When we think about hormones, we think about our monthly cycles, PMS, mood swings, menopause and all of those fun things…
But they are responsible for so much more than that! Hormones are a group of specific chemical messengers that travel throughout the entire body, impacting many different pathways. This includes those that regulate energy levels, weight, skin, sleep, bone density and so much more. There are actually over 50 hormones in the human body, all with very specific and vital roles to play in our lives, so it’s important that we give them all the love and attention they deserve as our way of showing gratitude.
When our hormone levels are optimal, they send the right messages around the body at the right time and life feels pretty amazing. But too much or too little of a hormone at the wrong time (or sometimes even not at all) can lead our health astray, leaving us feeling less-than-wonderful and a little flat.
One of the best ways we can support a healthy balance of hormones is by optimizing the pathway that the body uses to eliminate excess and wastes, which ultimately allows the body to return to its natural state of thriving health.
But how does the body get rid of these excess hormones?
Well, I’m very glad you asked!
Excess hormones are metabolised or processed by the liver before being excreted through the stool. Over time, if the liver is overloaded or not functioning optimally, or if we aren’t moving our bowels regularly, then the excess hormones have no way to leave the body and are left to recirculate, leading to an imbalance and the potential for illness or disease that may occur.
Discovering all of this at once might seem daunting, but the great news is that there are simple, easy and delicious changes we can make that level up our diet and support hormones and overall health.
What I’m about to share are just four of my favourites. They’re easy and enjoyable for almost anyone, so I challenge you to begin with my daily tips and wait for the benefits to flow!
1. Amp up your plant intake
AKA eat more vegetables. Yes we know, this is the most common recommendation in nutrition (not to mention one that you probably got sick of hearing from your parents) - but it’s also the most underrated! Boosting your intake of vegetables can have a profound impact on your hormones and overall health. This is partly due to their fibre content, which supports healthy bowels, and it’s also due to the abundance of unique active compounds that they contain, some of which have been shown to support liver detoxification. #
Our favourite liver-loving, hormone-supporting group of vegetables are the cruciferous vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. The goal is to aim for 5 - 7 serves of vegetables per day, and where possible, try to eat a variety to truly take advantage of all the benefits the offer.
Daily tip: One of the easiest ways to boost your intake of vegetables and make it achievable is to simply double your veggie-filled dinners and have leftovers for lunch the next day!
2. Fibre, Fibre, Fibre
Foods rich in fibre promote healthy bowel function, and this keeps the body's main elimination pathway flowing, allowing excess hormones to be cleared from the body. The best way to boost your fibre intake is to focus on adding a wide variety of wholefoods to your diet such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Things like chia seeds, flaxseeds and psyllium husk are particularly beneficial as they nourish the body with the perfect balance of soluble and insoluble fibres.
Daily tip: Level up your daily fibre intake with a teaspoon of EverPure. Just one teaspoon of EverPure will give you roughly 20% of your recommended daily intake.
3. Balance your meals
Balancing your meals is an easy way to support your hormones, feel more satiated, have sustained energy and more balanced moods. It’s also a great opportunity to try new, mouthwatering foods! Here are our top tips for balancing a meal; try to include at least one from each group (although in vegetables, we always suggest more):
- Rainbow Vegetables: greens, broccoli, cauliflower, leek, carrot, radish, snow peas, beans, cabbage, cucumber, carrot etc.
- Complex Carbohydrates: Roasted sweet potato or pumpkin, quinoa, brown rice, millet, barley, beans or legumes.
- Protein: eggs, fish, meats, tempeh, beans, quinoa, lentils, beans & rice, grains & legumes, vegetables with grains, nuts & seeds.
- Healthy Fats: Avocado, olives, olive oil, nuts, seeds, cashew cheese.
Daily tip: Start with breakfast. This sets your body up for the rest of the day! We’re talking about vegetable omelettes, chia puddings, homemade muesli or a balanced smoothie.
4. Focus on Omega-3s
It turns out avoiding fats wasn’t the answer all along, we just needed a healthy, balanced approach! Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and have wide-ranging positive effects in the body, from brain health to reducing the risk of chronic disease. These essential fats cannot be produced by your body so they must be obtained from your diet for a holistic approach. The richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish like salmon, trout and sardines, but some plant-based sources include hemp seeds, chia seeds, algae and walnuts, which you can easily add to meals throughout the day.
Daily tip: Keep some tinned sardines handy for a nutritious easy lunch, add some chia seeds to your smoothies or sip of WonderWild throughout the day.
Our journey to happy, healthy hormones is just beginning, but by taking simple steps, your body will begin to say thanks for bringing back the balance!