Why Should Your Diet Include the Best Foods for Hormone Health?

Your hormones have a more significant impact on your health than you realize. Hormones play vital roles in every aspect of your health and well-being – from controlling weight to maintaining emotional balance, healthy skin, a healthy reproductive system, digestive and gastrointestinal health, and thyroid health. That’s why it’s important to learn the best foods for hormone health.

Why Hormonal Health Matters

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers, controlling every metabolic process within the body. The hormonal system regulates blood pressure, metabolism, reproduction, growth and development, and blood sugar levels, among many other jobs.

Hormonal imbalances come from several sources, including poor gut health, high levels of inflammation, and elevated stress levels. These imbalances contribute to many health concerns, including the following:

  • Increased appetite
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Infertility
  • Reproductive issues
  • Thinning hair
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dry skin
  • Insomnia
  • GI disturbances such as constipation and diarrhea
  • Mood swings

The Best Food Groups for Hormone Health

Three food groups are essential when planning your diet to optimize your hormonal health. 

1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are among the best foods for hormone health because they reduce cortisol and stabilize blood glucose levels.

When you think of carbs, you frequently think of junk food, bread, and pasta. But carbohydrates aren’t all bad. “Good” carbs are high in fiber and include the following: 

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Apples 
  • Grapefruit
  • Chickpeas
  • Oats
  • Beets

Good carbs are essential to your dietary choices because these high-fiber options don’t convert to sugar.

2. Protein

Protein, the foundation of hormone production in the pituitary gland, is essential for the development of hormones and helps those hormones carry messages between all the systems in the body. 

Protein influences your body’s release of ghrelin and leptin. These hormones affect your appetite and your overall food intake. It also plays a vital role in insulin production and directly impacts women’s health by influencing estrogen and other essential hormones. 

Because hormones are made from protein and fat, the best foods for hormone health are protein-rich.

The most obvious source of protein is red meat, but if red meat is off the menu, you can still find high protein in foods including the following:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Lamb
  • Salmon
  • Cottage cheese
  • Beans
  • Liver
  • Kefir
  • Tempeh

If you have gut issues, such as inflammation or IBS, that make some proteins challenging to digest, you can find supplemental protein in gentler options such as the following:

  • Hemp protein
  • Pea protein
  • Soy protein
  • Rice protein
  • Egg protein
  • Whey protein 

3. Fats

People have embraced a low-fat diet for heart health and weight control for decades. But not all fats are created equally—some fats are essential in the best foods for hormone health.

Healthy fat, alongside protein, is the building block of hormones. Fats are vital in hormone stabilization and rebuilding cells. Dietary fat is the only source of many fatty acids that influence the production of eicosanoids, the glue that keeps the body’s molecules bonded.

Fats help the body produce steroid hormones, such as testosterone, cholesterol, and estrogen, and appetite-suppressing hormones, such as leptin. In addition, fats encourage the production of the “happy hormone,” serotonin.

There are several types of fats, each having a different role in your overall diet plan when choosing the best foods for hormone health.

Polyunsaturated Fats

These fats include omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids, essential for maintaining heart health, good skin condition, and mental clarity. Polyunsaturated fats naturally occur in foods such as flax seeds, walnuts, and fish. They are also found in sunflower, soybean, and corn oils.

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats are essential for healthy cholesterol levels. These are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a vital factor in balancing hormones, including reducing cortisol and regulating menstrual cycles. Look for this essential fat in olive, canola, and peanut oils; nuts such as pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts; seeds including pumpkin and sesame; and avocados.

Saturated Fats

While saturated fats do not directly impact hormone production, they are essential for hormone health. Saturated fats boost and help support metabolism. They are naturally anti-inflammatory too. 

Excellent sources of saturated fats include the following:

  • Fried foods
  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Full-fat milk
  • Coconuts and coconut oil

While saturated fats are among the best foods for hormone health, moderation is key. The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 6% of your daily caloric intake comes from saturated fats.

Choose These Best Foods for Hormone Health Support

Eating a variety of the best foods is vital to promoting and maintaining hormonal health. Here is a list of some of the best foods for hormone health.

  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Avocados
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Bok Choy
  • Cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil
  • Nut butter
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Spinach
  • Collard greens
  • Pomegranates
  • Cherries
  • Quinoa
  • Dairy products

While eating the best foods for hormone health is a great start, this approach may not be enough on its own to restore hormonal balance. Thrive Naturopathic specializes in holistic, homeopathic therapies to support a healthy hormone balance

The many benefits of our approach include weight loss, increased energy and stamina, decreased pain and inflammation, improved cognitive clarity, and mood stabilization.
It all starts with your free, no-obligation discovery call. Don’t let hormonal imbalances sidetrack you from enjoying your life. Contact Thrive Naturopathic in Alexandria, VA, and get started now.

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