Tuesday, 8 September 2015

3 Ways to Improve Your Hormones With Diet

Nicola Salmon Hedgehog Healing Hormone Regulation PCOS Diet She's So Lucy

- Guest Post -

Hormones are a pain in the bum! When they are in sync, you can feel amazing, every part of your body feels healthy, you are a beacon of calm and you glow wherever you go. When they go off track, it's another story entirely. You can gain weight, you feel bloated, clumsy, moody, you get spots right when you don't want them... the list goes on.

We women tend to get the brunt of it. We are slaves to our hormones every month and are told its "normal" to have heavy painful periods, and feel like bloated, chocolate-craving lunatics. But it's not normal and you can make huge changes to your health and wellbeing with the food choices you make.

There are 2 key hormones in women that tend to go out of sync with our busy, stressful lives. These are progesterone and oestrogen. We can also see interlopers such as testosterone playing a big part in sending our cycle out of sync. All these hormones play important roles in our reproductive health alongside our metabolism and how we manage stress. Have a look at the symptoms below. If any of these patterns look familiar, you may have a little imbalance going on. The only way to tell for certain is to get them checked. Trying asking your GP or contacting a natural health professional to get tested.

Not enough Progesterone?
PMS
Early Miscarriage
Unexplained weight gain
Anxiety, depression or mood swings
Insomnia, night sweats
Painful and/or lumpy breasts
Cyclical headaches
Low Libido
Fatigue
Try adding foods rich in vitamin B6 to help boost progesterone levels
Walnuts, wholegrains, red meat, poultry, seafood, bananas, spinach, beans and potatoes

Not enough Oestrogen?
Problems with memory and concentration
Difficulties regulating temperature, eg hot flushes or night sweats
Vaginal dryness
Painful intercourse
Cystitis or bladder infections

Oestrogen rich foods include:
Dried fruit, especially apricots, dates and prunes, flaxseed, sesame seeds chickpeas, beans and peas.

Too much Oestrogen?
Puffiness and bloating
Breast tenderness
Migraines
Heavy bleeding during period
Red flush on face
Water retention
Increase the amount of essential fatty acids and natural fibre in your diet
EFAs - oily fish, nuts and seeds, sesame and flaxseed oils,
Natural fibre - celery, apples, oatmeal, berries, nuts, seeds and beans

Excess Androgens (Male hormones such as testosterone)
Acne
Excess hair on face, arms, stomach or breasts
Polycystic ovary syndrome
Unstable blood sugar
Ovarian cysts
Pain in the middle of your cycle
Irregular or no periods
Obesity

Reduce sugar and white carbs in your diet
Add a good quality protein with each meal and snack

Want some more tips to improve your hormone health and fertility? Download Nicola's fertility cheat sheet for 5 blocks that may be blocking your chances of conceiving.

Nicola Salmon is an Acupuncturist and Naturopath in London, UK. Her mission is to empower women all over the world on their journey into motherhood. She blogs about making, growing and nurturing babies and encourages women to follow their instinct to make the best choices for the health of their families and themselves.

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I highly recommend you take a look at Nicola's lovely website if hormone regulation and fertility are of a particular interest. I've also posted over on Nicola's blog all about what your body is actually craving during your period (chocolate is on the menu!), so pop on over for a read. Thank you millions for this brilliant post, Nicola!

Is there anything you find helps to balance your hormones? Are there any foods you turn to when things are getting a little out of balance? 

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