Diet for Hormone Balance

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Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body that regulate various functions such as metabolism, growth, mood, and reproduction. An imbalance in hormones can lead to various health issues, including weight gain, fatigue, mood swings, and fertility problems. A hormone-balancing diet is a way of eating that focuses on consuming foods that support hormonal health and balance. Here, we discuss the basics of hormone-balancing diets and provide tips on implementing them.

What is a hormone-balancing diet?

A hormone-balancing diet is a way of eating that aims to support the proper functioning of the endocrine system. This system is a network of glands that create and release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate various bodily functions, including metabolism, growth, mood, and reproduction. The foods we eat can significantly impact hormone production and balance. A hormone-balancing diet focuses on consuming foods that support healthy hormone production and balance while avoiding those that disrupt it.

The principles of a hormone-balancing diet

Several principles underlie a hormone-balancing diet. These include:

  1. Eating a balanced diet: A hormone-balancing diet is a balanced healthy diet that includes foods from all the major food groups. This list includes whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
  2. Avoiding processed foods: Processed foods are typically high in refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and preservatives that can disrupt hormonal balance. A hormone-balancing diet avoids processed foods and focuses on whole, natural foods.
  3. Consuming healthy fats: Healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, and fatty fish, are key for hormone production and balance.
  4. Include enough protein: Protein is vital for building and repairing tissues, including those in hormone production.
  5. Avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates: Sugar and refined carbohydrates (in white bread and pasta) can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar, leading to insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.
  6. Consuming enough fiber: Fiber is essential for digestive health and can help regulate hormones.
  7. Including phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are plant-based compounds that can help balance hormones by mimicking the effects of estrogen in the body.

Foods to include in a hormone-balancing diet

Several foods are particularly beneficial for hormone balancing. These include:

  1. Cruciferous vegetables: Vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and cauliflower contain compounds that can help support healthy estrogen metabolism.
  2. Healthy fats: Healthy fats in avocados, nuts, and fatty fish, are essential for hormone production and balance.
  3. High-fiber foods: High-fiber foods, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, can help regulate hormones by supporting healthy digestion and elimination.
  4. Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens, such as those found in soy products, flaxseeds, and chickpeas, can help balance hormones by emulating the effects of estrogen in the body.
  5. Lean proteins: Lean proteins found in fish, chicken, and tofu, are vital for building and repairing tissues, including those in hormone production.

Foods to avoid in a hormone-balancing diet

Several foods should be avoided or limited to a hormone-balancing diet. Some of the foods you should avoid in a hormone-balancing diet.

  1. Processed Foods: These foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can disrupt hormone balance. They can also contain additives and preservatives that may interfere with hormone production and metabolism. Examples of processed foods include chips, candy, soda, and fast food.
  2. Dairy: Dairy products contain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, given to cows to increase milk production. These hormones can enter our bodies and disrupt our hormone balance. In addition, dairy can cause inflammation in some people, leading to hormonal imbalances. If you do consume dairy, choose organic and hormone-free options.
  3. Soy: Soy contains phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. While some research suggests that soy may have health benefits, including reducing the risk of breast cancer, excessive soy consumption can disrupt hormone balance. If you eat soy, choose fermented soy products, such as tempeh and miso, which are less likely to disrupt hormone balance.
  4. Sugar: Consuming too much can lead to insulin resistance, disrupting hormone balance. In addition, sugar can cause inflammation in the body, exacerbating hormonal imbalances. Avoid foods containing added sugars, such as candy, soda, and baked goods, and choose whole foods, such as fruit.
  5. Caffeine: While caffeine in moderation may have some health benefits, excessive caffeine consumption can disrupt hormone balance. Caffeine can interfere with the production of cortisol, a hormone that helps regulate stress. When cortisol levels are disrupted, it can lead to hormonal imbalances. If you consume caffeine, limit your intake to one or two cups daily.
  6. Alcohol: Alcohol can disrupt hormone balance by increasing estrogen levels and decreasing testosterone levels. In addition, alcohol can impair liver function, interfering with hormone metabolism. Limit your alcohol consumption to one daily drink, or avoid it altogether.

