Hormones are wonderful things, and with everything running smoothly they keep your skin plump and healthy, your sex drive humming along and a pep in your step. That said, excessive hormonal influence can make you think your body is taking you on a wild ride of emotional instability, uncomfortable periods and a myriad of other nasty symptoms. The simplest method of modifying the way your body processes hormones is through diet. What's the trick to keeping your hormones on side?
Hormones should be one use only
Hormones, like estrogen are broken down in the liver and eliminated via the bowel. This is the ideal situation, as once they have had an effect on your hormonally sensitive tissues, we are done with them. However, if the path out of the bowel is a little slow, we can end up with these hormones being reabsorbed, essentially ‘recycled' and having a more intense impact on the body. This is where fibre and good bowel habits come in. Making sure you have a bowel motion at least once a day is the best way to ensure hormones only have the effect they were intended to have.
Where do you find fibre?
Fibre is best found in fruits and vegies, whole grain cereals, beans and nuts and seeds. Seeds like ground flaxseeds and chia seeds are easily added to meals, smoothies and desserts if you feel like your fibre is lacking despite your best efforts. Flaxmeal can even be added to burger recipes to increase the fibre of your dishes while taking advantage of its use as a binder, keeping everything together. Another way to use it is as a topper for fruit and yoghurt – the crunch of flaxmeal and the nutty flavour works really well in my opinion. Try it out and see if it works to your taste.
Phytoestrogens actually reduce the impact of your hormones
Phytoestrogens are found in plants, like lentils, beans, soy and flaxmeal that have a very mildly estrogenic quality. These bind with the hormone receptors in the body and in effect block the action of the stronger hormones circulating in the blood. The positive effect here is that your hormonal response is soothed and there is less negative impact of over-active hormones in the body. So, eating more beans, lentils, a little tofu or tempe along with plenty of green vegies can lead to smoother menstrual cycles and emotions.
Try out these recipes:
Sweet beetroot, pumpkin and red lentil soup