Almost all women these days are on that little, though powerful ‘pill’. It is rarer for someone not to be on the pill, then to be on the pill. Yes, okay- it is convenient in many ways, though it is extremely damaging to a woman’s health. Once I realised this quite some time ago, I stopped.
Because my body had somewhat relied upon the presence of synthetic oestrogen and progesterone, I knew my body would go crazy once I stop, so I supported my hormones in many ways through real food, and I decided to share these ways with you.
So many women are frightened of ‘going off the pill’ because they have tried before and their skin went ballistic with acne, they were moody, felt unattractive and generally unwell. We all need to understand that hormones take time to balance – we need to support the hormonal changes through avoiding toxic, processed foods, nourish our body with an abundant of real foods, sleeping eight hours a night, drinking pure water, surrounding ourselves with uplifting people and things, as well as indulging in foods that our endocrine system loves.
Your endocrine system relies on daily nourishment from an array of foods that contain countless amounts of nutrients, though for some people, particular foods or nutrients may give that extra push. Many of us have hormonal imbalances, symptomising through wacky periods that go for way above or below 28 days; they come and go as they please throughout the year; we have gone on the pill so our hormonal system is confused; and some have been on a low fat diet which has sent them to having mood swings like crazy.
What are some endocrine loving foods/nutrients?
Of course, there are many more foods, nutrients and ways to balance your hormones, though here are a few to get you started.
I have this every day in my smoothie, providing a beautiful nutty flavour. Maca is a Peruvian herb that has adaptogenic properties, meaning that it caters for your personal, hormonal requirements with an aim of balancing them to what they should be. How amazing is that? Some people see maca powder as being a gift from the gods. It is particularly known for its ability to increase individual’s libido in both men and women. This might be music to many women’s ears! As well as having powerful hormonal balancing abilities, maca powder is rich in B vitamins, Vitamin C and E, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and all of the amino acids. According to David Wolfe, it can also ‘increase energy, endurance, oxygen in the blood, physical strength, and neurotransmitter production’.
You may or may not be surprised to hear that many women experiencing menopause and other symptoms of hormone imbalances begin to incorporate a lot of iodine in their diet, or start taking liquid iodine, and have alleviated symptoms or symptoms that vanish. Every single cell in the body requires and utilises iodine and it is therefore responsible for the production of every single hormone in the body, not just the thyroid hormone.
I will talk about oestrogen in particular; otherwise there will be no end to this blog! There are three types of oestrogen; estrone, estradiol and estriol, with different amounts of each required for different reasons. Rather than resorting to oestrogen therapy during menopause, or resorting to the pill to experience a normal menstrual cycle, sufficient amounts of iodine allows the body to produce the right proportions of each type of oestrogen, as your body requires it. For women especially, oestrogen in balance is vital for brain function, breast development and keeping your skin soft and lubricated (not dry!). As you would expect, imbalances in oestrogen production shine through symptoms like mood swings, skin problems, weight gain and depression.
Self-note; according to David Brownstein, it is impossible to balance your oestrogen levels without sufficient amounts of iodine!
You can certainly retrieve iodine from food sources, like dulse and seafood (especially oysters). Some people may not eat these foods or have access to them, so they might like to consider liquid iodine supplementation from an ethical, trustworthy company on which you would ask them for your dose. Follow this link also to read an article by Joseph Pizzorno to gain an insight into what you believe your dossage may need to be. This article was sent out in the June Newsletter, if you would like to sign up, simply follow this link.
Raspberry leaf tea
Most people know this stunning tea as one that increases your fertility. If it increases your fertility, then it would aim to balance your hormones and therefore increase your health. It contains stacks of hormone loving nutrients like manganese which is crucial for the glands of our reproductive system, sex hormones and menstrual cycle, and also contains Vitamin A, B complex vitamins, C, D and E, with Vitamin E and A in particular essential for a healthy endocrine system.
Cacao and pumpkin seeds
There is a reason why you crave chocolate around your period, because our hormones are asking for it. The vitamin and mineral makeup of cacao and pumpkin seeds make for a perfect snack for any time we feel like we need some ‘balancing’. It is mostly due to the magnesium, iron, manganese and calcium content. Protein balls with cacao melts and pumpkin seeds equals the perfect hormone balancing snack.
The beautiful food that I absolutely adore – saturated fat
So many people new to the Changing Habits community come into our office with depression, anxiety or just irritability, and just ‘don’t know what’s wrong’. I ask if they have been on or are on a low fat diet, they usually say yes. This is because saturated fatty acids make up 40% of each cell in our body, and are essential for your hormones, and therefore happiness, health and wellbeing. Saturated fatty acids aids nerve signalling, hormone production and are the carriers for our fat soluble vitamins; A, D, E and K.
So! Eat your meat with the fat and skin, add coconut oil to your smoothies, eat eggs with happiness and look forward to pork crackling and don’t feel guilty about it. YUM!
What are the benefits of balanced hormones?
- Clear, glowing skin
- Sustained energy
- Sustained positive, balanced moods
- Lack of pains around period
- Lack of hot flushes leading to or during menopause
- Sustained sexual function
- Increased general health and wellbeing
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Reduced depression
- Increased fertility.
So, when should you have extra endocrine loving foods? I incorporate them in my diet all the time! Though I want you to particularly focus on the following events, to make your life a little easier (for you and those around you!):
- If you have any mental issues like depression or anxiety
- Around your period, before, during and after
- If you are coming off the pill or other contraception methods
- If you are stressed and/or lacking sleep
- If you are menopausal.
Sheridan Williamson, Nutritionist, Changing Habits
Good, better, best; never let it rest till your good is better and your better is best.