A hormone-balancing diet involves eating foods that support hormone production and metabolism while avoiding foods that disrupt hormone balance. By avoiding processed foods, dairy, soy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, you can help keep your hormones balanced and support overall health and wellness.

Here we discuss with a nutritionist and Dietitian Jasleen Kaurher thoughts on how to craft a diet for hormone balance.

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, happy Tuesday. Now that our focus is on women. Well, we love women because we are all women here. No, the joking jokes are apart. But we focus on women’s health because it’s a little bit underserved when women hit 40 plus. So we want to talk about hormonal imbalance today with Jasleen. Jasleen is a registered nutritionist focusing on women’s health, joining me live from India. Namaste Jasleen. 

Nutritionist Jasleen: Hi. Thank you. Thank you much. Thank you for inviting me. 

Indian Diet for Hormonal Imbalance

NourishDoc: Absolutely. No, I just wanted you to focus on women; when we hit forty, that time, the diet and the hormonal imbalance, what should we focus on? 

Nutritionist Jasleen: Great. So, I’m going to start with my introduction first. So, hi, everyone; my name is a dietitian and nutritionist, Jasleen Kaur. So, we focus majorly on women’s health. So, that is how women’s health is important. Nowadays, we see that many women are facing hormonal imbalances. And Indian diets are very much popular all over the globe. People love dal, roti, chicken, and paneer.

So, it’s very much; it’s famous worldwide. Now, how the Indian diet can help people to solve this hormonal imbalance or what we can call PCOS, PCOD, early menopause, late menopause, and many issues? So, today, we will talk about five to seven things that we can include in a diet, a quick superfood we can include in a diet. So, we can solve this problem by consistently having it in our diet plans. So, it’s not that we follow it for five days and say oh my god, my hormonal imbalance is not solved; it cannot be solved, right? So it takes a lot of time.

So a famous author once said that future doctors would cure people through food rather than medicine. Right? So we must cure many people through food and solve this hormonal imbalance problem. So, the number one thing that we focus on is probiotics. Now, what are probiotics? Probiotics are fermented, okay? And it is very important for gut health. If the gut is healthy, then the whole system is healthy. So, what is the important ingredients to be used in your gut health are curd, paneer, and whey protein, whey protein is the water that comes out of the curd. If you make curd, much water comes out; that is whey protein, right?

So, it is really helpful in digestion and very important for people with hormonal imbalances or grey hair issues. Then, Idli, Dosa, very commonly made at home, and buttermilk, very commonly available in all Indian homes. So these are the fermented things that help to solve the hormonal imbalance. However, we have to include them daily in our lifestyle. Your breakfast can be vegetable Idli, Or your lunch with sabji can be a bowl of dal with some curd; with that, you can indulge yourself in buttermilk if you want to. So this is a probiotic that we can include in our diet.

The second very important vitamin is B12. So, many people, we guys, are into gymming. We go to the gym but do not tend to work that much. So, we lack vitamin D and vitamin B-12 these days. So, how does vitamin B-12 impact our hormonal system? So, our hormones are directly connected with the glucose in our bodies. The bloodstream in our body. So, if we keep the vitamin B12 level in control, the hormonal imbalance will also be in control. Now if I talk about how to get that vitamin B12 that can only be found in a lot of fruits and vegetables colored fruits and vegetables.

Now you will ask which color. So darker colors like orange and red. So orange if I talk about what are orange fruits and vegetables. It’s the carrot; it’s the oranges. Then again, lemon is also high in vitamin B12. So, we can include these things in our diet to improve hormonal imbalance. Third very important in our Indian kitchen, it’s always available haldi, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and methi. These are some things that are always available. From a grandmother’s time when she opens that masala dabba. What is available? This is available, and sometimes, we ignore it.

Now, we see that many people in Canada, the US, and the UK are having these turmeric chai lattes, and it’s so popular. People are spending so much on it; if you ask us, it’s always in our kitchen. And we tend to ignore it like anything, And we rush to Starbucks on any other brand to get coffee. Why not have something in our kitchen, right? So, my point is that the third is the Indian spices that are very much available in our kitchen. So, if you make any sabji at home or a latte, you can always include turmeric in your diet. For hormonal imbalance, methi dana and fenugreek seeds are very helpful. So I’ll tell you the procedure and how it is helpful.

