter herbs to your plate, around 70% of your plate
- Eat protein with every meal. Palm-sized portion or eggs
- Add a portion of good fat with each meal
- Around 2 tablespoons of seeds especially flax seeds daily
- Eat 1-2 low sugar fruits daily – berries etc
- Add slow release carbs to one of your daily meals
- Add some fermented food to your daily diet
- Drink adequate amounts of water
- And, I recommend you start your day with a savoury meal to set your blood sugars level for the day. High insulin can cause oestrogen imbalances
From a lifestyle point of view, there is so much more you can add to keep your hormones balanced, especially as women. Take a read through my blog KEEPING YOUR HORMONES IN HARMONY, NATURALLY to see.
When your hormones are in tune, you will know, feel and LOVE it.