Super foods for healthy hormones- Taken from the upcoming ebook- Healthy Hormones
It has taken many years for your hormonal system to become imbalanced and hence it will take some time to correct itself through general healthy dietary and lifestyle guidelines. Although it is essential to maintain the healthy dietary and lifestyle measures mentioned in this chapter to correct hormonal balance, there are some Superfoods which have a therapeutic effect in regulating hormone levels. In the same way processed foods, refined sugars, and bad saturated fats can accelerate hormonal imbalance, these Superfoods will accelerate the healing and regulatory processes. Hippocrates the father of medicines stated;
‘let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food’,
If you can include these foods on a regular basis they will literally have a therapeutic affect and act as catalysts to restoring balance. Holistic practitioners use vitamins, mineral and herbal medicines to stimulate the body’s own internal healing processes. These foods act in the same way and when used regularly will assist to maintain hormonal balance to prevent further complications and even certain cancers.
Cruciferous vegetables should be an essential addition to every woman’s dietary regime. Examples of Cruciferous vegetables are broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy, and Chinese vegetables. They contain two therapeutic compounds beneficial in assisting in the breakdown of hormones. Di-indolyl-methane (DIM) has been shown in numerous studies to prevent the accumulation of toxic oestrogens and encourage the correct conversion allowing good oestrogens to predominate. Toxic oestrogens have been linked to the full range of hormonal symptoms and numerous cancers such as breast cancer in women, breast cancer in men, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, and even prostate cancer in men.
Organic sulphur is the other compound which is a natural antioxidant and assists the liver in processing hormones correctly and safely excreting them via the bowels and kidneys. Eating as little as one serving per week can have positive effects.
Avocados contain high amounts of good fats which assist in the production of healthy cholesterol. Hormones are manufactured from healthy cholesterol and the higher the reserves the more balanced the hormone production will be.
Avocados are a rich source of oleic acid, which has recently been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer, but it is also a very concentrated dietary source of the carotenoid lutein and other related carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) plus significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E). All these nutrients are powerful antioxidants protecting against cancer and supporting healthy glandular function.
In a laboratory study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, an extract of avocado containing these carotenoids and tocopherols inhibited the growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.
Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, betasitosterol, potassium and copper. Dietary fibre, vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate are all essential for the healthy function of the hormonal system.
A few quick serving ideas:
Use chopped avocados as a garnish for black bean soup.
Add avocado to your favourite creamy tofu-based dressing recipe to give it an extra richness and beautiful green colour.
Mix chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and seasonings for a rich-tasting twist on traditional guacamole.
Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.
For an exceptional healthy hormone salad, combine sliced avocado with Chinese broccoli leaves, cabbage, bok choy, carrot and asparagus.
Eggs have received bad press over the years for increasing cholesterol levels. It was only ever a theory popularised by physicians who did not understand the importance of healthy cholesterol for the body and the multiple functions cholesterol is responsible for such as hormone production, antioxidant transport, cardiovascular protection and nutrient transport.
For vegetarians (and carnivores), eggs provide much needed complete protein to assist in hormone transport and breakdown. Protein also slows to release of sugars into the blood after a meal, assisting in maintaining blood sugar levels which is an important piece in the puzzle for balancing hormones.
Eggs provide not only the essential healthy cholesterol, but natural lecithin that improves liver function and nourished the nervous system. The key to maximising the humble eggs therapeutic properties is to keep the yolk runny when cooking. Soft boiled or poached are the best option for cooking and preserve the wonderful therapeutic ingredients.
Two soft boiled or poached eggs for breakfast or in a salad have a therapeutic effect.
Virgin, Cold pressed oils- coconut and flaxseed oil
As discussed earlier in the chapter, it is essential to avoid bad saturated fats and include nourishing unsaturated fats. Apart from cooking with healthy oils, using them for salad dressings and placing them over vegetables, two oils – flaxseed oil and coconut oil can be taken therapeutically to assist with hormonal imbalance. Within two hours of taking 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil researchers have observed a reducing in stress levels and a general calming of the nervous system. When taken regularly 2-4 tablespoons per day flaxseed oil and coconut oil will improve nervous system stability, provide a regular source of healthy fats for good cholesterol manufacture and also improve skin lustre and condition! Coconut oil has been shown to boost metabolism and encourage weight loss.
Kiwi fruit, pears, fibre
If you are not having two healthy bowel movements each day then there are some foods which can improve this situation. Having regular bowel movements is one of the most important preventative and therapeutic treatments in regulating hormone levels. (See causes of hormonal imbalance) Two Kiwi fruit regularly every evening encourage healthy bowel movements, pears have a natural laxative action, whole grains and brown rice increase bulk in the stools and a vegetable juice everyday stimulates bowel peristalsis (movement). If all these fail to work using some psyllium husks can work. If you are still having problems maintaining two regular movements each day then you may have a sluggish liver which needs to be addressed.
- Nine Amazing Avocado Health Benefits (mytechnologyworld9.blogspot.com)
- What should women know about omega-3 fatty acids? (forallwomentoknow.blogspot.com)
- Fat’s Not All Bad (cppcdocs.wordpress.com)
- KALE – Health Perks, Nutritional Data (celebratewholefoods.wordpress.com)
- Fruits With Benefits: A is for Avocado (staciapriscilla.com)