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10 PLANT-BASED HORMONE BALANCING FOODS FOR YOUR DIET

January 07, 2019 by Renee Tavoularis

10 PLANT-BASED HORMONE BALANCING FOODS FOR YOUR DIET

The body produces and releases special chemical messengers called hormones, so different biological processes function as they should. Hormones like insulin, estrogen, cortisol, and melatonin influence various bodily functions, such as blood sugar regulation, reproduction, stress response, and sleep, respectively. When the body's hormones are imbalanced health problems can occur— you might feel fatigued and irritable, or even pick up extra weight.

Certain foods, like caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and fried foods, may lead to improper secretion of the body's hormones. However, when hormones are balanced, you can enjoy higher quality sleep, stable moods, and youthful-looking skin. The 10 hormone balancing foods below can counteract imbalances and bring your body back into an optimal state of functioning.

1. ALMONDS

The nutritional profile of almonds boosts the body's adiponectin levels. As a result, blood sugar is stabilized and androgen production (i.e. male sex hormones like testosterone) is better regulated throughout the body, so that hormones like testosterone can later be converted into estrogen (in women). When testosterone levels are in check, your skin looks plump and moisturized.

2. AVOCADOS

Think of fat as one of the essential building blocks that allows the body to effectively produce and secrete hormones. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are needed for healthy hormone functioning. They also contain high amounts of fiber that help stabilize blood sugar.

3. BEANS

Beans are plant-based sources of protein that offer a good supply of dietary fiber. This helps keep your blood sugar under control, which prevents other hormones from getting out-of-whack. Black beans, kidney beans, and other varieties contain Vitamin B6. This vitamin helps eliminate estrogen byproducts in the body to minimize estrogen dominance, a condition that can raise one’s risk of breast cancer after menopause.

4. BUCKWHEAT

This gluten-free grain provides a good source of dietary fiber while still being low on the glycemic index. When you eat complex carbohydrates like buckwheat, you limit blood glucose spikes and promote insulin sensitivity—which is the opposite of the more hazardous condition of insulin resistance. When you have greater insulin sensitivity your body requires lower levels of insulin to keep blood sugar in check. As a result, the body can produce adequate amounts of the beneficial protein sex hormone-binding globulin that controls estrogen and testosterone levels.

5. CINNAMON

Cinnamon is a spice that naturally balances the body's insulin levels, which is helpful for more than just diabetes management. Eating cinnamon can help the body's organs better respond to insulin in the blood, which can lead to better weight management. Keeping insulin and blood sugar in check can also alleviate inflammatory skin conditions and acne breakouts.

6. CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, an important nutrient for hormone synthesis. Omega-3s are also a major component of cell membranes. Getting enough of these essential fatty acids helps the body's cells communicate better, which is necessary for hormonal balance.

7. COCONUT OIL

The medium-chain fatty acids found in organic coconut oil are vital for hormone production and regulation. Plus, consuming more healthy fats (as opposed to saturated and trans fats) helps defend your body against inflammation, which may be a factor in hormonal imbalance.

8. DARK GREEN VEGETABLES

In addition to offering dietary fiber, folate, and antioxidants, dark leafy greens like Swiss chard, kale, and spinach are great sources of magnesium. Magnesium helps promote hormonal balance by helping the body metabolize estrogen. Magnesium also limits excessive production of the hormone cortisol, which can be hazardous to health at high levels.

9. POMEGRANATES

Pomegranates deliver a good dose of fiber and other beneficial nutrients that promote health, but this fruit also provide hormone-balancing effects. Pomegranates have phytoestrogens, plant-derived estrogen compounds that alleviate menopausal symptoms and reduce risk of hormone-dependent cancers like breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.

10. QUINOA

Quinoa is low on the glycemic index, so it won't cause extreme blood sugar elevations like some other grains. Since quinoa keeps insulin levels down, it also reduces androgen levels. In women, excess amounts of the androgen testosterone, can cause abnormal hair growth (called hirsutism) and acne.
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