Hormonal is a feeling that all girls have felt, especially during their monthly cycle. And with the grumpy, irritable feeling of unbalanced hormones inevitably comes the snarky comment: ‘Is it your time of the month or something?” One minute you’re content and the next you are restless, irritable and very discontent. Hrmph.
If you’re someone that suffers greatly with roller coaster hormonal rides, then there’s some good news: you may not have to suffer so drastically. It’s all about balancing out our hormones, and there’s one thing that can really affect us: yep, food!
Like with many different moods, food is the thing that can either make or break you, so to speak. Its time to start looking at food in a new light, and and seeing how we can eat to heal ourselves instead of eating for comfort or convenience. Hormones have a huge control over how we feel so how we eat can really mess around with your levels. The first step you can take to maintain hormone balance is to follow a hormone balancing diet.
- This means no more skipping meals.
When we skip meals we’re basically sending our insulin levels up and down. This will in turn cause our blood sugar to drop then soar then crash rapidly again. Basically, it’s a roller coaster ride headed toward disaster. The outcome? Moodiness, feeling jittery and anxious and the topper: acne. Yup. Skipping meals in the long run can have more of a disastrous effect and can be the cause of metabolic syndrome, diabetes as well as an unhealthy body image due to overeating. Start taking care of your body by eating regularly throughout the day, and fill your plate up with lots of plant based goodness. Fermented and cultured foods work to promote healthy hormone levels, even as we age. Try to drink gut healing drinks such as kombucha and add a heap of sauerkraut to a salad. Tempeh is also a great alternative to tofu.
- The next step we can take to maintain hormone balance is get more sleep.
If you’re someone that has a broken sleep or suffers with insomnia, try to fix this by perhaps adopting a healthier diet and lifestyle. When we go to bed, our sleep cycle resets our hormones and controls the way two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, work. These two hormones work together to control how hungry we are the next day, and how fast we get filled up. To maintain a healthy appetite try to aim for at least seven to eight hours sleep a night. And try adopting healthier methods to entice sleep, instead of cuddling up to your electronic device of choice, try reading or meditation before getting under the duvet.
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but you need to say an affirmative NO to the white stuff.
Refined sugar is the worst thing for our insulin, but you may also need to watch how much natural sugar you ingest, too. Foods such as dried fruit, energy bars and even many granolas are full of dense sources of sugar, whereas vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are better for our blood sugar overall. If you’ve ditched the sugar and choose natural sweeteners, try not to rely solely on these for sweetness as they can still impact our insulin levels and affect our blood sugar. Try to get into the habit of feeding your sweet tooth by choosing to snack on fresh fruits. Also don’t be scared to eat your veggies in their raw form. Raw foods can do wonders to energize the body whilst cooked foods tend to have a more calming affect.
Kick it back to simpler times. Still get creative in the kitchen, but try and ditch processed foods for good as they’re not great for our hormones. Eating a diet rich in plant based, whole foods will care for your hormones.
2 Recipes Chock Full Of Hormone Balancing Foods
Foods to avoid: Sugar, caffeine, high fat foods, spicy foods and alcohol.
Foods to eat: Fatty fish, soy proteins, eggs, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (related to the cabbage family), peas, fresh and dried fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, watercress, and wholegrains.
1. Coconut & Ginger Fish Parcels
When you’re hormonal, you want quick and easy food that still tastes delicious and feeds your taste buds. This dish takes just thirty minutes to make, and half of that is just popping it into the oven to bake. You could even make the dressing beforehand so that all you have to do when lunch or dinner arrives is whip it all together and wait.
Get the recipe here.
2. Key Lime Tartlets
Girls, you know what it’s like. The red little monster comes knocking and all you want to do is stay in your jammies and eat cake. Well, now you can. Instead of reaching for processed cakes or bags of crisps make these little key lime tartlets to combat the need for something on the sweet side. These are incredibly fresh tasting, thanks to the lime with a sweet base, thanks to the cashews and dates. So now you won’t feel so naughty about having your cake and eating it.
Get the recipe here.