5 Food Rules for Happier Hormones (and a Happier You)
Hormones are more than just culprits behind pesky irregular cycles, PMS and period pains (even though it might not feel like it at times). In reality, these symptoms often signal a hormonal imbalance.
Your hormones are pivotal players in crucial bodily functions and processes. Here are a few key areas they impact:
- Bone Health
- Stress Response
- Immune Function
- Sleep-Wake Cycle
- Mood and Emotions
- Regulating Metabolism
- Blood Sugar Regulation
- Growth and Development
- Fluid and Electrolyte Balance
One easy way to nurture happier (and more balanced) hormones for a happier and more balanced you, is with food!
Your hormones depend on you eating food that supports their production to live their best life.
And while our digestive systems are as unique as our cycles, there are a few universal adjustments everyone can make to support hormone health.
*If you are on a particular diet or have specific dietary needs, please seek guidance from your medical practitioner before making any changes to your diet.
1. Ditch ALL processed foods.
When you buy food, just take a second to flip the packet and read the ingredients (bonus points if your food doesn't come in a packet). If you couldn't say where you might find the ingredients in the supermarket. Put it back on the shelf.
Where you can choose things without ingredients, e.g. apples, chicken, rice! All made by nature and not in a chemistry lab.
2. Sugar and spice aren't always nice
Not for your hormones at least, well, the spice bit adds a zing, but sugar is not your friend.
Insulin is estrogen's nemesis; the more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body needs to produce to manage with it.
Initially, your body attempts to stash that surplus sugar in the liver. However, when there's no more room at the inn (cue insulin resistance), that excess sugar finds its way into fat storage.
Yes, you heard it right, FAT storage!
If you went to your cupboards right now and read the labels of all the jars you have in there I bet most would contain sugar.
It has a sneaky way of getting into everything, and it doesn't need to be there. Cooking sauces from scratch is a great way to make sure unnecessary sugar isn't sneaking into your diet.
So say bye-bye to simple carbohydrates like bread and pasta, and so long to sweets and processed treats – or indulge in them sparingly. I mean, what's life without cake?
I’m just saying eat them intentionally, rather than having them mindlessly become your daily go-to pick-me-ups.
3. Fibre is your friend!
High-fibre foods do more than promote regular bowel movements, they also play a role in stabilising blood sugar levels, and preventing insulin spikes.
This is crucial for managing hormonal fluctuations that might otherwise impact your menstrual cycle.
I'm just going to say this simply - you need to poop regularly to eliminate waste and toxins!
This isn't just about maintaining good gut health; it's a key factor in supporting hormonal balance because the endocrine system (responsible for hormone production) can be disrupted by the buildup of toxins.
When waste and toxins aren't efficiently eliminated, excess estrogen can be reabsorbed into the body. This can create hormonal imbalances leading to irregularities in your cycle.
4. The flavour is in the fat!
Fat has been labelled the evil of the food industry, but the fat you have in your body is not the same as you eat; technically that is called adipose tissue.
But not all fat is equal and most are inflammatory. Opt for grass-fed or cold-pressed versions like olive, flax, coconut and avo and stay away from cheap vegetable oils.
Fat is a slow-release energy food and will keep you fuller for longer, so ditch toast and cereal and opt for a protein and good fat combo breakfast to start your day like poached eggs, avo and wilted spinach.
And please, please, please also ditch the low-fat version of stuff. It's full of fillers and bulking agents that trick your body into thinking it's eating something good and then leaves it high, dry, and undernourished.
5. Cheers to less alcohol!
Going T total isn't for everyone; I never thought I could or would, but I did. At 40 I decided alcohol and I just weren't meant to be and I've never looked back, I don't even miss it.
There are so many alcohol-free variations of drinks now you won't even feel like you are missing out.
Not only is alcohol full of sugar, but it's not great for your liver, and your liver already is already doing 100 things not to mention storing all the insulin from the bag of Percy Pigs you ate and has enough to do without processing Saturday's bottomless brunch with the girls.
Instead, stay hydrated and drink a minimum of 1.5 litres of water a day.
Along with these easy food swaps, you can also support your hormones with a little bit of cyclical self-care.
Matching your workload, exercise and social calendar with your cyclical energy (aka hormone levels) helps to create harmony in your inner ecosystem.
You can watch the free workshop HERE to find out exactly how to do that.