As a nutritionist, one of the most common conditions I encounter is hormonal imbalance. If you’re struggling with hormone balance, you’re likely to suffer from irritability, PMS, puffiness (caused by fluid retention), bloating and weight gain around the mid-section. While hormonal imbalance can be taxing, the good news is that there are plenty of dietary and lifestyle changes that can aid healing. To help you along, I’ve outlined my tried-and-tested principles to help balance your hormones. Try to commit to this way of eating for 14 days and see how you feel. If you feel amazing – which I think you will – continue this for 30 days.
My hormone-balancing protocol:
- Avoid processed and packaged foods: they can be loaded with salt and sugar, which are not good for hormonal health.
- Switch up your dairy: swap processed dairy for organic, or better yet, try going dairy free with almond, coconut or macadamia milk.
- Drink 1 caffeinated drink a day: I recommend having one coffee with breakfast before 10am.
- Start your day with exercise: 30 minutes of exercise, yoga or meditative breathing will help to energise you and get your blood flowing.
- Drink hot water with lemon: this helps to stimulate the gastric juices in the stomach, which aids digestion and metabolism.
- Always eat breakfast: ideally, eat breakfast within an hour of waking up.
- Limit alcohol intake: consuming alcohol can be taxing on the liver.
- Go sugar-free: I recommend removing refined sugars from your diet for 14 days – and then for good.
- Eat your greens: try to include 1 cup of greens with your main meals.
- Go organic: Where possible, choose organic eggs, poultry and meat
- Eat sustainably caught fish: this is especially important for wild salmon, wild barramundi and snapper. I also recommend avoiding tinned tuna.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners: use stevia liquid or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Stay hydrated: If you have trouble remembering to drink water, carry a two-litre stainless steel water bottle with you throughout the day. This will remind you to drink more. Add a touch of apple cider vinegar or fresh mint and cucumber for detoxification.
- Up your intake of Brassica vegetables: this means more broccoli, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, kalettes and sprouts. Always ensure that your Brassica vegetables are well cooked. When eaten raw, Brassica veggies contain goitrogens, which are compounds that can compromise thyroid function. When well cooked, the goitrogenic compounds are broken down.
- Eat good fats: choose from avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, virgin organic coconut oil and tahini. This provides the body with omega-3 fatty accids which are essential for hormone production.
- Avoid diet foods and soft drink: they’re high in artificial sweeteners and compromise digestive health.
- Get more rest: a rested body is a healthy body. Aim for seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep each night.
- Avoid eating from plastic containers: use stainless steel or glass jars.
- Cook your meals: when we cook our meals, we’re able to develop more connection to our food and the eating experience.
- Get prepared: each week, try to set aside some time to do a grocery shop, plan out your meals ahead of time. When your fridge and pantry are stocked with wholesome foods, it’s much easier to follow a healthy nutrition plan.
For more health, nutrition and lifestyle advice, check out my 8-week Program.