Want to know a superfood that I've been loving lately? Maca. It's really super and I'm definitely going to have to make an entirely separate blog post/video on why it's so wonderful, but for today I'm adding it to my list that I'll be sharing on 3 foods that help balance hormones.
Unfortunately due to the abundance of various stressors, toxins, chemicals and endocrine disruptors surrounding us today, our hormones are easily imbalanced. Here are 3 foods that can help!
This seemingly simple and ordinary cruciferous vegetable is actually in fact kind of magical. This guy contains a phytonutrient called indol-3-carbinol that has the power to decrease the amount of harmful estrogen metabolites formed in the body. This, my friends, is good news especially when it comes to estrogen-related cancers such as breast and cervical. You can read more about that here.
Broccoli also contains lignans (although flaxseed is the richest source). Lignans are compounds in plants that contain phytoestrogens which help to balance estrogen levels. Basically, lignans provide estrogenic support if there is low estrogen and if estrogen levels are too high they attach to estrogen receptors, reducing their activity and blocking their effect. Lignans also prevent xenoestrogens (unnatural, toxic estrogens found in things like plastics and pesticides - one big reason to buy organic!).
The reason why coconut oil is so helpful for hormone balance is simple: fats are necessary building blocks for hormone production. Without good quality fats (especially saturated fats) like coconut oil or grass-fed butter, our body lacks those building blocks to make them in the first place. A lot of people have a fear of consuming fat and that's why I'm mentioning the importance of things like coconut oil, which is very rich in fat but yet so so good for us. Remember this: the fat content our body is made up of about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, only about 3% is polyunsaturated fat. According to this article here:
"The body needs fats for rebuilding cells and hormone productions, but it has to use the building blocks we give it. When we give it a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats instead of the ratios it needs, it has no choice but to incorporate these fats into our cells during cell repair and creation."Maca:
This is the most exciting food on the list! Mostly just because I feel absolutely amazing when I eat it. Maca is a root from peru, like a potato. Maca helps to balance hormones by working as an adaptogen by nourishing various parts of the body individually.
According to this article:
"If you're producing too much of a particular hormone, maca will regulate the production downward. However, if you're producing too little, it'll regulate the production upward.
Maca stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which are the "master glands" of the body. These glands actually regulate the other glands, so when in balance they can bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands."I add about 1/2 - 1 tsp of maca powder in my smoothie. I had to cut down how much I used because I added a gigantic spoonful to my smoothie last week and I was wired for like 8 hours.
Side note: I use a gelatinized form of maca powder, which just means that as opposed to raw maca, the starch has been removed, increasing the absorption and digestibility of it.