Hormones not only can control how we feel but also how our body functions. Food choices can play a role in how hormones function and how our body synthesizes them.
Micronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) are important in regulating hormones and unhealthy foods like processed sugar and high glycemic foods can negatively affect your hormones.
Different antioxidants and phytonutrients in food can help to regulate hormones naturally. Let’s look at some examples of this.
Cruciferous Vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts etc.) can help maintain oestrogen levels by promoting oestrogen metabolism (gets rid of “bad” oestrogen in the body).
Avocados are full of beta-sitosterol which can both affect blood cholesterol levels and balance cortisol (that stress hormone). These sterols also have an effect on both oestrogen and progesterone. What you need when you’re trying to conceive.
Salmon, as we know, contains super healthy fats. These good fats help overall hormonal communication by keeping cell communication healthy.
Leafy Greens are full of antioxidants which prevent inflammation and lower cortisol (that stress hormone) and can help with oestrogen balance.
Nuts & Seeds are a great source of protein but also pack a huge nutritional punch. They’re full of phytoestrogens (believed to decrease or increase oestrogen as needed), lignans (can inhibit oestrogen levels increasing too much), zinc, and Vitamin E, all claimed to boost progesterone levels. Pretty potent little guys.
Berries are a power house of antioxidants! They may reduce oxidative stress, and are said to protect DNA against oxidative stress. Besides the enormous amount of nutrients in berries, they also contain phytoestrogens. For many people fruit can actually negatively affect their hormones because of the sugar. That’s why eating berries can be the best fruit option because of their lower sugar content.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift.
Healthy foods = Healthy Hormones = Healthy Fertility
FYI when possible, try to eat organic food. Some fruits and vegetables are sprayed more than others, so here’s an easy go to list to make life easier.
The Dirty Dozen (produce worth buying organically due to heavy spraying)
The Clean 15 (produce not so heavily sprayed)
- Frozen peas
- Honeydew Melon
Dr Julie Vecera is one of Australia’s leading practitioners in women’s health and fertility and has presented widely on the topic of fertility acupuncture and women’s health over the past decade. Julie is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and certified Nutritionist. She is the founder of The Fertility Pod and the Fertility Lifestyle Program which is the result of years of helping couples with infertility issues.