Hey y’all! I’m back with another informative post. Today, I’m sharing 10 Hormone Balancing Foods I buy every single week at the grocery store. And, no, these are not exotic superfoods (nothing against superfoods!). They’re common foods you can find at pretty much all grocery stores here in the States.
Watch the Video Below
My own struggle with hormone imbalances
These are foods I’ve been including in my weekly diet for years now, and I believe they’ve played a big role in helping to balance my hormones (and keep them balanced!).
I think sometimes when people meet a nutritionist, they automatically assume that he/she has always been healthy. However, many times the reason one gets into the field of nutrition to begin with is due to their own health struggles… such is the case with me.
I’ve not always had superb hormone balance. In fact, in my early 20s, in addition to discovering I had Celiac Disease, I also struggled with Adrenal Fatigue (HPA Axis Dysfunction), irregular periods, terrible hormonal acne, hair thinning, chronic fatigue, and more.
I was a “hot mess” as we’d say here in the South. But, over the years, I began to focus on including foods that would specifically support my endocrine system. And, I’ve certainly seen the results because I feel better in my 30s than I did in my 20s.
I no longer have irregular periods, hair thinning, or hormonal acne. And, I have loads of energy most of the time (I’m only human)!
But, this is a testament that diet and nutrition can play a major role in helping to balance your hormones and make you feel better overall.
Hormone Balancing Foods
All 10 of these hormone balancing foods are affordable and sold at most grocery stores. They can be worked into your current diet very easily while packing a major punch to your endocrine system.
#1 – Roasted Seaweed Snacks
Seaweed is a great source of iodine. And, iodine is essential in the production of thyroid hormone. In fact, an iodine deficiency can possibly lead to hypothyroidism.
Since I don’t consume iodized salt, I like to make sure I’m getting my iodine via seaweed… one of the best natural sources! I get the roasted seaweed sheets with sea salt from my local Kroger and/or HEB (in Texas).
You can also buy roasted seaweed snacks on Amazon.
If you’re not a fan of the taste of seaweed, you can always buy a high quality Kelp supplement and get it that way. Here’s one of my favorites.
Ways to consume more seaweed: roasted seaweed snacks, seaweed salad, and sushi
#2 – Blueberries
I like to buy frozen blueberries to add to my smoothies or to eat as a healthy dessert after dinner. Of course, you can buy fresh too.
Blueberries are a great source of Vitamin C, which is a very important vitamin for your adrenal glands. In fact, the highest concentration of Vitamin C in the body is stored in the adrenals.
This is because Vitamin C is used by the adrenals in the production of adrenal hormones, specifically cortisol (the stress hormone).
So, if you’re constantly stressed or live a highly stressful life, it uses up your Vitamin C reserves pretty quickly, which can put more stress on the adrenals and can eventually lead to adrenal exhaustion.
This is why I consume blueberries several times per week to ensure I’m getting proper levels of Vitamin C. And, it doesn’t have to be blueberries (that’s just what I enjoy). It can be any food high in Vitamin C.
Foods High in Vitamin C: Berries, Citrus Fruits, Kiwis, colorful Peppers, Guavas, Papaya, Broccoli, Tomatoes, and Camu Camu Superfood Powder
#3 – Wild Caught Salmon & Sardines
The next thing I always buy when grocery shopping is wild caught salmon and sardines.
So, one very important part of maintaining proper hormone balance is to maintain steady blood sugar levels. This is especially important for adrenal health because if you have adrenal fatigue (HPA Axis Dysfunction), then your cortisol levels are out-of-whack, which affects your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels properly, leading to uncontrollable cravings, low energy, etc.
By consuming lots of high quality fats and proteins, it helps to keep blood sugar levels balanced, which puts less stress on your adrenals and entire endocrine system.
The reason I love wild-caught salmon and sardines so much is because they contain omega-3 fatty acids (anti-inflammatory), a decent amount of protein, and a slew of nutrients, including selenium, which is great for your thyroid health.
#4 – Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, which is an important mineral for your thyroid health.
Selenium is necessary to convert T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone). In fact, if you have a sluggish thyroid, I would suggest getting your doctor to test your selenium levels.
