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5 rules from dietitian: Balancing female hormones through nutrition

5 rules from dietitian: Balancing female hormones through nutrition What to eat to balance female hormones (photo: Freepik)

The balance of female hormones directly depends on nutrition. If the body lacks certain micronutrients or vitamins, it may malfunction. Dietitian Oleg Shvets tells how women should eat to balance hormones.

How to eat to balance female hormones

"Your dietary preferences and habits have a constant impact on sleep, stress, and energy levels. Some components of healthy eating and lifestyle apply to everyone - for example, drinking an adequate amount of water and consuming plenty of diverse fruits, berries, and vegetables. But when it comes to hormones, recommendations for men and women differ," says the doctor.

According to him, the foundation of women's health lies in balancing estrogen and progesterone levels. When progesterone levels are low, estrogen can dominate. This can lead to premenstrual syndrome, heavy, or painful menstruation. Many women perceive this as part of their monthly cycle, but additional opportunities to restore progesterone levels help balance the effects of estrogen.

"To control hormones, it's worth making certain changes to food choices and meal schedules," says Shvets.

Keep an eye on your liver

"Estrogen is a growth hormone that is regulated by progesterone. If progesterone levels decrease, estrogen can get out of control. That's why it's important for the body to effectively remove estrogen through the liver and intestines. Diet and lifestyle play a role in how much estrogen is excreted. Avoid unnecessary medications and dietary supplements. Try to drink as little alcohol as possible," urges the dietitian.

Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli help restore liver cells.

Add fermented foods to your diet

"To support beneficial gut bacteria, include fermented foods in your daily menu, such as pickled or fermented vegetables, kefir, natural unsweetened yogurt, or kombucha. The diversity of the microbiome is linked to longevity and robust health; it helps optimize the 'gut-brain axis,'" explains the doctor.

Avoid ultra-processed foods

"Processed foods high in sugar and salt increase inflammation in the body and elevate cortisol levels, which reduces progesterone synthesis. Moreover, the dominance of unhealthy food in your diet diminishes the desire to eat healthy foods, meals, and consume beneficial beverages," says Shvets.

He notes that ultra-processed foods are nearly devoid of essential nutrients needed for hormone production and hormonal health, such as magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Create an eating window

"It's important not only what you eat but also when. One recommendation is to establish an 'eating window' throughout the day, closing it around 6:00 p.m. to leave as many hours as possible before bedtime. When blood sugar levels rise at night, the kidneys are forced to work to remove excess sugar. Consequently, a person wakes up and goes to the bathroom. This happens not only when you drink a lot before bed but also through late-night eating," explains the dietitian.

According to him, meals in the diet should be filling and nutritious. It's important to carefully select carbohydrates and increase protein intake. This way, a person will feel satiated, and the body will receive all the necessary amino acids, reducing the temptation to eat unhealthy foods.

Take magnesium

"Many women experience subclinical magnesium deficiency, which can cause insomnia. The risk of this deficiency increases with age. At 40, magnesium is absorbed less efficiently than at 20. Nutrition also plays a crucial role. With high blood sugar levels and inflammation during stress, magnesium is depleted," explains Shvets.

To increase the chances of sleeping well, it is recommended to take magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate before bedtime. Glycine, found in these supplements, helps lower body temperature, which is necessary for better sleep.