Let’s take a minute to talk about hormones. Hormones have been a big topic on The Skinny Confidential ( blog & podcast ) over the last few years. Lauryn has been very transparent about her post-pregnancy hormone imbalances & what she did to bring them back into balance. In fact, she did a solo podcast episode dedicated to just that. Listen here if you haven’t yet.
Before we dive deep, let’s talk about what a hormone even is.
The scientific definition of hormones is that they are “important chemical messengers in the body that effectively transfer signals & instructions from one set of cells to another. Most hormones circulate via the blood, thus coming into contact with all kinds of cells throughout the body. Hormones influence & regulate practically every cell, tissue, organ, & function of our bodies, including growth, development, metabolism, maintenance/balance of our internal environment ( “homeostasis” ), & sexual & reproductive function.”
Now, don’t get us wrong, hormones are natural & many of the hormones we produce actually do some pretty amazing & positive things for the body. It’s just the whole ‘keeping your hormones balanced’ thing that’s the hard & confusing part.
The many different hormones that our bodies create directly contribute to our growth & development, metabolism, fertility, mood, menstrual cycle, appetite, & just like, so much more.
Lauryn has said a lot lately that having her hormones checked was best decision she ever made. Life-changing actually ( more here ). But basically, the main takeaway from her experience is that when your hormones are balanced, everything is a lot better. But, a hormone imbalance can create some serious issues throughout the whole body. And, with today’s fast-paced lifestyle, hormone imbalances can happen easily & quickly.
Problems stemming from hormone imbalances can include diabetes, infertility, acne, weight gain, weight loss, irritability, rashes, tiredness – you get it.
Believe it or not, one of the biggest influencers of your hormones is the food you eat. Diet & nutrition are directly linked to the health of your endocrine system and therefore, the production and release of hormones into the body.
Good thing there are plenty of foods that you can eat to help regulate your hormones & keep your body working & functioning properly. These foods usually contain a ton of vitamins & minerals that support the endocrine system & promote healthy creation & release of hormones.
Let’s get right into the list.
20 Foods That Help Balance Hormones:
Eggs are a great source of choline, an essential nutrient that is used by the body to help regulate the hormones produced by your adrenal gland ( your mood-stabilizing gland ). Better management of the adrenal gland can lead to an improved metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, & response to stress. Make sure to stick to farm-raised & organic eggs, as opposed to those other heavily processed eggs. ( Lauryn & Zaza love Pete & Gerry’s eggs. )
♡ Olive oil
Olive oil is incredible for hormone regulation. The omega-3 fatty acids found in olive oil can reduce resistance to the hormone insulin, and signal the brain to produce hormones that make you feel full, thus reducing your appetite. Omega-3s may also help reduce the release of cortisol ( a sugar-releasing stress hormone ) during periods of chronic stress. Plus, we can’t forget that olive oil is great for lymphatic drainage, too.
♡ Coconut oil
Similarly to olive oil, coconut oil is also chock full of omega-3’s to help keep your hunger & stress hormone levels in check. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory & anti-fungal properties and it’s a fab moisturizers when it comes to healing dry skin, preventing bikini bumps, and replenishing the skin after shaving.
Avocado is literally a miracle food when it comes to hormones. They contain omega-3’s to balance your hunger & stress hormones, beta-sitosterol for stress reduction, & plant sterols that help regulate hormones related to your ovulation & menstrual cycles. Avocados also contain vitamins B5, B6, C, E, and K. Just always be stocked up with avocados k?
♡ Brussels sprouts
Low sex drive? Eat your Brussels sprouts! This coniferous veggie contains some super healthy nutrients ( indole-3-carbinol and 3,3-diindolylmethane ) that directly contribute to the healthy production of the sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone. You should try to incorporate at least one serving of a coniferous veggie into your diet each day.
If you need some inspo for cooking Brussels sprouts, check out The Skinny Confidential bomb-ass cinnimin/cider brussel sprouts recipe.
♡ Bell Peppers
Red, yellow, & orange bell peppers are super healthy, an awesome source of fiber, & packed with vitamins A, B6, and C. These vitamins work together to help the body create the hormones melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which all contribute to improved mood, sleep, & stress regulation.
When we eat cabbage, our body naturally produces indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that supports liver function. This is important when it comes to hormone regulation because the liver is where used up hormones are broken down & cleansed from the body. Better liver function = less stuff in your body.
Be sure to try The Skinny Confidential cabbage summer salad. Not only does it contain cabbage but it also contains other hormone regulating foods like bell peppers, olive oil, & tahini. ( You gotta try The Tahini Goddess tahini. It’s the best we’ve ever had. More from the founder here. )
Like Brussels sprouts, broccoli also contains diindolylmethane to support healthy production of estrogen. The antioxidants & vitamins found in broccoli also contribute to improved liver functioning, heart health, immune system health, and regularity.
