Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nutrition and Hormone Health for Women

We know that certain foods may trigger hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal discomforts, and other menopausal symptoms. These include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, refined foods and spicy foods. Keeping a diary, noting symptoms and food intake can be helpful in pinpointing which foods may be provoking which symptoms.

Foods to Eat

A low-fat, high-fiber diet will help the body to adjust more easily to changing hormonal levels.

• Whole grains

• Fresh vegetables

• Beans

• Seaweed

• Miso

• Tofu and tempeh

• Seeds and nuts (especially sunflower seeds)

According to Chinese medicine, the following foods will build the yin:

• Wheat germ and wheat germ oil

• Mung beans and sprouts

• Tofu

• String beans

• Black beans

• Kidney beans

• Barley

• Black sesame seeds

• Royal jelly tonifies the female hormonal system. A normal dose is just 100-400 milligrams daily.


Foods that contain phytoestrogens help prevent hot flashes and other symptoms of estrogen depletion:                      

• Yams

• Carrots

• Potatoes

• Apples

• Tofu and other soy products

Foods rich in calcium help prevent osteoporosis:

• Sesame seeds

• Almonds

• Yogurt - (we suggest Greek, plain or with honey - no processed sugary fruit products)

• Dark, leafy greens, such as kale, collards, and broccoli 

• Sardines

Foods to Avoid:

• Animal foods

• Fat found in fried foods, dairy products, nut butters, etc.

• Sugar and refined carbohydrates contribute to mood swings.

• Caffeine can cause hot flashes.

• Alcohol can cause hot flashes.

• Tobacco

Foods containing Natural Estrogens:

A number of different foods and herbs are sources of natural plant estrogens, and can be very helpful during menopause, The following is a list of some of the best food sources of estrogen. These foods are also high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential fatty acids, and they are low in saturated fat. In other words, they are nutritious and should be part of your diet on a regular basis.

• Alfalfa

• Animal flesh

• Anise seed

• Apples

• Baker's yeast

• Barley

• Beets

• Carrots

• Cherries

• Chickpeas

• Clover

• Cowpeas (black- eyed peas)

• Cucumbers

• Dairy Foods

• Dates

• Eggs

• Eggplant

• Fennel

• Flaxseeds

• Garlic

• Hops

• Licorice

• Oats

• Olive oil

• Olives

• Papaya

• Parsley

• Peas

• Peppers

• Plums

• Pomegranates

• Potatoes

• Pumpkin

• Red beans

• Red clover

• Rhubarb

• Rice

• Sage

• Sesame seeds

• Soybean sprouts

• Soybeans

• Split peas

• Sunflower seeds

• Tomatoes

• Wheat

• Yams

Estrogen Inhibiting Foods

If you are suffering from breast cancer, PMS, fibroids, ovarian cysts, and other situations that estrogen might exacerbate, the following estrogen inhibiting foods might be of interest to you:

• Berries

• Broccoli

• Buckwheat

• Cabbage

• Citrus Foods

• Corn

• Figs

• Fruits (except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates)

• Grapes

• Green beans

• Melons

• Millet

• Onions

• Pears

• Pineapples

• Squashes

• Tapioca

• White rice

• White flour


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