Have you been feeling tired and stressed lately, with unexplained mood swings and weight gain? Hormone imbalance may be to blame for odd changes with your body and mind. Your system tries to maintain a delicate balance of these chemicals, and too much or too little of a certain hormone can lead to various of health issues, ranging from obesity to breast cancer.
Regardless of what kind of symptom of hormonal imbalance you might experience, there are certain foods can help you deal with it.
Here are 10 foods that help to restore a health balance of hormones and promote weight loss:
Cauliflower is an extremely healthy vegetable well-loved by the weight-loss community. It’s high in fiber and low in calories, so you can eat a lot of it without worrying about gaining weight or digestive difficulties. It also contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant extensively studied by scientists because of its potential to stop cancer growth by destroying damaged cells. More importantly, cauliflower improves your body’s ability to metabolize estrogen, preventing your estrogen levels from piking too high or dropping too low.
9. Red Grapes
Another estrogen-blocking food is red grapes. Their skins contain a chemical called resveratrol, and their seeds contain a chemical called proanthocyanidin. Both of these chemicals work to block estrogen production. Red grapes are easy to clean and eat. They’re great to eat refrigerated or at room temperature. They can be eaten alone or added to fruit or green salads. As with any other fruit or vegetable, organic is a good way to go.
When people think of fruit, the pomegranate may not be the first thing that comes to mind. It turns out, however, that this particular fruit is high in phytochemicals, the bioactive plant compounds that help to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. For the past several years, pomegranate juice has been hyped as a panacea for all that ails you. Nevertheless, scientists suggest that eating pomegranates might help with the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
This antidiabetic effect of pomegranates could be due to their ability to decrease oxidative stress and the formation of resistin, a hormone that promotes insulin resistance. In addition, the sugar in pomegranate juice contains unique antioxidants such as tannins and anthocyanins, which could help control type 2 diabetes.
7. Green Tea
Already known for its healthful properties, green tea is a great source of polyphenols, which boosts insulin sensitivity and slows down the rate the body digests and absorbs sugar. Drinking green tea helps keep estrogen production in check, effectively reducing the risk of breast cancer in women. Polyphenols have also been shown to promote the growth of good bacteria, improving digestion while preventing hormone imbalance.
Due to the fermentation it undergoes, sauerkraut offers nutrition and health benefits far beyond those of fresh cabbage that it is made out of. Sauerkraut contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that act as the first line of defense against toxins and harmful bacteria. They can also improve your digestion and overall health. And like most vegetables, sauerkraut is low in calories and high in fiber. High-fiber diets allow you to stay fuller for longer, which helps you naturally reduce your everyday calorie intake. It also boosts metabolism of estrogen, preventing estrogen build up in your body.
5. Sea Weed
Your thyroid gland needs a constant iodine supply to produce and release hormones to help control growth, energy production, reproduction, and the repair of damaged cells in your body. Without enough iodine, you may start to experience symptoms like weight changes, fatigue, or swelling of the neck over time. Thanks to its unique ability to absorb concentrated amounts of iodine from the ocean, seaweed is incredibly rich in this mineral. Adding a dash of kelp flakes to your soups or snacking on seaweed salad will easily satisfy your everyday iodine needs.
Seaweed also contains an amino acid called tyrosine, which is used alongside iodine to make key hormones that help the thyroid gland do work properly.
Salmon is a good source of vitamin D, which is necessary for building sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone that tend to decline in middle-age. Vitamin D is vital to bone health and immunity, too. Salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Omega-3s can also help reduce the release of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline under stressful situations. Considering stress is one of the top sources of inflammation, it’s not surprising that salmon has been touted an inflammation buster.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’ve been shown to beneficially affect hormones that regulate food intake, including lowering levels of insulin and ghrelin, the “hunger hormone” that stimulates appetite and promotes fat storage. In one 2010 study, men had lower ghrelin and insulin levels after eating eggs for breakfast than after eating a bagel. They also felt fuller and ate fewer calories over the next 24 hours after eating the eggs. These positive effects on hormones seem to occur when people eat both the yolk and the white.
Most studies have looked at the effects of eating eggs at breakfast because that is when people typically eat them. However, you can take advantage of these nutrition powerhouses at any time of the day, and hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack between your meals.
Oats are a gluten-free whole grain and an excellent source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The fiber content in oatmeal helps to promote digestive health. One of its antioxidants known as avenanthramides helps lower blood pressure levels by increasing the production of nitric oxide, the gas molecule that dilates blood vessels and leads to better blood flow. Health experts also recommend oats to diabetics as treatment for elevated blood-glucose levels, as it regulates the production of insulin and boosts insulin sensitivity.
Avocados are loaded with beta-sitosterol, a substance found in various fruits and vegetables and is best known to help prevent heart disease by regulating blood cholesterol levels. Avocado is also hailed as a stress-busting food, thanks to its high amount of unsaturated fats which keeps keeps cortisol (a stress hormone) levels low.
The plant sterols present in avocados also have an effect on estrogen and progesterone. In fact, avocado oil is a common ingredient in what is called progesterone cream, which is marketed as being able to help with PMS and prostate issues. Rather than containing progesterone, such creams are meant to reduce or balance estrogen levels and lessen the symptoms of estrogen-related issues.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before making any changes to your diet.