As a nutritionist, I'm often asked about the best way to achieve hormone balance and have a painless, PMS-free menstrual cycles. The good news is that your diet plays a crucial role in achieving these goals.
However, the biggest mistake I find people make is that they focus too much on "cutting out" certain foods, instead of focusing on ADDING IN the essential nutrients your body needs to rebalance.
By incorporating the right nutrients into your meals every day, you can make a significant difference in how you feel each month.
You might be thinking, "can't I just take a supplement?"...
In short, the answer is no! There are no amounts of supplements you can take that will out-do a poor diet. My moto is "food first, supplement second". Think of supplements as tools to help fill in the gaps!
In this blog post, I'm going to highlight the top 10 essential nutrients for hormone balance and PMS-free periods, along with examples of food sources for each.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like chemicals involved in menstrual cramping. Omega-3's help balance the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, reducing the intensity of period pain.
Omega-3's are also linked to improved moods and reduction of premenstrual syndrome by promoting the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotoin. They can help maintain emotional stability throughout the menstrual cycle.
Food Sources: Fatty fish (wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, walnuts and chia, hemp & sesame seeds that you find in Earth Seeds.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis and metabolism of various hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. It helps in the conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters and hormones, ensuring that the body can produce and regulate these hormones effectively.
One of the most well-known roles of vitamin B6 in hormonal balance is its ability to alleviate premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. It can help reduce mood swings, irritability, and anxiety associated with the menstrual cycle.
Food Sources: Chickpeas, fortified cereals, bananas, turkey, and spinach.
Magnesium relaxes muscles, reduces cramping, and eases PMS symptoms.
I recommend spraying Moon Boost Magnesium oil onto your tummy daily to actively boost your magnesium levels and prevent symptoms of PMS.
Food Sources: Dark leafy greens (spinach, Swiss chard), almonds, black beans, and avocados.
There is evidence to suggest that vitamin D may influence mood and mental health. Hormonal imbalances can be linked to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Adequate vitamin D levels can contribute to a more stable mood, indirectly affecting hormonal balance.
Some studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency can be associated with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can disrupt hormonal balance. Adequate vitamin D levels may help support menstrual regularity and reproductive health.
Food Sources: Fatty fish, fortified dairy products, mushrooms, egg yolks, and most importantly exposure to sunlight.
For women, zinc plays a role in supporting the process of ovulation. Ovulation is a key event in the menstrual cycle and is essential for fertility. Adequate zinc levels are necessary to ensure a regular menstrual cycle and hormonal balance.
Food Sources: Oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, and lentils.
Constipation and other digestive issues can impact hormonal balance. Adequate fiber intake supports healthy digestion, ensuring that waste products and excess hormones are efficiently eliminated from the body.
Food Sources: Whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and Earth Seeds.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help reduce PMS symptoms like breast tenderness and bloating. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells and tissues from oxidative damage. Oxidative stress can disrupt hormonal balance and affect the production and regulation of hormones.
Food Sources: Nuts (especially almonds), seeds, spinach, and avocado.
Adequate iron levels are essential for maintaining a regular menstrual cycle and reproductive health in women. Iron is involved in the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency, known as anemia, can lead to irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, which can disrupt hormonal balance.
Food Sources: Red meat, spinach, lentils, spiralina,
Selenium is a crucial component of enzymes called deiodinases, which are involved in the conversion of inactive thyroid hormones (thyroxine or T4) into active thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine or T3). Thyroid hormones are essential for regulating the body's metabolism and energy production. Selenium is necessary for the optimal function of these enzymes.
Food Sources: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and mushrooms.
Achieving hormone balance and experiencing PMS-free periods starts with optimizing your nutrition & diet. By including these top 10 essential nutrients in your diet, you can begin to support your body's natural hormonal rhythms and reduce the discomfort associated with PMS.
Remember that a balanced diet, along with creating a lifestyle & environment for optimal hormonal health is essential. Healing takes a multi-faceted approach!
Check-out my 4 week course Master Your Cycle for a step by step guide to balancing your hormones for more energy, better moods & PMS-free periods.