How to balance hormones is not that complicated, especial when you focus on the foods you eat. Eating these seven foods in particular can support your hormones, and easy to eat in smoothies or salads or alone. An easy way to better moods, weight-control, overall health and more.
How to balance hormones with foods is such a popular route to take because we eat every day. And you want to balance hormones because hormone levels play a strong role in many aspects of your life. They impact moods and energy, to weight-loss, better skin and fertility, and even how long you live. The trouble is, it is easy to throw them out of whack.
Hormones Level Disruptors
Many factors can throw off our hormone levels. Eating the wrong things, lack of sleep, stress, birth control, even environmental impacts such as air pollution or the absorption of BPA from cans and plastic.
Did you know that even the slippery chemical-filled film on the cash register recipe you are handed after shopping can disrupt your hormones? The good news you can take steps to put them back in line.
Signs of Hormone Imbalance
You cannot always tell if you have a hormone imbalance, so visit your doctor for a definitive answer, but some general signs include:
- Unexplained weight changes.
- Numbness in your hands.
- Slow or Rapid heartbeat.
- High cholesterol levels.
- Depression or anxiety.
How to Balance Hormones
There are many ways, including sleeping well, exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, watching your gut health, reducing stress.
But food plays a primary role, whole foods in particular. Getting enough protein with a complete balance of amino acids because your body cannot make them is essential. That's because amino acids are needed to produce peptide hormones which control energy, metabolism, the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems, energy expenditure, and reproduction..
You can also strongly support balanced hormones with other foods that provide other essentials. While a balanced diet is best of course, if you focus on at least consuming dark leafy greens, avocados, chia seeds, almonds, maca powder, quinoa, and dark chocolate, you are off to a good start. These seven foods eaten daily in some form are an excellent starting point toward balanced hormones. Add in a balanced, healthy diet, proper exercise, sleep and reduced stress, and you stand a great chance for balancing those hormones. Even with the hormone disruptors in our world today.
The 7 Foods
Here is the detail and amounts you should eat daily of the 7 whole food ingredients that can help balance your hormones.
- 1. Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Collards + Parsley) – at least 1 cup a day
- 2. Avocados – exactly ½ an avocado a day
- 3. Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon a day
- 4. Almonds – 11 almonds a day (or 2 tablespoon almond flour)
- 5. Maca Powder – 1 teaspoon a day (I use this brand)
- 6. Quinoa – 2 tablespoon a day
- 7. Dark chocolate – 6gms a day (1-2 squares) or 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder.
And here is how these ingredients impact your hormones:
Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach, Kale, Collards)
- Contain substances that boost your liver’s ability to metabolize estrogen which is a GOOD thing. Estrogen bumps up collagen to keep your skin firm, taut, pink and quick to repair. Tossing in a handful of parsley or the like helps with liver detoxification because a well-functioning liver is important for proper hormonal balance.
– Contain a key component in hormone synthesize healthy fats, which also beef up your skin’s natural lipid bilayers so cells stay hydrated and plump. It also tends to promote a healthier progesterone to estrogen balance.
– Contain Omega-3 fatty acids, the core building block in both cholesterol and hormone synthesis. The chia seeds and avocado are healthy fats; if necessary swap for a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- So interesting, just 11 almonds a day can help regulate your blood sugar levels and and even out your hormone levels so your skin looks plumper and cleaner among other benefits. Technically the Food & Drug Administration allows a daily portion of almonds to be up to ⅓ cup. However, studies show 11 daily are beneficial to obtain the amount of healthy unsaturated fat and minerals the body needs to balance hormones, among other benefits without adding to weight-gain.
– Is a hormone boosting veggie from the radish family that supports hormonal balance that can impact skin, hair and reduce PMS symptons. Read an NIH study about the positive impact on balanced hormones.
– Balances hormones by keeping your androgen levels even. Quinoa is also full of protein, magnesium and phosphorus. Eat about a cup overall a week for best hormone-balancing benefits.
Dark Chocolate (70% cacao and up)
– Chocolate has many benefits but it can contribute to hormonal balance via its potent magnesium and iron, and ability to lower cortisol and boost mood-impacting hormones, serotonin and dopamine. Just 6gms of 70%+ cacao chocolate bar daily will do the trick!
Ways To Eat
Add leafy greens to a sandwich, a smoothie, or use collard leaves as the "wrap" in a roll.
