Your gut is the gateway to health—including your hormones—which is why healthy digestion and gut health is uber important to your hormones.
Since your gut—and digestion—is responsible for “feeding” and providing nutrients to produce your hormones in the first place, if you have dysfunctional digestion, bacterial overgrowth in your gut or nutrient imbalances, then you can bet your bottom dollar that your hormones are NOT functioning at their peak.
In fact, because the gut plays such an integral role in hormone health and production, medical research (Melvin et al, 2016) and more and more practitioners are now calling it an “endocrine (hormone) organ” itself—where 31 different hormones are produced that control the production and inhibit (or support) hormonal balance.
Sooo…it makes sense that when discussing fertility or hormone health throughout all stages of a woman’s life cycle, we FIRST must talk about your gut health AND nutrient balance.
Whether you’re wanting to conceive, get your period back (amenorrhea), beat menopause symptoms (hot flashes, weight gain, etc.), boost metabolism, enhance libido or naturally treat PCOS, and other “hormone issues”…the “secret” sauce equation to all of these—at the root—often lies in the gut and lifestyle factors—like the foods we eat.
Before turning to hormone replacements, birth control pills and other medications, fertility treatments, surgeries, or “just having to deal with it” (i.e. PMS, hot-flashes and weight gain, etc.), ask yourself this question:
Are you consuming (and absorbing) the optimal foods your body needs, as a woman, for OPTIMAL hormone balance?
If not…here are 10 Fertility Boosting Foods to start:
- Organ Meats. Nature’s “multi-vitamin,” organ meats are the “super food” of choice that many people miss out on—rich in absorbable amino acids, healthy fats, B vitamins, CoQ10 (anti-inflammation), and “fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D and K), important for mineral absorption and an overall boost to hormones.
- Dark Leafy Greens. Folate-rich foods give you a big punch of B-Vitamins—particularly important during pregnancy, as folate is necessary for the production of new DNA and fetal cell division. Folate (B-12) deficiency is also linked to decreased fertility and irregular reproduction cycles.
- Pastured Egg Yolks. High in Choline—a micronutrient responsible for regulating metabolism, a healthy liver (for hormone clearance) and energy levels.
- Wild Caught Salmon/Fatty Fish & Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Boasts essential Omega-3 fatty acids. (Fatty acids are the precursors for hormone production and balance). Cod Liver Oil also contains Vitamins A and D—fat soluble vitamins to absorb your fats in the first place.
- Meat Broth & Bone Broth. Soothing meat broth (for those with histamine intolerance or severe leaky gut) and bone broth assist in healthy gut healing and intestinal lining support.
- Fermented Foods (Sauerkraut, Pickled Vegetables, Kefir, Grass-fed Plain Yogurt). Probiotic-rich foods for bacterial health and balance.
- Insoluble Fiber. Insoluble fibers bind to excess hormones in the gut, can help clear them through the stools, including: blueberries and all kinds of berries, dark leafy greens, chocolate and coconut flour.
- Soluble Fiber. Promote healthy gut bacteria and butyrate (type of fatty acid that helps your gut work right) production. Try: Cooked and cooled sweet potatoes and winder squashes, green tipped bananas, leeks, garlic, onion, asparagus.
- Enough (Real) Carbohydrates. (Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes. Carrots, Beets. Plantains. Jasmine White Rice, Fresh Fruit, etc.). Many women can benefit with a moderate carbohydrate intake of at least 75-150 grams of a combination of starchy tubers and root veggies, non-starchy veggies and 1-2 servings of fruit each day. While a low-carb approach can certainly be indicated for overweight and/or insulin-resistant individuals, but if a woman is normal weight or underweight, a low-carb approach may actually make hormonal imbalances worse.
- Saturated Fats (MCT Oil, Coconut Oil. Ghee). Lastly: Enough Fat—Especially saturated fats—is essential. Similarly to what happens when you don’t eat enough carbohydrate, when you are also low in the fat department, or NOT getting a variety of DIFFERENT fats, then hormones cannot produce and function at peak levels. And no, a scant teaspoon of butter, or only eating monounsaturated (“healthy”) fats—like avocados and nuts—can thwart hormone balance too. Include
What not to eat?
While 80/20 balance is ALWAYS recommended when it comes to food (to prevent the diet mentality), there are certain foods that can interfere with healthy hormone balance and production, like these…
10 Fertility Suppressing Foods?
- Artificial Sweeteners & Sugar (including most commercial stevia)
- Soy Milk, Soy Nuts, Edemame and products with Soy Lectin. Soy is a hormone disruptor.
- Canola Oil (and other industrial seed oils that are full of hydrogenated—trans—fats and inflammation)
- Conventional Meats, Dairy, Poultry, Seafood & Eggs (often administered hormones and poor quality diets)
- Non-Soaked Nuts & Seeds
- Convenience “Space” Foods (Frozen Dinners, Protein Bars and Shakes)
- Colorless, Low Nutrient Snack Foods (Rice Cakes, Crackers, Cereal, Bread, Halo Top, Jell-O)
- Instant Coffee
- Fruit Smoothies (or High-Consumption of Fruit & Juices in once setting)
- Energy Drinks, Diet Soda, Crystal Light & Alcohol
Here’s to healthy hormones (and a gut that can absorb your hormone fuel)!