Hi there! Are you enjoying your summer? Have you begun to sabotage your hormonal balance with summer desserts or delectable dishes, or are you choosing wisely?
As you know from my previous blogs, hormones play a crucial role in our overall well-being, affecting our moods, energy levels, and reproductive health. Lucky for us, nature has provided an abundance of nourishing foods during this season that can help support our hormonal balance. However, the challenge for many is to choose wisely, especially when everyone else chooses ice cream, smores, and soft drinks, over fresh fruit, veggies, and fresh filtered water with lemon. In this blog post, we will explore some delightful and nutritious summer foods that will empower us to optimize our hormonal health and make the most of this sunny season.
Berries for Antioxidant Power – Let’s start with one of my personal favorites: berries! Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are summer gems bursting with antioxidants. These powerful antioxidants combat oxidative stress, which can affect our hormonal balance. Plus, they offer an array of health benefits. Research published in the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry suggests that berries have anti-inflammatory and hormone-modulating effects, making them even more amazing for our well-being. And guess what? They’re also fiber-rich, which keeps our digestion in check and helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which is essential for hormone regulation. Whether you enjoy them on their own, blend them into smoothies, or sprinkle them over yogurt, these colorful berries will add a delightful and hormone-supportive twist to your summer treats.
Leafy Greens for Vital Nutrients
Now, let’s talk about the superheroes of summer: leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. These vibrant greens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that our hormones crave. They’re particularly rich in iron, which helps maintain healthy blood flow and prevents pesky fatigue and anemia that can throw off our hormone balance. Nutrients, a fantastic journal, even suggests that iron deficiency can mess with menstrual cycles and hormonal health. But fear not! Leafy greens also contain folate, a B vitamin that supports estrogen metabolism, promoting hormonal equilibrium. So, let’s get creative and incorporate these greens into our summer meals. Toss them into refreshing salads, sauté them as a side dish, or blend them into a revitalizing green smoothie. Your hormones will thank you!
Some of my favorite ways to enjoy greens are to add broccoli sprouts to a wrap, a salmon burger, or any sandwich. Personally, I’m a low-carb gal, so my “bread” is typically a scrumptious coconut wrap or a cauliflower “bun.” I also love my kale smoothies. I’ll address those yummy treats later.
I can’t mention foods and hormones without mentioning cruciferous veggies – like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, and Cauliflower. Each of these amazing powerhouse vegetables contains Idole-3-cabinols (IC3) that help metabolize estrogen in Phase 1 liver metabolism. They are powerful when they are eaten raw or lightly cooked. If you overcook them, the mighty IC3 is left virtually cooked to death and thus ineffective. Thus, summertime is a perfect time for cool salads. I love broccoli slaw & broccoli salad with some avocado mayo. I use monk fruit sweetener with both of these yummy salads, then add some sunflower seeds or slivered nuts with them. Cole slaw, again, with avocado mayo and monk fruit sweetener is delicious!! Add a little raw fresh pineapple, and viola, delectable summer cool hormone healthy food!
Healthy Fats from Avocado
Who doesn’t love avocados? These creamy delights are like nature’s own hormone supporters, thanks to their abundance of healthy fats. They’re packed with monounsaturated fats, which help our bodies produce and absorb hormones more efficiently. Plus, avocados contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that regulates estrogen levels and shields our cells from damage. Research shows that healthy monounsaturated fats, such as the ones found in avocados, can positively affect our hormone levels. So, let’s slice avocados into our salads, spread them on whole-grain toast, or blend them into a scrumptious guacamole. The versatility of avocados makes them a perfect addition to our summer meals, nourishing our hormones along the way.
Omega-3 Rich Foods
Time to dive into the world of omega-3 fatty acids! These incredible nutrients are game changers when it comes to hormonal balance. They help reduce inflammation, regulate menstrual cycles, and support brain health. Now, I know not everyone is a fish lover, but if you are, you’re in for a treat! Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3s. These fish also contain vitamin D, another nutrient essential for hormone synthesis and balance. A systematic review published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology even suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can improve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). But don’t worry if you’re not a fan of fish because you can still get your omega-3 fix from plant-based sources like flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts.
Staying hydrated is key to maintaining hormonal balance, especially during the scorching summer months. That’s where cucumbers come in. These refreshing veggies are over 90% water, making them the perfect hydrating snack. Plus, they help flush out toxins from our bodies, keeping us feeling fresh and balanced. Cucumbers are low in calories and high in fiber, which supports healthy digestion and weight management, both essential for hormone regulation. So, let’s enjoy cucumbers in our salads, crunch on them with some hummus, or infuse them in water for a cool and hydrating beverage that supports our hormonal balance.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds, such as pecans (for their healthy fats), almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds, are excellent snacks that are power-packed superfoods to help balance your hormones. Snack on the nuts, yet be sure to count the calories. While they are loaded with nutrition, they can also be high in calories. Chia seeds have more Omega 3’s than most fish, so I make sure to add 1-2 tablespoons to my favorite smoothie. Flax seeds are excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients that are also incredibly supportive of hormone health and good hormone metabolism. I incorporate all these yummy seeds, along with maca powder, into my favorite breakfast smoothie I drink any day that I’m not intermittent fasting. I use organic coconut mild, a huge handful of organic kale, the abovementioned seeds, avocado, and top it off with frozen organic wild blueberries and a pinch of cinnamon. YUM!! The fiber and the healthy fats keep me satiated for hours!!
Running with it – I know summer is a fun time to enjoy your favorite ice-cold treats. And, yes, occasionally, I’ll eat a fun treat. If fact, after a day on the lake this past weekend, I even shared in celebrating the day with loved ones by consuming a little Italian ice treat. It was scrumptious. And then, I went back to eating my low-carb, “keto green” diet. It’s ok to treat yourself occasionally. As we soak up the summer sun, give your hormones the love and support they deserve by incorporating these nourishing foods into our diets. From antioxidant-rich berries to hormone-supportive nuts and herbs, nature has provided us with a bounty of delicious options to promote hormonal balance. And hey, don’t just take my word for it – scientific studies back up the potential benefits of these foods for our hormonal health. We can savor the flavors of summer while nourishing our bodies and minds. Small dietary changes can significantly impact, so let’s embrace this season and empower ourselves to live our best, hormonally balanced lives!