Because brazil nuts are so high in selenium, I only eat 1 brazil nut 3-4 times per week.
You want to make sure the brazil nuts are raw, not roasted, to reap the most health benefits.
#5 – Avocados
As I stated earlier, including high quality fats and proteins into your diet is crucial for overall hormone balance. Avocados not only contain healthy fats, but they’re also loaded with nutrients.
Additionally, avocados contain plant sterols that can help to block excess estrogen production and promote progesterone production.
Easy ways to consume avocados: Add to salads and smoothies. Make fresh guacamole or avocado egg salad. Eat alongside fresh eggs for breakfast.
#6 – Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great healthy starchy carb that when paired with high quality fats and proteins, doesn’t have too much of an effect on your blood sugar levels.
Healthy starchy carbs, such as sweet potatoes, can be super helpful for those with HPA Axis Dysfunction (adrenal fatigue). When cortisol levels are imbalanced – low in the mornings and high in the evenings – it can really begin to affect your sleep.
Your cortisol levels are supposed to be highest in the mornings and gradually fall throughout the day being its lowest in the evenings. However, in those with adrenal fatigue, their cortisol levels are flip-flopped. By consuming healthy carbs with your dinner, it can help to naturally lower cortisol levels leading to better sleep. And, getting good sleep is crucial to your adrenal health.
Sweet potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which supports liver detox. And, because most of your hormones are metabolized in the liver, it’s always a good idea to support your overall liver health.
Recipes with sweet potatoes:
- Grain Free Sweet Potato Taco Skillet
- Anti-Inflammatory Meal Prep
- Easy Sheet Pan Dinner w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Carb-Cycling Meal Prep w/ Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
#7 – Raw Carrots
I started including raw carrots into my weekly diet after following Dr. Ray Peat. He discovered that raw carrots contain a unique fiber that helps to absorb excess estrogen and sweet it out of the body.
This is important because estrogen dominance is on the rise here in America thanks to the many man-made products on the market today that contain Xenoestrogens. Read more about that here.
Having excess estrogen in the body can lead to a whole host of negative health symptoms, including bad PMS symptoms, hormonal acne, weight gain, stubborn fat in the hip/thigh area, mood swings, irritability, and even certain estrogen-dependent cancers.
Ways to consume more raw carrots: Add to smoothies, eat whole, make my Raw Carrot Salad Recipe
#8 – Pasture Raised Eggs
Now, I know pasture-raised eggs are more expensive, but if there’s one thing you splurge on, let it be your eggs. Pastured eggs are much more nutrient dense than conventional eggs.
All you need to do is compare the egg yolks. The conventional egg yolk will be a pale yellow color while the pastured egg will be a deep orange color. This is because the pastured egg is much more nutrient dense and contains more antioxidants.
Pastured eggs are chock full of nutrients, including selenium and even a small amount of iodine, both of which are great for your thyroid health.
They’re also a good source of B Vitamins, which are necessary for energy production. And, they contain choline, which supports liver health.
#9 – Ground Flax Seeds
Not only are flax seeds a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, but they also contain phytoestrogens. These plant-based compounds mimic estrogen in the body (in a good way), bind to our estrogen receptors, and sweet out any excess estrogen we don’t need.
Flax seeds are also a great source of fiber, which helps to keep you regular.
But, it’s important to only consume ground flax seeds. Whole flax seeds are very hard to digest and you won’t extract many of the nutrients.
Ways to consume more ground flax seeds: Add to smoothies, chia pudding, overnight oats, sprinkle over salads, or even bake with them. They’re a great substitute for bread crumbs when baking. Check out my grain free meatloaf recipe.
#10 – Beets
Not only are beets a great blood purifier, but they also support overall liver health. Since the liver is where hormones are metabolized, it’s important to support your liver’s detox pathways and beets can help to do that.
Additionally, beets help to prevent too much fat accumulating in the liver, which can eventually lead to a fatty liver. Having a healthy liver is crucial to maintaining overall hormone balance.
And, as a bonus, beets can help to boost energy levels thanks to their naturally occurring nitrates.
These are 10 hormone balancing foods I consume every week and can be found at most grocery stores.
Which of these hormone balancing foods are you going to include into your weekly diet? Comment below!