In today’s post, I want to talk about how to naturally balance your hormones, focusing on food tips- certain things you should avoid, certain things you should add and how I think this can help a lot of you.
There are so many different kinds of hormones in your body, secreted by different things (ovaries, pancreas, adrenals). They’re considered chemical signals, so when one of them is off, a lot can be off, and because there are so many different types of hormones, sometimes it’s hard to keep them all in balance.
There are different methods to go about it, and this is where prescription medicine can get tricky because it’s really only focused on ONE thing. If you’re trying to heal your body and not just fix one thing at a time, you can try to get the whole system working together more in balance.
Signs & Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance
- Sudden weight gain / loss
- Mood swings
You should feel GOOD. Sometimes we’re wired to think that we’re supposed to be tired all the time, not supposed to feel great after eating a meal, we’re supposed to be moody …but our bodies are naturally wired to feel good, so if you’re not, try to look into what’s going on and get to the root of the problem.
- Replace CARBS with healthy FATS. If you watch my content, you know that I actually love healthy carbs- I’m probably more carb-heavy than any other macronutrient (carbs, fat, protein). BUT, if your hormones are temporarily out-of-balance and you want to get back to normal, swapping out carbs (especially refined) for healthy fats might be a great idea.
Why healthy fats? (1) Healthy fats = building blocks of hormones and (2) healthy fats don’t spike your blood sugar the way carbs do.
This is not to say that you should fully cut out carbs. We definitely need them, but go for the ones that are not refined- things like spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes. Avoid things like white bread, white pasta, gluten and white potatoes.
Some of my favorite healthy fats are avocado, coconut oil, coconut cream, chia seeds, walnuts and wild salmon (if you’re not vegan).
- Adaptogens. These seem like little miracle workers. Adaptogens are plants that help your body balance itself. If your hormones are higher or lower, they have the ability to bring you back down to balance.
The first one I want to talk about is Ashwagandha. This is in the Four Sigmatic Adaptogen Blend Mix. I learned a little more about Ashwagandha when I saw this Ayurvedic doctor and did the Panchakarma cleanse. She could tell my thyroid was a little low and prescribed Ashwagandha. At the time, I was taking a compounded dose of thyroid medication, and she specifically told me I could not take both at the same time because it’s so powerful. That always stuck with me.
Definitely talk to your doctor if this is something you think you’re experiencing. Low thyroid levels can make you feel cold, make your hair brittle, etc., and high levels can lead to changes in weight.
Tulsi (aka “Holy Basil”) is a great adaptogen for managing cortisol levels. Cortisol is another type of hormone that can be too high or too low. A lot of us have high cortisol levels (including me), so I always try to do things that are preventative to make sure that everything is running as it should. Tulsi is great for that, as well as for heavy metal toxicity or if you’re around a lot of pollution and chemicals. My favorite thing for this is the Four Sigmatic Adaptogen Coffee with Tulsi & Astragalus (Light + Cinnamon).
- Healthy Herbs. The first one I want to talk about is fennel. This is great for your gut, and good gut health = good hormone regulation. Thyme is really great for progesterone regulation. Especially for women with PCOS or are at high risk for infertility, try adding thyme into some hot water or food.
Sometimes we forget that we can make our own tea! You can get a tea infuser and add all your own herbs and spices. Sometimes it’s really grounding to make your own and mix it up every night.
Foods to Avoid
- Dairy. I talk about cutting out dairy pretty consistently. There are so many dairy alternatives now, so I think it’s really easy to cut out. Dairy can alter your hormones for 2 reasons:
- The way the cows are treated, the food they’re fed, the hormones they’re injected with, the antibiotics they’re given- you are ingesting all of that.
- Even if the dairy you’re eating is organic, there’s a high chance it’s coming from a pregnant cow, who will have a higher number of hormones, that you’re now ingesting …which is not meant for you.
- Gluten. This can cause hormone imbalances or inflammation and increase the risk for leaky gut. I don’t have a gluten sensitivity, but whenever I can avoid gluten, I do.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and gained some tips that you can incorporate into your own life.