From the time you get your first period, your body and mind will be subjected to the influence of raging hormonal changes. Most of the time, the effects of hormonal imbalances are not pretty. Bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, blood sugar dysregulation, brain fog, infertility and irregular menstrual cycle are the common symptoms of hormone imbalance.
If not managed at an early stage itself, the fluctuations in the levels of stress hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can take a huge toll on any woman’s health. Diet and lifestyle changes are the best way to prevent the hormones from acting up too often. Here are 6 things you should follow in your food plan to the reset hormonal balance.
1. Eat Multiple Meals A Day
Many women tend to eat less than 3 meals a day. Some do it in the name of intermittent fasting while others call it crash dieting. When your body and mind are already battling the hormonal imbalance, you must refrain from anything that slows down your metabolic rate. If you have food after long intervals of time in a day, your metabolism will be sluggish. This will, in turn, lead to weight gain.1
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Refined and high-glycemic carbohydrates can trigger inflammatory changes in the digestive system. They also cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Eating such carbs frequently will aggravate your mood swings and indigestion. They can also increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity in women.
Instead go for complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. If you are intolerant to gluten, you should eliminate gluten-containing grains from your diet.2
Include Enough Proteins
Protein-rich foods like eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, or legumes, tofu or tempeh, are excellent choices that should be in your daily meal plan. Studies have found that individuals who consume adequate dietary protein while following a fitness regime have improved muscle mass, reduced belly fat, and stronger bones.3
4. Sneak More Fruits And Veggies Into The Diet
Don’t slack on your fruit and vegetable intake if you want your digestion and immunity to function in proper form. You can get dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and antioxidants from them. When your gut feels good, you will feel naturally more upbeat. If you are too lazy to have them as a whole, at least add them to your smoothies on a daily basis.4
5. Have More Healthy Fats
Not all types of fat are bad for you. You should steer clear of saturated and trans fat-containing foods. Instead, you should have foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) instead of saturated and trans fats.5
Several scientific studies have found that MUFA raises good HDL cholesterol, lowers bad LDL cholesterol, boost immunity and even prevents excess weight gain. You can find them in olives and olive oil, canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, sesame seeds, and avocados.
PUFA contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which are crucial for luscious hair, strong nails and supple skin in women. You can derive them by having foods like salmon, mackerel, and herring, canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, and tofu. Omega-6s are in corn and safflower oil, corn-fed chicken and beef, and farmed fish.
Raise Your Antioxidant Intake
Antioxidant-containing foods are necessary to protect your body cells against the free-radical damage that comes with aging. Found in colorful fruits, greens, berries combat cellular damage from free radicals, antioxidants have been proven to lower the risk of cancer, prevent aging-related skin changes and chronic conditions of vital organs.6
In addition to following this food plan, make sure you have a regular stress relaxation practice like meditation or yoga. A daily exercise of 30 minutes can also do wonders for your body and mind. Hormonal imbalances will take time to normalize and it requires a commitment from your end to leading a mindful life in all aspects.
|↑1||Connolly, Josephine, Theresa Romano, and Marisa Patruno. “Effects of dieting and exercise on resting metabolic rate and implications for weight management.” Family Practice 16, no. 2 (1999): 196-201.|
|↑2||Aller, Erik EJG, Itziar Abete, Arne Astrup, J. Alfredo Martinez, and Marleen A. van Baak. “Starches, sugars and obesity.” Nutrients 3, no. 3 (2011): 341-369.|
|↑3||Bosse, John D., and Brian M. Dixon. “Dietary protein to maximize resistance training: a review and examination of protein spread and change theories.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9, no. 1 (2012): 42.|
|↑4||Vegetables and Fruits.
|↑5||Fats and Cholesterol. Harvard T.H. CHAN|
|↑6||Antioxidants: In Depth. National Center For Complementary And Integrative Health|