Add the one-half avocado to salads, sandwiches or just eat on its own.
Chia seeds can be tossed in a smoothie, on yogurt or cereal, or actually mixed into a chia pudding.
Almonds can be eaten alone, or added to just about any recipe.
Maca powder can be stirred into any drink or stirred into yogurt or overnight oats.
Quinoa can be used a rice-replacement, or even blended into a smoothie. I used it in a quinoa paella here, swapping out the rice, and a chocolate quinoa scotcheroo bar here.
And dark chocolate. You can eat straight chocolate, the darkest possible and at least 70% chocolate or you can add cocoa to a recipe. My chocolate smoothie is a good start.
These recipes include many of the seven foods mention above.
Seven Overnight Oats Recipes
Six 2-ingredient Smoothies
Chocolate Buckwheat Brownies
Peanut Butter Mousse
Other Ways to Balance Hormones
Seed cycling is another way to balance hormones. Generally it involves eating four healthy seeds, pumpkin sunflower, sesame and flaxseeds. And even if you don't want to eat them in a cycling pattern, general advice is that eating all these seeds daily contribute to a healthy hormone balance. Read exactly what seed cycling is here.
One way to eat the seeds is to make a custom protein bar. Here is my tutorial here how to make custom protein bars.
Are you on pinterest? You can pin the image below if you want to share!
--2015, July Hormone Balancing Foods Prevention;2015, November Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School;1998, September Hormone Options Chicago Tribune;2015, October Headaches and Hormones Mayo Clinic
;2015, October Nutrition's Role In Age-Related Degeneration Mayo Clinic
For this list, Can I combine all of them in one smoothie? I usually blend smoothies good for three days as I am always on the go for work. I make sure I have nutrients in my body first thing in the morning. I usually have 5 or more different veggies ( kale, spinach, parsley, cucumber, carrots, celery, and fruits - frozen mixed berries, frozen tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, peach combo) then use almond coconut milk blend 50/50 with water. I also add chia and flax seeds, matcha green tea, raw cacao powder. Recently I just bought maca root powder on Amazon after researching and read that it helps with hormonal imbalance, stress and anxiety too. Can I substitute the 11 almonds with almond milk instead? Am I overdoing the smoothies with all these ingredients I mentioned? I am coping with some anxiety, stress, and feeling tired and low energy and mood, probably due to perimenopausal and hormonal imbalance only recently, so fairly new and I still have yet to learn how to handle this. I have been drinking yogi mooncycle and raspberry leaf teas as well. Hope you can help me handle this better as I prefer natural and safest way instead of relying on Zoloft as what doctors would prescribe.
What a great idea to start each day with a healthy smoothie that incorporates your nutrient needs.
I love what you put in your smoothie, although I hope you are using organic berries as non-organic berries are known to have high levels of insecticides.
You might know about the EWG clean and dirty product charts here: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
Regarding the hormone balancing, of course listen to your hormone doctors, but I do suggest you add fresh raw almonds, not almond milk to your smoothie.
I am so excited you found Maca powder, it really does help balance hormones.
And yes, in answer to your question, I think all these hormone-balancing ingredients can be added to a single smoothie.
So in to your smoothie would be a cup of greens, 1/2 avocado, 1 tbsp chia, 11 almonds, 1 tsp maca, 2 tbsp (cooked;steamed?) quinoa, and 1 square dark chocolate with at least 85% cacao.
But of course listen to your doctors; anything I recommend couldn't replace official medical advice.
Let me know how you get on!
can i consume maca during breastfeed
Please ask your doctor or health care professional if maca is safe while breastfeeding. I cannot give you professional healthy care advice. Good luck! Dee xx
Such a great little informative article! I can't wait to add Maca back in to my diet when I finish feeding! Otherwise It looks like I'm doing OK! Thanks for the check -in Dee this is such a useful reference for Women.
Oh, that's so nice of you. I know, Maca is so important, but all the rest are equally so, so no rush. Love that tiny specific number for almonds, so easy! Take care! Dee xx.
Is it okay to eat more than these amounts or does that throw the benefits out of balance?
Hi Amanda, well, I am not a medical professional, but I have read that these exact portions help balance your hormones, and so if you increase one, you ought to increase the others proportionally for that same result. But you and I know that overall these are healthy foods, so I would certainly eat more of dark leafy greens for instance if I felt like it. That's just smart, right? Thanks for stopping by! Dee xx.