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by Dara Winters on November 28, 2020

Absolutely! We suffer so much with hormone imbalances and much can be done with the food we eat to help get us back onto an even keel. Our hormones are a bit like an orchestra, as soon as an instrument (or hormone!) goes out of tune then the whole orchestra is affected, a bit like our hormones!

One of the biggest disrupters to our hormone balance is lifeload. If we’re stressed then we don’t sleep well. If we don’t sleep well we wake up feeling exhausted and are more likely to reach for caffeine and sugar throughout the day to keep us going – this has a massive effect on our hormones. Sugar increases our storage hormone insulin and can stimulate cortisol and adrenaline release if we get a blood sugar crash…and caffeine increases our stress hormones as it puts us into fight or flight mode! All of which aren’t helpful for a good night’s sleep – a catch-22 then ensues…

Our body hasn’t had an upgrade for 60,000 years so we remain hard-wired to survive over everything else – therefore cortisol ‘steals’ resources from other hormone production pathways. The body thinks ‘no I don’t need to reproduce as I need to fight or run away from that wild animal’ (hence why our periods often go out of whack when we’re super stressed) or ‘I don’t need to digest that food as I need to survive’ (hence why our digestive secretions can often lead to mal-absorption of nutrients however good our veg intake).

This is when low levels of nutrients comes into focus. There isn’t anything I can do about patient’s lifeload, but I can help the body deal with it better to bring about hormonal balance. We need plenty of quality protein to help support hormone synthesis. We need plenty of omega 3 to help keep our cell walls supple so that hormones can send messages successfully to other cells. We need plenty of B vitamins especially B6 to help oestrogen and progesterone production. We need plenty of zinc to help support our overall reproductive health and for our thyroid. Selenium is essential for thyroid health too (plentiful supplies in brazil nuts!). We needs plenty of gentle plant based fibre to help stop constipation which can recycle unwanted oestrogen causing a higher oestrogen load. Brassicas are so important for getting rid of excess oestrogen and helping to support our liver, which is very much involved in balancing free hormones in our blood. Any brightly coloured fruit or vegetables (including green and white) are great liver tonics. The liver is also crucial for getting rid of xeno-oestrogens from our diet that come through plastics, pesticides and non-organic animal products. We need lots of vitamin C to help our adrenal glands that are in charge of cortisol and adrenaline production and to keep a healthy circulation (hormone balance relies on a good circulation). So many dietary elements come into play and for many of us although our diets aren’t necessary ‘bad’ they’re just not as nutrient dense as they need to be…


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