Irrelevant of how much, or how little, we know about hormones, what we do know is that when it comes to rapid changes in our mood, energy, and weight, these special little chemical messengers are the culprits every time! Happy hormones make for a happy body, and a deficiency or an imbalance in any one has a far greater impact on how we function than we’d like.
A change in diet is the most effective solution to this problem if, like us, you’re not keen to spend thousands on vitamins, supplements, and even medication. In fact, Tammy Fry, International Marketing Director of The Fry Family Food Co. provides us with seven reasons why adopting a plant-based lifestyle could be the answer to our hormonal woes.
Meat-Free Every Day
It’s said that most animals are fed genetically modified grains, corn or soy as it’s a far cheaper option for farmers. They also may be given antibiotics to ward off certain diseases. By choosing a meat-free diet, you’re avoiding the consumption of these substances that can wreak havoc on your hormones. The Fry Family Food Co. offers tasty meat alternatives which serve as a perfect protein replacement – from burgers to chicken-style nuggets and pies –all which are GMO, antibiotic and hormone free.
In a similar way, in order to maximize the amount of dairy produced on commercial farms, cows are kept pregnant. This leads to a large increase in their estrogen levels – something us women can certainly do without if we’re to maintain any form of hormonal balance. So, skip the dairy with its potential extra hormone load.
So(y) Healthy For You
Soy contains phytoestrogens, a natural compound found in plants that mimic real estrogen and therefore has a similar effect on the body. This said phytoestrogens serve as a type of natural hormone replacement therapy for those who need it – besides encouraging hormonal balance, they can effectively help reduce hot flushes, provide menstrual relief and prevent osteoporosis.
Many of your green veggies, like broccoli, rocket, kale, and cabbage, contain high amounts of glucosinolates that support the liver’s detoxification process. This allows the body to get rid of toxins and hormones. It also has a balancing effect on estrogen levels.
Another nifty compound found in plant products like flax, sesame or sunflower seeds, is lignans. These phytoestrogens actually have the ability to both increase and decrease estrogen levels depending on what your body needs at the time. They’re also known to help improve menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis.
Fatty acids are the building blocks of our hormones, but trans fats found in processed food can lead to an imbalance. Healthy fat alternatives, like avocados, are therefore great for lowering cholesterol and balancing out cortisol – our ‘stress’ hormone. Coconut is another body-beneficial fat, with anti-bacterial and metabolism-boosting qualities to boot.
Berries are considered superfoods when it comes to their hormone-balancing abilities. They also have a low glycaemic load, which means you won’t experience a sudden surge in blood glucose, throwing your body out of equilibrium. Instead, they help lower blood sugar levels and promote insulin resistance. This also reduces cortisol, so a handful of berries on a stressful day should be your go-to!