Eat Your Way to Balanced Hormones: The Best Foods for Hormonal Health

In recent articles, I have highlighted how vital hormones affect your health. But, it’s essential to understand the foods and natural ingredients you can obtain from a health food or herbal supplier that can shape how your body produces these crucial chemicals.

Important Hormones

When talking about hormones that affect the way you feel daily, only a few are really worth being concerned about. These include melatonin, growth hormone, thyroid hormones T3 & T4, aldosterone, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and pregnenolone. Your secretion of all these can be promoted with various foods and supplements.

Foods and Nutrient Supplements for Better Hormone Production

Optimal nutrition is crucial for maintaining a balanced health. There is some variation in the best foods for hormone production, and not all hormones are affected the same way. The most important food categories to keep in mind are meats, fats, fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, bread, yeast, sugar, and water.

The steroid hormones, which include pregnenolone, progesterone, aldosterone, cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, and the estrogens, E1, E2, and E3, share a common production pathway via the adrenal glands. In their earlier years, men make most of their testosterone in the testicles, and women make most of their estrogen in the ovaries. These hormones are made from cholesterol, their parent hormone. Dietary cholesterol primarily comes from animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and animal fats. Therefore, the amount and type of meat you consume plays a significant role in hormone balance. The source of the meat and the way you prepare it are also important factors.

It is critical to consume meats that do not have antibiotics and hormones in them. Grass-fed beef, eggs from non-caged chickens, and fish from mercury-free waters are best. Fats, primarily from natural sources and not heated excessively, are also vital (avoid hydrogenated oils and trans-fats found in packaged foods and fast foods).

Different Needs

The production of the metabolic thyroid hormones T3 and T4 has different nutritional needs than the steroid hormones. To make thyroid hormones, your body primarily needs iodine (found in ocean fish, shellfish), fruits, and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are also required. Too much animal meat can decrease the conversion of T4 into the more active T3 hormone. Milk can also block thyroid hormone function.

The sleep hormone melatonin (from the pineal gland) is similar in this way to the thyroid hormones. Your body produces melatonin best from a carbohydrate-rich, lower-protein diet. Fruits and vegetables are essential, too. Also, melatonin is best secreted when you get plenty of sunlight in the morning and total darkness during sleep. Avoid alcohol and tranquilizers, and keep your stress (and your response to stress) to a minimum for optimal melatonin production.

Mucus Production

Dairy milk and cheese can often cause mucus to form in your intestinal tract and other cells. Mucus is merely a word that describes accumulated inflammation, which occurs when insufficient enzymes are available to fully digest the food. When mucus is present, yeast growth in your body is naturally enhanced. This also accumulates in the body’s tissues, including your delicate endocrine glands. Yeast and mold then become a barrier to optimal hormone production and use.

Therefore, if you use spicy cheeses and eat only a minimal amount while switching to cheeses from vegetable milk sources (such as rice milk and almond milk), you can experience more success in promoting the body’s endogenous hormone production. Bread, particularly when not made from sprouted grains, can have the same effect on your mucus. This is partially due to the nature of grains, which possess enzyme inhibitors that preserve their integrity until they are soaked and sprouted. Your body naturally responds to indigestible grains by forming mucus for protection. However, this encourages the reproduction of yeast and mold.

Easy on The Sugar

I suggest limiting your sugar intake, as processed, refined sugar can take a toll on your body over time. Many reports in scientific literature substantiate its adverse effects on health, inhibiting enzymatic reactions involved in hormone production, and disrupting target tissue sensitivity. Interestingly, spicy and salty foods increase adrenal gland hormone production, while refined sugar slows it down.

Whole Foods

Whole foods are the best source of nutrition for overall health, including hormone health. Switching to a primarily raw food diet can take some time and practice. If you jump into raw foods without adequate mechanical digestion (chewing) or digestive enzymes, bacteria in your gut may multiply, feeding on your undigested raw meals. That can lead to intestinal gas and often stimulate an immune response.

Nutrient Supplements for Better Hormones

There are specific nutrients proven to play essential roles in hormone production. In future articles, I will discuss the most important hormones and share with you the vital nutrient supplements you can take for each.

To your balanced health and happiness… and to feeling good!