Can Eating Healthy Help With Hormonal Imbalances?
The short answer is yes, but to a limited extent. What we put into our bodies when we eat affects the hormones that our body produces, though our diet is far away from being the sole determining factor in issues of hormonal imbalance.
That being said, eating a healthy diet can help regulate your hormones, in addition to the overwhelming overall health benefits that it provides. Below, we’ll go through a brief guide into what foods you should increase or decrease if you’re seeking a greater balance in your hormone levels.
High-glycemic foods like fruit juice, sugar, and white bread affect how the body metabolizes estrogen and increases the levels of insulin in the body, causing your body to produce more of the stress hormone known as cortisol that can lead to potential health problems such as excess weight gain, inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and even uterine fibroids.
Instead, low-glycemic foods such whole grains, vegetables, beans, lentils, pears, and apples can guard against inflammation, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances. Preventing inflammation is particularly important when patients are suffering from disorders closely associated with inflammation, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which puts patients at risk for weight gain, infertility, diabetes, abnormal hair growth, and acne.
Healthy fats are also important in a hormone-balancing diet, such as those derived from coconut oil, wild-caught fish (particularly salmon), and avocados. These foods are anti-inflammatory, boost your metabolism, and keep you at a healthy weight.
Flaxseed, chia seeds, grass-fed animal products, and walnuts are also good sources of omega-3 fats, while oils high in omega-6 fats such as peanut, soybean, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed will have a negative impact. However, the omega-6 fat known as gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) is actually important, and can be ingested through borage oil, evening primrose oil, or hemp seeds to promote healthy progesterone levels.
Both produce and protein are particularly helpful in hormonal balancing efforts, as they balance insulin, estrogen, eicosanoids, fiber, and cortisol levels while providing anti-oxidant rich nutrition. Types of protein recommended include eggs, fish, lean meats, and soybeans, but not red meats, fried meats, high saturated-fat meats, processed meats, or whole milk.
Finally—and this is a tough one for lovers of caffeine and alcohol everywhere—one of the best things you can do to balance your hormones through your dietary intake is to greatly reduce or even eliminate caffeine and alcohol, such as red wine. An excess of caffeine interferes with your endocrine system, though you can always substitute coffee with green tea for its anti-oxidants, metabolism-boosting, and insulin sensitivity benefits.
Take the first step towards a happier, healthier you by contacting our office and setting up a consultation appointment with one of our dedicated staff members today, where you can discuss your treatment options for hormone imbalance and other conditions with an experienced, knowledgeable medical professional.