Womens Health: Clean Eating Strategies for Hormonal Balance

Of all the intricate and interconnecting components that comprise the biology of the human body, perhaps none suffers a worse rap than hormones.

Especially among women, hormones get blamed for myriad issues, problems and conditions—both real and presumed.

Not processing food like you used to? Blame your hormones. Acting short-tempered during your menstrual cycle? Your hormones are out of whack. Feeling hot flashes followed by cold flushes? What else could it be but the Battle of the Hormones?

So how do you tame hormones—those chemical substances that seem to exert such control over your mood, actions and physical well-being?

Begin with an understanding of the powerful punch hormones pack and then devise a smart and clean eating strategy to combat their overriding effect on your daily life. You can do it—with a creative assist from a revolutionary fresh meal planning tool.

Respect these potent “messengers”

Hormones are commonly referred to as your body's chemical “messengers” to send signals to your organs and tissues. Hormones begin their journey from your endocrine glands, which cover a vast biological territory, including your adrenal, pineal, pituitary, thymus and thyroid glands as well as your ovaries and pancreas.

Hormones are serious multi-taskers, sending signals that primarily affect your:

  • Ability to process food (meaning your metabolism)

  • Body temperature and thirst

  • Cognitive function

  • Growth and development

  • Mood (don't you know it)

  • Reproductive growth and health

  • Sexual function

While influential, hormones cannot be judged by volume alone. As the National Institute of Health points out: “It takes only a tiny amount to cause big changes in cells or even your whole body. That is why too much or too little of a certain hormone can be serious.”

Hormone levels are tested through blood, urine and saliva. In serious cases of imbalance, your physician might recommend hormone replacement treatment. But healthcare experts universally agree that it behooves anyone to begin with the basics by adopting clean eating strategies to achieve optimal hormone balance.

Start a new chapter

This advice isn't nearly as difficult to implement as you might fear. Dr. Natasha Turner outlines how to fortify your hormone balance in her sensible book, “The Super-Charged Hormone Diet: A 30-Day Accelerated Plan to Lose Weight, Restore Metabolism & Feel Younger Longer.”

Turner helps readers identify “fat-packing” hormonal imbalances, recommends blood tests to be administered by a physician and suggests healthy supplements. But perhaps the most encouraging part of Turner's message? You don't have to convert to an unfamiliar diet originating from another continent. You don't need to hunt down obscure ingredients to create unpalatable concoctions. You don't even have to consume everything from her list, each and every day.

Incorporate many of these foods into your diet some of the time—or even some of these foods much of the time—and Turner says that you can tame wayward hormone levels. Her advice is endorsed by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, where many patients with elevated levels of the hormone estrogen seek both physical and psychological relief from breast and uterine cancer.

Consider a cornucopia

Consider the ease with which you can achieve optimal hormone balance simply by consuming more:

  •  Apples

  • Avocados

  • Blueberries

  • Broccoli and other green, leafy vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale

  • Cinnamon

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Flaxseed and chia seed (good toppers for oatmeal, salads and smoothies)

  • Ginger

  • Green tea

  • Nuts

  • Oats and oat bran

  • Organic, plain yogurt

  • Pomegranate juices or seeds

  • Whey protein (a powdered supplement)

While adding these foods, drinks and spices can help you achieve hormonal balance, Cancer Treatment Centers of America also recommends that certain categories can cause hormonal disturbances and should therefore be minimized or eliminated altogether. It urges caution with:

  • Alcohol

  • Caffeine

  • Polyunsaturated fats (such as those from vegetable oils and meat)

Create a diet that's magical

Like all dietary changes, this one might require some trial and error. Make your healthy segue that much easier with Meal Plan Magic, a fresh meal planning tool that can guide your efforts—from choosing ingredients at the store to creating delicious meals and snacks in your kitchen.

Meal Plan Magic can help you take the practical ideas contained in Turner's book and make them a daily and delicious reality in your daily diet. It's not the kind of magic that requires hocus pocus, but it may feel like magic once you feel its effects on your health and well-being.