Take control of PMS, monthly breakouts and period pains by feeding your body with foods that support hormonal balance.
Drink more water
Your body needs water to effectively eliminate excess hormones which can contribute to symptoms of hormonal imbalance like mood swings, skin breakouts, breast tenderness and period pains. Drink 1.5-2 litres of water per day. Replace dehydrating caffeine and alcohol with herbal teas and infusions, which are great ways to add flavour and variety.
Rise above the sugar cravings
Although you may feel like a bar of chocolate is the only thing that will get you through the first day of your period, it’s actually more likely to aggravate any hormonal symptoms by playing havoc with your blood sugar. Our insulin response (which is spiked by sugar) directly impacts on our sex hormones. Focus on nourishing foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, wholegrains and eggs to keep your blood sugar more steady and reduce sugar cravings. See my post on how to beat sugar cravings for more ideas.
Eat your greens
Cruciferous vegetables like rocket, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage contain compounds that help the liver process hormones. Include two servings each day to support the liver to metabolise excess oestrogen.
Fill up on fibre
Once your liver has done the hard work of processing hormones, you need to be able to excrete them, otherwise they can be re-absorbed and re-circulated through the bloodstream.. Good hydration and a diet rich in fibre will help to make sure you are passing regular daily bowel movements each day to keep things in balance. So that’s more wholegrains and plenty of vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.
Steer clear of chemicals
Try to minimise your exposure to xenoestrogens. These are chemicals which mimic the action of oestrogen in your body, so can play havoc with hormonal imbalance. Xenoestrogens are found in many plastics, pesticides and synthetic ingredients so it’s useful to know where to check ingredients and what products to avoid.
Where possible, avoid plastic food packaging, and instead store food in glass jars or stainless steel containers. Opt for natural cleaning products, filtered water and organic produce, meat and dairy. Also be mindful of what you put on (and absorb through) your skin: many deodorants, cosmetics and toiletries contain phthalates, parabens and sodium laurel sulphate, which are xenoestrogens, so read ingredients and choose more natural options as much as you can.