You are what you eat……
What you eat has a significant effect on healthy hormone balance – whether it be women’s hormones, men’s hormones, thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones, insulin, etc. A balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and salads, fruit, fish, healthy protein and fat sources, all work together to support hormonal health.
There are a number of specific foods that you can include in your diet that will support healthy oestrogen metabolism, which benefits both men and women. These foods will help to increase the “good” oestrogen’s and reduce the so called “bad” oestrogen’s, helping to keep your hormones in balance, therefore helping you to feel good, as well as to reduce risks of cancer in both men and women.
Including foods from the cabbage family (otherwise known as cruciferous vegetables) will increase your intake of indole-3-carbinol, which gets broken down in your body to the active form known as DIM, which then works to increase healthy oestrogen metabolism. Examples of such foods are: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, bok choy, wasabi, and kale to name a few.
Phytoestrogens are also an important addition to your diet, to help improve the function of oestrogens as well as testosterone in both men and women. They bind to oestrogen receptors, providing a mild oestrogen type effect on a much gentler scale than any hormone replacement therapy. This can help with any menopausal symptoms, cancer prevention, osteoporosis, and modulating testosterone. Healthy sources of phytoestrogens include:
- Fruits and vegetables such as alfalfa, apples, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers etc.
- Brown rice, bulgur wheat, oats, peanuts, barley, beans, soy products
- Ground flaxseeds, parsley, red clover, sage, thyme, anise etc.
Essential Fatty Acids – EPA (Eicosapentaonoic Acid)
Foods rich in a type of essential fatty acid known as EPA, help to increase the formation of good oestrogen’s, so try to include cold-water fish such as salmon into your diet at least once per week. Salmon is converted quite directly in the body to EPA in comparison to olive oil and flax seed oil, so is a great addition to your diet.
Ensuring you eat the above foods on a regular basis as part of a healthy whole food diet provides a good foundation for healthy hormones. In addition regular exercise is very important, as is relaxation, good quality sleep and other healthy lifestyle measures.