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6 Nutrition Tips to Regulate Women’s Hormones
Assuming you don’t have a disease or disorder that’s causing hypogonadism (low testosterone or low estrogen), you can still experience the effects of low testosterone or low estrogen if your diet and exercise regime isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be.
Women’s hormones can be positively or adversely affected by their diet, which leads to a logical question: What should I be eating to maintain a healthy hormone balance?
There are several hormones in a woman’s body that can be affected by diet and exercise, not least of which are estrogen and testosterone.
Here are a few nutritional tips to balance your hormones when you’re not experiencing clinically low estrogen or testosterone:
- Eat more zinc
- Eat more vitamin D
- Reduce fat
- Reduce sugar intake
- Eat more lean meat
- Eat more cruciferous vegetables
A woman’s body is a complex machine, and it needs certain elements in the form of vitamins and minerals to function properly.
A deficiency in one of these essential elements sometimes knocks a woman’s hormones out of balance.
1. Eat More Zinc
Zinc is a “trace mineral,” which means the body only requires a tiny amount that most women can get from their diet. If you’re not getting enough of it (a possibility if you’re vegetarian or vegan), this deficiency can be corrected by taking a multivitamin every day.
Zinc influences immune function; memory and learning; wound healing; the ability to have a healthy pregnancy; and fertility.
Here are some foods you can eat to be sure the level of zinc in your system stays in the “normal” range:
- Seeds and nuts
- Dairy (including eggs)
- Whole grains
Women’s hormone cycles are tied closely to healthy levels of zinc in their systems. More specifically, being deficient in zinc can lower testosterone, which is actually very important to the balance of hormones in women’s bodies.
2. Eat More Vitamin D
Actually a hormone rather than a true vitamin, what’s called Vitamin D controls calcium absorption from the large intestine.
Vitamin D is linked in some way to the following health conditions:
- Poor immune system function and weakness towards infection
- Muscle weakness
- Development of diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Fatigue, muscle weakness, and mild depression are symptoms that overlap with the known symptoms of imbalances in women’s hormones.
Restoring your vitamin D levels over time could correct some symptoms you’d attributed to hormone imbalance.
Oily fish, such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon are good sources of vitamin D that you can include in your diet. These foods are known to support a healthy hormone balance.
3. Reduce Fat
When we talk about women’s hormones, the first thing that comes up is estrogen levels.
What you really need to be focused on is how estrogen is balanced with the other hormones in your system, particularly testosterone.
Imbalanced hormones in women’s bodies often result in unwanted weight gain. In turn, this creates an even bigger problem with women’s hormones.
Adipose tissue (the technical term for body fat) actually functions as an estrogen-producing organ. Additional fat means additional estrogen. Too much of it results in hormone imbalance.
It’s very easy to wind up in a cycle of hormone imbalance that’s difficult to break.
Here are some other dietary measures you can take that will help you reduce fat and better regulate your hormone production to fight imbalance:
4. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Everyone has heard about the evils of processed sugar, but did you know that it’s also harmful to your hormonal balance?
It goes without saying that sugar is also packed with calories, which increases fat tissue, promoting the cycle of hormone imbalance that was discussed earlier.
One of the most effective ways to reduce sugar and calories is to eliminate sodas and carefully control your alcohol intake. It’s unbelievable how much sugar and calories are hiding in what you drink.
5. Eat More Lean Meat
Lean chicken, turkey, and fish are good sources of protein, and they all have less fat than beef.
Remember, your goal is not just the reduction of fat-producing calories, but to provide the nutrients (like protein) that help your body get back on track. Good health is required to produce sufficient amounts of necessary hormones in proper balance.
6. Eat More Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables are those containing high levels of vitamin C and fiber. Vitamin C boosts the production of women’s hormones in the body.
Some examples of cruciferous vegetables are:
To get the most out of these vegetables, make sure that they’re fresh. You’ll also want to be sure the method used to prepare them does not damage the nutrients.
What Else Can I Do?
If you suffer from a clinically diagnosed hormone imbalance, it’s unlikely that dietary choices are going to return your hormone levels to normal.
We’ve focused mainly on diet in this post, there’s another crucial component to proper health — click to learn about the best exercises to counteract hormone imbalance.