Many people suffer from hormone imbalance. It's not just women either… Men do as well.
Everything from thyroid problems to adrenal fatigue to depression.
A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with PCOS, which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I've been having hormonal issues since I stopped using birth control in August of 2014. Recently, I was a guest on the podcast show, Food Heals Nation, where I shared my full story for the first time. You can listen to it here, if you'd like.
The emails I received afterwards from people either suffering with PCOS or just some sort of hormone issue in general, got me thinking that I should start to share my journey with you.
First, I'd like to share a few tips that you can start implementing in your life today. Plus some foods that are not only good for your overall health, but specifically good for managing hormones in women and MEN!
- Cut out all fake sweeteners! Yes, even organic Stevia. All of them wreak havoc on your hormones. More on this later, but in the meantime try this real food sweetener instead.
- Stop the caffeine! It lowers your thyroid levels and raises your cortisol levels – not good for hormones! If you need a boost try this tea or even this smoothie.
- Stop using BPA products. Things like cans, plastic containers, beauty products and more contain this chemical that has been linked to lowering testosterone levels & increase sexual dysfunction in men, and increase a person's risk of breast cancer.
- Exercise! I'm not saying you have to work out every day, but at least 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes will help balance out your hormones. Being active through out the day is key. Don't sit too long!
- Check the ingredients list on packages! If you can't say it – why eat it? Foods that are overly processed and full of weird ingredients are one of the worst things for our hormones. Try to stick with real whole foods, or at least ones with minimal ingredients and words that you know how to pronounce.
One of the main reasons I want to share this information here is because diet is a huge part of managing hormones and reversing PCOS.
Even though I eat a clean diet 80% of the time, I still have had to make changes with what I'm putting into my body.
I want to make sure I'm reaping benefits by eating the best things to help balance hormones.
In the coming weeks I'll share with you what I'm not eating anymore, but let's start with what I am eating.
If you follow me on Instagram you know avocado mash is one of my favorites.
When your hormones are out of whack, having healthy fats at each meal is key, which means I'm good to keep snacking on my favorite avocado mash recipe.
Some other foods that I'm making sure to incorporate often include the following:
- Beans and Legumes – They've been shown to help regulate your blood sugar. It's important to keep that in check because when your blood sugar spikes it screws with your hormones. Plus things like lentils are clean sources of protein and fiber.
- Maca Powder – Maca root powder is widely known for the positive effects it has on hormones. From decreasing PMS and menopausal symptoms to improving fertility. Start by adding a teaspoon in your smoothie and then work up.
- Herbs – Oregano is a staple herb that helps hormone balance and it'll give you a boost in antioxidants. Milk Thistle is another herb (available in pill or liquid form) that has been shown to help support the liver, which detoxes hormones from the body.
- Flaxseeds – I recommend eating 1-2 tbsp daily preferably in a smoothie or ground up, sprinkled on salad. Flaxseeds contain lignans, which help balance hormone metabolism and block excess estrogen. Lingnan have also been shown to decrease cancer cells so I suggest eating these even if you don't have hormonal problems.
- Avocados – As I said above, they're one of the best sources for healthy fats that help our body absorb and use the nutrients we are consuming. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that help balance out hormones.
Some studies suggest over 80% of women are suffering from hormonal issues.
I hope this information can be useful to you or someone you know.
I will share more info along the way.
If you're going through the same thing I'd love to hear from you.
You can contact me or comment below. You can also sign up to be notified down there too.
I'll try to answer any question you might have or at least be able to give you a resource that might help, but remember I am not a doctor. These are my opinions based off of the research I've read and my holistic nutrition certification.
I successfully healed my PCOS naturally without any medications. You can read how I did it here.
I love this post! I do everything except stopping the caffeine! I have to have my coffee. . :)
Lots of great information here. Passing this along to a few people who can use it. Thanks!
Great read! I was diagnosed with premature menopause at the age of 37 – at first they thought it was PCOS but then after a slew more of testing it was determined otherwise. My doctor is a firm believer that everything you mentioned as well as environment contribute a lot to hormone issues and even premature menopause. I cut so many things from our lives from processed foods (which were really never an issue as we never ate) to plastics being used at home.
Time to pick up some flax to add to my yogurt!!!
Thank you for sharing this! I had a problem with this a couple years back and my hair was thinning like crazy. It was very upsetting. Love this post!
Yay for balancing your hormones! I hear ya on the fake sweeteners. I'm SO not a fan… even of stevia. No thanks! I love the tips… sadly I don't think I could imagine a day without coffee (I say as I'm typing this sitting in Starbucks!) Oops!! …maybe I could just cut down!
I am buying the maca powder now! Have never heard of it but have struggle with hormonal imbalances for years and can't wait to try! Thanks for this article, Megan. :)
Maca is amazing for balancing hormones! I add it to my smoothies daily! I'm glad you found the article helpful, Lauren! :)
I'm glad to know we've done a lot on your list already! Thanks for the article.
These are great tips! I've never tried Maca before but want to find some to add to my morning smoothie!
Maca is amazing! You can buy it online or find it at a health food store like Whole Foods.
Avocados are always a great idea to regulate your hormones and get rid of your acne!! I implemented it in my diet and I've seen results immediately!
YES! I eat some avocado every single day!
Thanks so much, Megan! I just found this article from the other one you posted on Tips & Tricks! I'm so glad to hear new ideas on balancing hormones. I'm 50 and have been dealing with peri-menopause for over 3 yrs. Bio-dentical HR is helping but I'm trying to do everything I can to promote balance through organic eating, cutting out dairy as much as possible, not eating meat and exercising. I'm really curious about Maca powder. Ordering it now. Does it have a taste? Does it have protein? Anything else you do with it besides smoothies?
Hi Lise – Maca powder doesn't really have a taste. If you put a lot of maca powder in a smoothie it gives it a malt taste to me. I've only used it in smoothies. It sounds like you are on the right track. I also found when I started cutting out the plastics and BPA I was using it made a huge different too. Check out my latest post about toxic beauty products. I also found that to help.