The best diet for hormone balance is one that limits the consumption of carbohydrates in order to stabilize the blood sugar levels. When we talk about hormones most people think of sex hormones but there are many hormones in the body which all have to be in balance for good health.
You may not think they are connected but maintaining a proper level of blood sugar will not only rebalance your sex hormones but can also help to reverse the various symptoms associated with any hormonal imbalance.
Related reading: How Does a Keto Diet Balance Blood Sugar?
Since the keto diet helps the body to maintain a healthy level of glucose, many believe that keto is the best diet for hormone balance. Let’s find out more about this to understand if the keto diet is the best diet to balance hormones.
Related reading: Is the Keto Diet Good for Diabetes?
Importance of Hormone Balance
Our hormones play an important role in our body by controlling much of what we feel. It manages our behavior, reproduction, development, and many more. Each gland in our body produces hormones that carry out several functions.
Hormones work like messengers. After they are secreted from their respective glands, they go into the bloodstream and travel to various parts of our body to provide instructions.
Because hormones regulate most of our psychological and physiological functions, an imbalanced level of hormones could significantly affect our way of life. The impact of hormonal balance on the body ranges from minimal to severe.
Hormone Imbalance in Men and Women
Hormonal imbalance is the number one cause of reproductive problems in both women and men.
Related reading: Can The Keto Diet Improve Your Fertility?
In women, the ovaries produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone. If the production of one hormone is ramped up, this will simultaneously slow down the production of the other hormone leading to a host of problems.
In men, although there are many reasons for hormone imbalance, obesity can lead to increased conversion of testosterone to estrogen.
This is due to the fact that there is more aromatase in fat cells which is the enzyme that converts androgen hormones to estrone, known as the “bad estrogen”. In this case a keto diet can help with weight and fat loss to reduce the hormone imbalance.
According to C. W. Randolph, M.D. an ob-gyn from the Natural Hormone Institute in Jacksonville, Florida,
“Unchecked estrogen levels can tamper with your libido and lead to irritability, migraines, depression, extreme PMS, and a host of reproductive disorders.”
It is therefore important to maintain a healthy balance of hormones. Your best defense against a hormone imbalance is to follow a healthy diet. But what is the best diet for hormone balance?
Women and the Menstrual Cycle on Keto
While the keto diet usually results in weight loss and many other health benefits some women have found that their periods become irregular or stop.
On the other hand overweight women whose periods had stopped or become irregular may see their periods return once they lose weight on the keto diet.
But the fact is that this can occur with any diet and not just the keto
If you are following the keto diet and doing well apart from an alteration in your menstrual cycle the thing to do is to try increasing your carbs to the maximum each day that does not kick you out of ketosis.
Alternatively you could try keto cycling. This involves being in ketosis for 5 days then eating higher amount of carbs for two days.
This article would not be complete without mentioning estrogen dominance caused by environmental estrogens also known as xenoestrogens and endocrine disruptors.
These man made estrogen mimics get into our bodies from food, water, personal care products, clothes and even furniture. They act as estrogen in our bodies and interfere with our natural hormone balance.
They get stored in fat cells so burning fat for energy with a low carb or keto diet can help get rid of them.
Related reading: 5 Best Healthy Foods For Fat Loss
A keto diet eliminates all toxic, processed foods, commercially produced meat and dairy products and produce that contain hidden estrogens from your diet.
Instead you eat grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic whenever possible to avoid added hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers used in conventional farming methods.
Related reading: What’s So Good About Grass-Fed Meat?
Best Foods To Eat for Hormone Balance
The best way to balance your hormones is to eat a healthy diet. Marci Clow, MS, RD, and Senior Nutritionist at Rainbow Light has emphasized the importance of eating the right foods. She believes that our diet plays a role in how hormones function in our body. According to her,
Hormones control nearly every aspect of how we feel, and insulin, serotonin, cortisol and dopamine, not to mention estrogen and testosterone, can all be affected by food choices we make.
If you want to keep your hormones in balance, here are some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet for hormone balance:
Avocados are delicious and healthy. They are loaded with beta-sitosterol, a plant substance that can affect the blood cholesterol levels and help balance cortisol, the stress hormone.
This substance is also believed to have some effects on the estrogen and progesterone levels. As mentioned above, these hormones are very important in reproduction. It regulates ovulation and menstrual cycles in women.
Broccoli is one of the best vegetables to eat on a low carb diet. But aside from being low in carbs, this veggie has a host of health benefits. One of these is in helping to balance your hormone levels.
This vegetable as well as other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts contain a natural plant chemicals known as Indole-3-Carbinol which helps to detoxify environmental estrogen.
It contains contains a high level of calcium, which helps ease premenstrual syndrome.
Flaxseed is a superfood that’s famous among followers of the keto diet due to its high-fat content. But what many people didn’t know is that flaxseed offers plenty of benefits for the hormones.
It is a good source of phytoestrogen, a plant-based compound that mimics estrogen in the body and can lessen symptoms caused by estrogen deficiency.
4. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are rich in many nutrients, so it’s important to include them in a diet for hormone balance. These veggies are rich in antioxidants that prevent inflammation and minimize stress.
Vitamin C found in leafy greens can also help to improve cortisol levels and can balance estrogen. Some of the best examples of leafy greens are kale, spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and cabbage. These veggies are also loaded with iron, which helps to prevent iron deficiency.
Related reading: Health Benefits of Kale and Spinach for Keto
The American Heart Association has emphasized the importance of eating fatty fish, which are high in Omega-3s. Salmon is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA, and EPA. Both DHA and EPA may help to reduce inflammation, which lowers your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease.
Fatty fish like salmon also provide excellent good fats necessary for cell-to-cell communication. Proper communication between cells can lead to overall improved hormonal communication, which also results in improved mood and cognition.
Is Keto the Best Diet for Hormone Balance
Most of the foods that health experts would recommend for a healthy balance of hormones are keto-friendly. Therefore, it is safe to say that the ketogenic diet is indeed the best diet for hormone balance. But there are many more reasons why keto can help fix your hormone issues.
First of all, keto focuses mostly on fats. To achieve all the benefits of a keto diet, most of the food you eat should come from healthy fats, such as avocados. These fats are very helpful in maintaining hormone balance since they are the building blocks for important hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Related reading: Best Fats To Eat On A Low Carb Diet
In addition, the ketogenic diet helps to boost insulin sensitivity by limiting the consumption of carbs. Insulin is an important hormone that controls the blood sugar level. When your level of insulin is too high, this can lead to serious health problems.
Another reason why keto is considered the best diet for hormone balance is that it helps to ease premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which is a common problem in women. PMS can lead to several annoying symptoms, including mood swings, irritability, unhealthy cravings, depression, and fatigue.
The main reason behind PMS is having too much estrogen, which is usually due to a diet of too much sugar and carbs. By following a low carb diet like keto, the symptoms of PMS will be greatly minimized.
Want to get started on a keto diet? My 7 Day Keto Jumpstart will help you.
Hormonal imbalance is common. Almost everyone experiences at least a period of hormonal imbalance during their lifetime. Although most of the symptoms are not serious, hormone imbalances have been linked to many chronic health conditions.
If left untreated, you could be at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and several other serious medical conditions.
So if you find yourself suffering from the many symptoms of hormonal imbalances, it’s about time to change your lifestyle and follow a diet for hormone balance such as the keto diet. It might require you to give up your favorite carbs, but it’s definitely worth a try!
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