6 Hormone-Balancing Foods For Women

Written by Robyn Srigley
Medical review by Wendie Trubow, M.D., MBA
Functional Medicine Gynecologist
Wendie Trubow is a functional medicine gynecologist with almost 10 years of training in the field. She received her M.D. from Tufts University.
6 Hormone-Balancing Foods For Women

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A high-nutrient diet can reduce some of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, which can include mood swings, depression, weight gain, and acne—while simultaneously improving your energy levels and overall outlook on life. Below are some of the best foods to include in your diet to help balance your hormones.

1. Spirulina

This blue-green algae comes from lakes and ponds and contains large amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium. These essential hormone-balancing nutrients can reduce cramps, mood problems, breast tenderness, and overall inflammation. Also reported to reduce blood sugar problems, spirulina attacks hormonal imbalance at a major root cause.

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2. Bee pollen

Bee pollen is used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a fix for increasing energy, reducing cravings, improving digestion and building the blood for iron stores.

The reason these little pollen grains are getting so much attention lately is because they're a complete food, providing protein and nutrients like B vitamins and folic acid, which are important for balancing hormones by way of balancing blood sugar, weight and mood. Be sure to get your pollen from a trusted source. It’s also important to start slowly with bee pollen--it can sometimes trigger people with severe seasonal allergies, so it might be best to start slow and work up to a tolerated dose.

3. Cod liver oil

In the mid-twentieth century, cod liver oil was taken daily by many people in North America. The great thing about cod liver oil is that it’s just as nutritious, with much tastier options these days.

Cod liver oil contains concentrated hormone-balancing nutrients Vitamins A and D and anti-inflammatory omega-3s. These key factors will fight inflammation, fluid balance (see ya, bloating!) and even mood problems. Be sure to get the fermented kind of cod liver oil for maximum potency.

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4. Vitex

Also known as Chaste Tree Berry, Vitex is a fantastic medicinal herb specifically for women’s health that helps the body raise progesterone levels.

Vitex has been shown to help a myriad of PMS symptoms including irritability, depressed mood, anger, headache, bloating, breast fullness, skin disorders, fatigue, drowsiness and sleeplessness. Vitex is most effective taken as a tincture, but is also useful when included in medicinal herbal teas.

5. Maca

Maca is a tuber native to South America. It's an excellent superfood for hormonal imbalances like menopause and PMS. Maca is extremely high in calcium, potassium, iron, fiber and protein. Maca can balance hormones by regulating the hormone-stimulating hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain. This can help with symptoms like hot flashes, low libido and PMS. A caveat: Maca should not be consumed by women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), as it may have a subtle androgenic (testosterone-boosting) effect.

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6. Kale

This trendy vegetable is full of Vitamins A, K, B6, and C as well as minerals like manganese, copper, and calcium. Combined with fiber and potent antioxidants, this leafy green is a force to be reckoned with. These factors can reduce mood swings, painful cramping, bloating and water retention. Kale can be enjoyed in salads, smoothies, soups, and more.

Whether you have a chronic hormonal imbalance like PCOS, or are just sick and tired of bothersome cramps, hot flashes, weight gain and mood swings, you might want to give these superfoods a try.

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