The demands on women’s bodies for growing, birthing and feeding a child are high and ever changing. Not only are we providing nutrition for two people at different points in the process; our bodies are also undergoing massive fluctuations in hormone levels as well.
So how do we replenish and maintain, not only vital nutrient levels but also keep our hormones balanced through our diets?
These days there is so much information out there – from health professionals to other mum’s experiences on Internet forums, each with their own opinion of what is happening and how to deal with it. It is understandable that it can be downright confusing to work out what is the right thing to choose in order to maintain balanced health and wellbeing during this period of change and growth in our lives. One of the easiest ways to balance hormones is through our diet; and by combining nutrition with the knowledge about how our hormones are processed, detoxified and eliminated by the body, we can build a strong foundation for supporting our health and our babies health as we move through motherhood and beyond.
The two main body systems that help us process our hormones are our liver and our bowels. By using nutrition to support liver and gut health we can ensure we are doing our best to help support healthy hormones levels within our bodies. Here are the top foods you can use for healthy detoxification and elimination of your hormones (along with plenty of exercise and water!) Choose what you like and mix and match to create your own nutrient dense, food as medicine liver and gut support plan:
- FIBRE!! – Fibre is the number one food for helping to not only bind and excrete excess hormones properly, but to also keep your gut flora happy. Try 1-2tbsp of flax meal each day in yoghurt or a smoothie; 1-2 tbsp. of chia seeds, whole grains like oats and quinoa and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Sulphur containing foods– Increase your intake of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts (aim for 1 cup daily); as well as garlic and anything from the onion family as they contain powerful antioxidants and detoxifying nutrients like sulphurane that are required for phase 2 liver detoxification. (Please note – eat these quantities with caution while breastfeeding, as there is a chance they may affect the taste of breast milk).
- Beetroots – Beetroot juice or roasted beets are a great choice for liver support as they contain essential nutrients like betaine, chloride and potassium, required for healthy detoxification as well as all those lovely purple antioxidants! Beetroot also contains powerful nutrients to support heart health and exercise recovery.
- Healthy fats –Beneficial fats are required for healthy hormone function and formation. Raw nuts and seeds contain anti-oestrogenic plant sterols. As well as reducing inflammation, they are an essential part of cell membranes keeping skin, the brain and your internal organs healthy and functioning well. Proteins are an essential source of amino acids that are required in all of the liver’s detoxification pathways (and there are many pathways!) Choose oily fish like salmon and trout; grass fed meats (as they are higher in O3 than commercially raised meat); legumes; coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.
These dietary suggestions, though not exhaustive, can also be used to implement nutrient rich meals across your day. You can include whole grains in your breakfast; green leafy vegetables and proteins in your lunch; homemade smoothies, raw juices and nut mixes for snacks; and vegetables, legumes and proteins for dinner.
Please remember, that depending on your individual circumstances, your body may require extra care and supplementation to avoid deficiency in essential vitamins and minerals. If you are experiencing any fluctuations in hormones, mood or energy that are out of the ordinary for you please seek the advice of your GP. If you are struggling with any of the following and your GP has ruled out major underlying causes, an appointment with me may be beneficial if you are seeking individualized care for a specific health need.
By looking at all of the factors in your life that may be influencing or aggravating your hormonal health, I can work with you to design and implement a tailored treatment protocol to rebalance your hormones and get you feeling great again. Through a combination of salivary hormone testing, nutritional advice and supplementation, a natural therapeutic approach may be just what your body needs in order to heal and regain its balance. Some of the benefits of natural medicine in the management of healthy hormone levels may include:
- Reduced pain and inflammation
- Lighter, more manageable periods
- A decrease in PMS symptoms
- Improved energy and digestive function
- Improved stress management
- Supporting postpartum health and wellbeing
For more information or to book please contact our friendly reception team on 07 3366 7970, or online anytime.