Photo courtesy of @CandiceKumai
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of keeping your hormones balanced and your estrogen at healthy levels in order to reduce your breast cancer risk. What you eat regulates many aspects of body function, including the secretion of certain hormones. Your diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and ward of different diseases and sicknesses.
Below is a list of foods to eat (and to avoid) that will help you maintain a healthy hormonal balance. In addition, younger women may find these ideas helpful to balance their moods (particularly around menstrual cycles) while older women may find this list beneficial in dealing with peri-menopause or menopause. Wherever you are in your health journey, we hope this list is helpful!
Here are a few foods women should eat (or avoid) to maintain hormonal balance:
EAT POULTRY, FATTY FISH, AND SOY PROTEINS
All of these protein sources do more than just help you maintain lean tissue. Research has found that menopausal women lose more weight when most of their protein comes from these ingredients. Some evidence suggests that consuming soy foods may also help alleviate hot flashes, though evidence here is mixed. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, also protect against blue moods, heart disease, and cancer.
EAT CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES
Broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choy may fight excess estrogen to lower the risk for breast cancer. Excess estrogen can occur pre-menopause in women who are overweight or obese.
EAT B VITAMINS
A lack of foods rich in vitamin B can contribute to feelings of depression. Consume foods high in the B vitamins, such as whole grains and lean beef.
EAT ASPARAGUS, MELONS, AND WATERCRESS
These foods help combat one of the most annoying midlife symptoms: bloating.
Brown sugar, white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup — call it by any name, sugar has been shown to exaggerate hormonal symptoms in women. That’s why it’s important to limit your intake of added sugars. (Not sure where to begin? Start here.)
A study from the University of Pittsburgh on women in their 50s and 60s showed that those who decreased their consumption of desserts and sugar-sweetened beverages lost more weight than those who didn’t, both over the short term and up to four years later.
AVOID CAFFEINATED BEVERAGES
You can drink coffee and tea with a tablespoon of nonfat or low-fat milk. Know, however, that caffeinated beverages may trigger hot flashes. If you’re struggling with hot flashes or night sweats, cut down on caffeine.
Alcohol increases your risk of breast cancer and messes with your hormones, especially in women. Although you can probably drink one glass of wine or beer with your whole-foods dinner in place of dessert each night, limiting alcohol intake can reduce your risk.
AVOID HIGH-FAT FOODS
A study of about 17,000 women found that those who reported eating mostly low-fat foods — fruits, vegetables and whole grains — reported fewer incidences of hot flashes. The Age-Defying Diet limits fat intake, which may help keep you feeling cool.
Want some cancer-fighting smoothie and salad recipes to help on your path to health and hormonal balance? Donate and download the B4BC x Goofy Foot Foods Cookbook here.
Source: Mind Body Green