Fenugreek seeds for hormonal balance

So, one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, If you soak it in water overnight and filter it and drink it, drink it in the morning. It will help you to solve the hormonal imbalance over some time. If you try it for 30 days, you will see that if your periods are not coming regularly, they will be regular. If you feel period pain, it will be gone. So, it’s that magical. Ginger like ginger tea; we can use it if you want; we take adrak ki chai when the weather is very good. Typical Indian thing. So it is very beneficial if we include it in the diet. So, fourth, omega three.

So, many people don’t get omega three that quickly from their diet, right? Because a lot of Indians prefer veg also. So, how can we get omega three? Omega-3 is very much present in flax seeds, walnuts, and almonds. So, if you mix the three and have it first thing in the morning, you can increase the omega-3 level in your body and help to solve that hormonal imbalance that is taking a toll on your health.

Seed Cycling for Hormonal Imbalance

Now last but not least, If you have ever heard about a cycle called the seed cycle. So, we have three levels in our body, right?

One is the follicle phase; when the periods don’t start, they are in the initial level. Then once they end, it is the ovulation phase, okay? And last but not least, it’s a literal phase. So once the follicle phase starts, the follicular phase starts; if we include two seeds in our diet, that is, pumpkin and flax seeds. If you combine that, direct 13 days from day one to 13 days, this is phase one. Then we take no seeds in between.

We leave it for a while, and then from the fifteenth day to the next coming cycle, if we take sesame seeds and sunflower seeds one-one TSP teaspoon in our diet, it will help us to solve the problem of PCOS, PCOD, and Hormonal imbalance, period pain, period cramps, PMS issues. It has got amazing benefits. So, the seed cycle is one thing I truly recommend for everyone facing this issue. So, here are five quick tips to solve this problem. 

Seed Cycling Benefits For Menopause

NourishDoc: amazing, that’s an amazing session, very simple things that all of us can do at home. You talk about seed cycling for women with PCOS, PCOD, and PMS. Can women in their 40s also take the seeds the same way because now the periods are not there? Specifically for women who are hitting perimenopause and menopause. What kind of the seed cycle should be at that age group?

Nutritionist Jasleen: So they will not take this combination of the cycle. So, I mixed pumpkin and flax seeds in the first cycle. So, they will not take this combination. They can choose either anyone, right? One of them. And then, in the second ovulation phase, the ovulation will not happen.

So, they can include the next seed, maybe sesame seeds, though they can mix the four seeds at any point in time, or they can have one seed the entire month, change it the next month, then again the next month. So, they can take that combination without taking that combination. The only way we dietitians and nutritionists make diet plans are very simple for you, but we only deal in food combinations; that’s what the forte is. So, the right combination is very important. 

NourishDoc: Okay, well, simple tips all of us can do at home. We bring these sessions to you daily quick bites of wisdom, wellness, wisdom, whatever you want to call it, 10 minutes. If you want to share anything else you want to add, your Instagram handle or any other details, you’re welcome to do that so people can find you, but just like. 

Nutritionist Jasleen: Absolutely; thank you so much. So, my name is Dietitian Jasleen Kaur once again. My Instagram handle name is Just Diet underscore clinic, and that’s what my brand name is. My Facebook page is for dietitian Jasleen Kaur Just That Clinic. We help you to achieve a healthy lifestyle by keeping all your food habits as the first consideration that is very important. So, we help you to choose between that Alu Puri and that chocolate. We help you to choose between that cornflakes or muesli. So, we are here to help you with healthy and effective diet plans. 

NourishDoc: I love the way you said. We are all addicted, especially people from North India, addicted to some kind of heavy breakfast like paranthas and Alu Puri, so we are not saying stop having that. However, we are saying to stick to what Jasleen is talking about. I am also from that part of the world. So, I know what you are saying. Yes. All right, with that in mind, thank you so much. We are developing these programs specifically to help women with hormonal balance. We’re focusing on all ages of women, but the first focus would be for 40-plus women. So, stay tuned. We’re working with Jasleen as well. So, please keep supporting us. With that, thank you so much. Have a great day. 


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