The talk of how crazy women can be has been going on for centuries. Did you know a hysterectomy was thought to cure women of "hysteria"? Crazy right?! The thought was women were going crazy (mood swings) because their uterus was searching for children. So they must be cured if you remove it.
I am thankful to be living in times of modern medicine. We know so much more now days about what can affect our hormones. There are lots of options out there, but I will be focusing this blog on more food related items.
So how can our hormones get "imbalanced"? The most common causes are:
- excess stress
- lifestyle choices
- lack of nutrients
- pregnancy, miscarriages and abortions
- environmental exposure to toxins
We have quite a bit of control over the above, especially our genetics. New studies have shown that we can turn on and off genes in our DNA with external factors (such as diet, sleep and stress). How cool is that?! The DNA is still passed down to your children and grandchildren, but the choices you make today, can affect your great grandchildren. Pretty amazing.
So what choices can we make to make a positive change?
- Start adding dark, leafy greens: most nutrient dense food, yet lacking in a lot of people's diets
- dark greens clean you blood, improve circulation and improve your immune system by restoring strength and reducing inflammation
- Start by adding in a 1/2 cup of cooked (lightly sauteed or steamed is best) greens to your day. Slowly work your way to 3-4 cups of raw and cooked greens
- Add more healthy fats (Fats! Handout)
- Women's bodies are made up of about 60% fat. That's almost 50% more than males and it is important for our fertility (that's hormones ladies!).
- When we eat a low fat diet, our bodies have a harder time digesting fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E and K) which play an important role in hormone regulation.
- Add more Omega 3s to support brain function (deficiencies have been linked to ADD, ADHD etc)
- Examples of my faves: coconut butter and avocados
How much fat do I need? It depends. Start by keeping a journal and see how you feel after eating good fats. I feel better when eating meals with more healthy fats and I find I am eating more fats now than ever before, somewhere between 30-50% of my daily food, especially while pregnant. Eating more healthy fats has been shown to help some women regulate their hormones to getting their periods/ cycles back on track (while reducing their carbs, not eliminating them).
- Chewing starts your digestion and most of us aren't chewing our food enough.
- Chewing less makes it harder for food digestion to occur and can cause bloating, gas, abdominal pains, constipation/ diarrhea etc
- TRY chewing your bites 20-30 times and see if you notice a difference in how you feel!
- Take longer to chew your bites (20- 30 times)
- Add 1/2 cup of leafy greens to 1 meal a day, working up to each meal
- Add good fats to one meal. It might be avocado slices to your eggs in the morning or to a salad at lunch.