Nutritionist Marianna Sulic gives her top 7 tips on how to balance your hormones naturally!
- Make time for breakfast:
Start the day with an oat-based breakfast, such as porridge, with chopped apple and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and walnuts for added protein. This will help balance your blood sugar levels till lunchtime. Eggs and avocado on sourdough bread is also a great breakfast option
- Add good quality protein with each meal:
Fresh fish, eggs, organic chicken and turkey, cottage cheese, cooked tofu, lentils, beans and pulses, quinoa, nuts and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and ground flaxseeds. Protein not only will balance blood sugar levels and make you feel fuller for longer, but protein is the building blocks within your body that make hormones.
- Consume Omega 3 rich oils to help reduce breast tenderness and alleviate mood swings.
Oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseed and chia seeds and their oils and/or take a sustainable krill oil supplement daily. As well as having anti-inflammatory properties healthy fats, including Omega 3, are structural components of some of the most important substances in the body. You need fats because they regulate the production of sex hormones, which explains why some teenage girls who are too lean experience delayed pubertal development and amenorrhea (one or more missed menstrual periods).
- Eat more foods that contain isoflavones: Isoflavones are a class of phytoestrogens, which have oestrogen-like effects on the body to balance oestrogen levels whether too high or too low.
• Organic soy – tofu, tempeh, miso, natto, soybeans, edamame
• Fennel, celery and chicory
• Buckwheat, rye, barley and brown rice
• Sesame seeds, flaxseeds, hemps seeds, caraway seeds and sunflower seeds
• Brazil nuts, walnuts
• Sprouted seeds – including alfalfa
• Mung beans, lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas
• Garlic and onions (white and red)
• Sweet potato
• Dill, sage, red clover, parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel seed – are all herbs that contain phytoestrogens
- Avoid foods that imbalance hormones: Avoid chemicals that mimic oestrogens (xenoestrogens) found in pesticides or herbicides by eating more organic foods. Avoid food stored in plastic containers that can leach xenoestrogens into your food. Cut down on alcohol, caffeine, fizzy drinks, refined sugar, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, pastries and fast foods – which all can trigger blood sugar issues.
When you are under constant stress you produce too much adrenaline, which eventually exhaust your endocrine system (the system that produces hormones).
• Take time out for yourself to relax which could be a 30min bath with essential oils like rose, jasmine or geranium which have a relaxing effect or learn to meditate
• Drink more water and calming teas such as chamomile.
- Exercise more, but the right way: Find an exercise that you enjoy and can stick to. Exercise is a great way of reducing stress which in turn will improve your hormone levels.