When we think about hormones, the obvious thought for most people would be to connect hormones to puberty, pregnancy and that over whelming craving for sugar or to cry before that time of the month! However, they do a lot more to support our bodies then we tend to give them credit for.
Hormones are the chemical messengers which travel around our body via our bloodstream to every tissue and organ ensuring everything from our growth to our metabolism is functioning properly.
Our main hormones include cortisol (the 'stress' hormone), melatonin (the hormone which helps us sleep), adrenalin (the hormone secreted by our adrenalin glands that increases the urge to fight or flight), thyroid (the hormone responsible for the regulation on our metabolisms), insulin (the hormone that regulates out blood sugar) and the main sexual hormones which are oestrogen (female), testosterone (male) and progesterone (a hormone released into the ovaries).
A hormone imbalance can lead to a number of noticeable effects including difficulty managing your weight, feeling bloated, trouble sleeping or always sleeping, PMS or skin issues as well as effecting our general wellbeing.
One way of addressing the balance in your body is to look at your diet. Our body needs a healthy balance of clean proteins, hormone balancing healthy fats, anti-oxidant rich vegetables, healing spices and herbs in each meal for our bodies to thrive and survive.
Aim to include something from each category in every meal to keep your hormone balance in check.
Beans, quinoa, lentils, seeds and organic pasture raised eggs.
Suggestion: Seeds -Seeds like sesame, flax, pumpkin and sunflower are known to boost hormone production. Naturopaths often recommend “seed cycling” to balance hormonal production. This means incorporating different seeds into your diet to encourage the body to produce deficient hormones or eliminate excess ones.
Hormones balancing healthy fats
Coconut oil, avocados, raw butter/ ghee, egg yolks and nuts & seeds.
Suggestion: Coconut oil -Is there anything the humble coconut cannot do? Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is extremely beneficial for hormone production. It also kills off any bad bacteria and viruses which may be depleting your energy source and slowing down your metabolism. You can add Pukka Organic Virgin Coconut Oil to your food when cooking, stir frying or baking - it's delicious!
Anti-oxidant rich vegetables
The key is to look for anything dark green or brightly coloured such as broccoli, spinach and kale or green, red, yellow peppers, tomatoes and carrots.
Suggestion: Kale - this dark leafy green, just like spinach, provides the body with a boost of natural magnesium, as well as iron and zinc which are also necessary for hormone health.
Healing spices and herbs
Cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, garlic and ginger.
Suggestion: Garlic -by far one of the world’s healthiest foods! In addition to being antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, garlic contains ultra-high concentrations of the organosulfur compound allicin (a compound currently under investigation for their potential to prevent and treat disease) which helps improves the body’s ability to metabolize iron, an important part of balancing hormones.
It's not always easy to ensure each day you are treating your body to a well thought out and balanced diet, so luckily there are also certain superfoods you can include in your diet as part of your diet which can be useful to ensure your body has the nutrients it needs.
Cacao -chocolate in its raw form for when you're feeling down or a little out of sync feels just right! The high levels of magnesium in raw cacao can help improve our mood and reduce our stress levels. Aduna Super Cacao Powder retains at least 8x more flavanols than regular cacao powder and it is the first cacao powder in the UK with an EU-approved claim for heart health.
Maca -renowned for its reputed fertility enhancing properties and considered to be beneficial for hormone balancing, Fushi Organic Maca Powder not only helps with your hormones but it is also packed with essential ingredients to boost energy and support your immune system.
Moringa- known as Africa's 'Miracle Tree' for its intensely dense nutrient properties. The Moringa leaf is packed with vital hormone balancing nutrients with high levels of magnesium to help with mood swings and reduce stress levels. Aduna Moringa Superleaf Powder can be blended into your favourite shake or smoothie recipe, or sprinkled onto salads and soups.
Turmeric -the 'golden herb' has proven estrogenic activity, meaning it mimics the activity of the hormone. It is known to decrease the intensity of pain experienced during periods and helps balance the hormones which are in turn responsible for breakouts and irregular menstrual patterns. Try Pukka Wholistic Turmeric supplement for an organic and whole concentrated blend of the fine herb.
For more superfood and supplement ideas, shop here for: Hormonal Balance.