Natasha Dunn

Senior embryologist at Primary IVF, Yoga teacher, Nutritionist
Natasha Dunn

This is part 3 of our series on 9 ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally. Have a read of Part 1 and Part 2 of the series on hormone health if you missed them. Hormone health is the cornerstone to optimal vitality!

Caffeine

Caffeine causes spikes and crashes in your blood sugar level, leading to the increased production of stress hormone cortisol. Replace your coffee with a herbal alternative, fresh juice, coconut water, or kombucha instead.

 

Good Fats 

The body needs certain fats (omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids) as the body cannot produce these on its own. We need to get them from our diet this is why they are called “essential” fatty acids.

Action Steps You Can Follow

  • Increase foods containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs the essential fatty acids), they can be found in cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, trout), and wild caught salmon, avocado, hemp seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.
  • Keeping your intake of omega 6 (red meat) balanced to around 2-3 times a week.

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D boosts immunity and increases T-helper cells, a type of cell that regulates immune response. Polyunsaturated fats such as flaxseeds, walnuts, some fish and sunflower seeds, decrease prostaglandin levels in the body and reduce inflammation.

A study by Goldin et al. in 1982 showed women with a higher intake of red meat had an increased risk of endometriosis by 80%, whereas those who had a higher intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and a balanced diet lowered their risk by 40%.

Action Steps You Can Follow

Foods containing vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, wild caught salmon)
  • Dairy, soy and some cereal products with fortified vitamin D
  • Beef liver
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolk
  • Sunlight (UV)

 

Avoid Plastics and Chemicals 

A study of 109 women Cobellis et al (2009) showed BPA (a chemical that is added to many commercial plastics and hygiene products, due to its strength and resilience) had an affect of increased incidence of a hormonal condition know as endometriosis in women.

Action Steps You Can Follow

  • Always wash your fruit and vegetables
  • Drink filtered water rather than tap
  • Try to avoid processed or packaged foods as the containers are coated with EDC’s
  • When purchasing oily fish know where the fish has been caught, and if chemicals have been used for storage
  • Avoid plastic water bottles; opt for glass
  • Don’t put hot food into plastic containers or heat food in plastic or cover food with cling wrap while heating; opt for glass or china
  • Try not to come into contact with sale receipts; discard them asap
  • Keep the house well ventilated with fresh air, if you can smell an odour then it’s being ingested
  • Choose ‘green’ options for household detergents, and household cleaners
  • When working in the garden avoid pesticides and if possible opt for ‘greener’ gardening products
  • With personal care, choose products that are paraben free

 

Oral Contraceptive Pill 

An elevated level of synthetic estrogen has an impact on all the other hormones in the body. Usually a negative effect so it’s a good idea to reconsider whether its the best decision for your body.

Action steps you can follow

  • Balance your progesterone with sweet potato, kiwi fruits, lemon, leafy greens, black beans, lentils, seafood, bananas, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocado, eggs, and flaxseeds.
  • Foods high in vitamin B6 such as salmon, bananas, walnut and beans help the liver to break down estrogens.
  • Incorporating more beets, artichokes, lemons, dandelion greens, watercress, burdock root. These are liver cleansing foods and help remove excess estrogen from the body.
  • Green vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.

 

Don’t forget to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series on hormone health if you missed them.

References

Cobellis, L., Colacurci, N., Trabucco, E., Carpentiero, C (2009). Measuement of bisphenol A and bisphenol B levels in human blood sera from healthy and endometriotic women ‘Biochemical Chromatography,’ 23, 11, 1186-1190.

Goldin, B. R, Adlercrutz, H., et al. (1982). ‘Oestrogen-excretion patterns and plasma-levels in vegetarian and omnivorous woman.’ New England Journal of Medicine 307, 1542-1547

Huber-Buchholz, M, M., Carey, D, G, P., Norman, R, J., (1999). Restoration of Reproductive Potential by Lifestyle Modification in Obese Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Role of Insulin Sensitivity and Luteinizing HormoneThe Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism’ 84, 4, 1470–1474.

Kyrou, I and Tsigos, C (2009). Stress hormones: physiological stress and regulation of metabolism “Current Opinion in Pharmacology” 9,6,787-793.

Trenell, M., Marshall, N., Rogers, N (2007). Sleep and Metabolic Control: Waking to a Problem? “Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology”. 34, 1-2, 1-9.

Sanders, K., A and Bruce, N., W (1997) ‘A prospective study of psychosocial stress and fertility in women.’ Human Reproduction 12, 10, 2324-2329.

 

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