Do you suffer from symptoms like the 3pm slump, skin problems, difficulty sleeping, feeling achy or bloated? If you're feeling “off” at all, making a few changes with what you're eating could help tremendously. Every time we eat, we are given an opportunity to heal and nourish ourselves. I know that it’s hard to make each meal perfect, but by making small changes over time, it will become easier and easier to have more of them.
No matter what health issue you might have going on, there are certain foods that can help. Every piece of food that comes from nature has healing benefits. Millions of people are affected by hormone issues. Even more have hormone imbalance and don't even know it. To find more of a balance try incorporating a little more of these foods and start avoiding the following:
1. GMO Foods: Studies have shown that genetically modified foods can cause an increase of estrogen in the body. Estrogen dominance can cause disturbance in men and women. It's a leading cause of a variety of fertility issues, including low sperm count, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, PCOS and ovulation disorders. Even if you're not trying to have a baby right now, it could affect you years later as well. It's always best to buy organic whenever possible. Not just for hormone balance, but to prevent a host of other health problems.
2. Animal Fats: Especially red meat and dairy can wreck havoc on your entire body. Animals store toxins and hormones in their fat so when you eat it, you're ingesting this as well. One study showed that animal fats are more of a problem than vegetable oils. Adding in more plant-based food like fruits and vegetables are ideal. Things like apples, asparagus, wild blueberries and black beans have all been shown to help improve hormones.
3. Sugar: This seems like a no-brainer, but sugar is so much more harmful than just making you fat. I'm not talking about the sugar from fruit either. I always refer people to this article because we've been told that fruit will make you fat or unhealthy and that's just not true. For balanced hormones you need more fruit and less processed sugar. It's amazing how many products have refined sugar in them. I've even seen it in pickles! Make sure to check the ingredient's label as sugar also hides under different aliases like these here.
4. Certain canned foods: BPA is a chemical that is used in canned goods as well as in plastics and many other products. It is an endocrine disruptor that interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones. BPA has been shown in numerous studies to act like estrogen in the body causing a host of problems. Make sure to look for cans and plastic's that use non-BPA lining. Switching to more glass products also helps.
5. Gluten: When you hear about gluten it's mostly how it effects the GI track, but that's not the only thing. Gluten can also mess up your hormones and thyroid function. I never thought I had a gluten intolerance, but since I cut it out over a month ago, I feel the difference, in a good way. If you're not sure if you have a gluten intolerance or if it could be messing with your hormones, I suggest try cutting it out for four weeks and see how you feel.
For more on this topic, check out this article here. What ways do you keep your hormone balanced? I'd love to hear in the comments below. :)