Spinach is one of those leafy greens that is so easy to add to salads & green smoothies. Not only does spinach contain the plant steroid, phytoecdysteroids, which boosts metabolism and lowers insulin levels, but it also contains iron, calcium, and folate which all contribute to your overall health.
Looking for a kick-ass green smoothie? Check out Lauryn’s super specific green smoothie for pregnancy and optimal health.
Did you know that cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower can actually help prevent cancer? Cauliflower contains antioxidants & phytonutrients that ward off cancer as well as choline & diindolylmethane to support healthy hormone release from the adrenal gland.
You guys have to try these *chefs kiss* cauliflower mock mashed potatoes.
When it comes to promoting the production of happy hormones like serotonin, bananas are key. Bananas are a rich source of Vitamin B9, which has been proven to help fight depression & anxiety and reduce stress levels. This fruit also contains other essential nutrients that can improve energy levels, prevent cramps, & promote healthy weight loss by reducing appetite.
Salmon is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to balancing hormones. The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon work to balance hormones across the board including everything from serotonin to insulin. Salmon is also a rich source of Vitamin D, which is essential for the creation of healthy sex hormones. And finally, salmon is a great source of protein & has a multitude of anti-inflammatory properties.
♡ Chicken breast
Eating a high-protein diet is directly linked to regulation of hormones. High-quality chicken breast is full of protein to build & repair muscles and has virtually no fat. Due to the high amount of protein, chicken breast promotes the secretion of leptin, insulin, and estrogen, therefore promoting feelings of satiety & happiness.
If you love tacos then you’re going to love these healthy little chicken tacos.
♡ Grass-fed beef
Making sure you get all your essential vitamins & minerals is so important for hormone regulation. Each & every essential nutrient is responsible for at least some part of hormone production or release into the body. Grass-fed beef is an excellent source of zinc & copper which both contribute to the proper creation & release of adrenal hormones. Eating beef can also contribute to higher estrogen levels & decreased appetite. If you’re interested in grass-fed beef & the production process, you should listen to the podcast episode with Anya, the founder of Belcampo Meats. It’s really interesting whether you eat meat or not.
Nuts have a huge positive impact on our endocrine system, which is responsible for the creation & release of important hormones. Many different types of nuts have essential omega-3’s, protein, healthy fats, and lots of vitamins that directly support the many parts of the endocrine system including the ovaries, pancreas, thyroid gland, & pituitary gland.
Like nuts, seeds also contain lots of vitamins & minerals that directly support the endocrine system & hormone regulation. These nutrients include zinc, omega-3’s, omega-6’s, vitamin E, phytoestrogens, ligans, and more. Eating seeds can also reduce blood sugar, increase fertility, improve the immune system, and cleanse the body of impurities.
EAT. YOUR. BEANS! Beans are loaded with fiber to balance out blood sugar, which directly contributes to hormone synthesis. They are also one of the best sources of phytoestrogerens which help women manage estrogen production, symptoms of menopause, & stress.
Beans for hormone regulation include chickpeas, lentils, black-eye peas, green peas, split peas, and soybeans.
Due to the high amount of Vitamin C in apples, they work wonders on raising those progesterone levels. Progesterone is a hormone that makes us feel happy & reduces anxiety and depression. Apples are also really great for keeping your teeth bright and shiny & reducing inflammation throughout the body.
♡ Sweet potatoes
Like apples, sweet potatoes contain plenty of Vitamin C in addition to omega-3’s, beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin A, and potassium for boosting progesterone levels & regulating other hormones. In addition to sweet potatoes, radishes, onions, garlic, turnips, and rutabaga also have these qualities and provide good bacteria to the gut for relief of constipation and regularity.
Seaweed is a literal miracle food and if you’re not eating seaweed, you need to start right now. When it comes to hormones, seaweed has properties that help manage estrogen and estradiol levels. This can improve sex drive & decrease the chances of developing breast cancer later in life. Other than hormone regulation, seaweed is amazing for your skin ( it will literally make you glow ), your hair, your digestive and immune systems, maintaining a healthy weight, & boosting energy levels.
Be sure to check out this spirulina popcorn recipe for some seaweed inspo.
One of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re sensing some imbalances is get your hormones checked. If you have low energy, low motivation, feel a little down or are having trouble losing weight, you could really benefit from it.
Some tips to keep in mind when it comes to eating for hormone balance are:
+ Always choose organic or farm-raised meat & eggs
+ Steer clear of GMO’s, additives, and other fake shit
+ Reduce intake of salt, junk food, and sugar
+ Eat everything in moderation & don’t overdo any one food
Other ways to naturally balance your hormones:
+ Eat protein at every meal
+ Establish a good sleep routine
+ Workout or do yoga regularly
+ Practice stress-reduction techniques
+ Prioritize gut health
We hope you loved this post from The Skinny Confidential team. Let us know your experience with balancing your hormones in the comments below.
x, TSC team
+ for more on hormones & fertility: balancing hormones, fertility and postpartum weight loss.
++ stalk Lauryn’s latest wellness rituals here.