Being a mom means your hormones can take quite a beating, and it can be hard to get them back on track. Here are 5 tips I’ve used to eat my way back to healthier hormones!
Please note, I’m NOT a doctor. Everything I say here is my own opinion, formed from personal experience and research. Please don’t just take my word for it. Do your own research, and if you think you have a serious hormonal imbalance please contact a holistic doctor, natropath, or herbalist.
Are you anxious, tired, irritable, gaining or losing weight, not sleeping well, having trouble focusing, and/or not being able to curb your appetite? You might be a mom.
And you also might have issues with your hormones.
As you can see, symptoms of hormonal imbalance are as wide as they come, and as a mom, they come on in droves. We build babies, birth babies, feed babies, wake up all night with babies, chase toddlers, and more. Is it possible that our hormones could not be out of whack?
Not that I’ve got it perfect, by any means! But being a mom of five crazies, and having struggled with hormonal issues myself, I want you to know that there is hope for you! And so I thought I’d take a few minutes and share with you a few dietary changes I’ve made on my way to healthier hormones.
Teriyaki Chicken with Wilted Kale Salad
Your body uses magnesium every day to produce hormones like serotonin, and to help regulate others, such as melatonin and cortisol. These aren’t the only way your body uses this special mineral though, so it’s very easy to become deficient in it.
Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds from squash and pumpkins, avocados, bananas, figs, yogurt, milk kefir, and dark chocolate are all excellent ways to get magnesium into your diet. Especially that dark chocolate one… ahem. 😉 You can also add magnesium to your diet by supplementing with magnesium powder. I love to add it to homemade fruit snacks, popsicles, and my homemade electrolyte drink.
Keep in mind that alcohol and sugar will deplete your body of its precious magnesium! So consume with care…
Some other wonderful ways to get magnesium are using a magnesium spray, straight to my tummy area, or soaking in an epsom salt bath.
Here are some of my family’s favorite recipes that are rich in magnesium:
- Beef & Kale Soup in the Instant Pot
- Ginger, Banana & Kale Smoothie
- Peppermint Avocado Fudge
- No-Bake Chocolate Avocado Tart
- Easy Homemade Yogurt in the Instant Pot
- Keto Blueberry Kefir Creamsicles
Eat the sun.
Even though vitamin D isn’t technically a hormone, it actually acts like one in our body. And the best way to get it is good, ol’ fashioned sunshine (sun-block-free sunshine, that is!). As your body produces vitamin D from exposure to the sun, your levels of serotonin – a.k.a. the happy hormone – will rise, as well!
If you’re not able to get out much, supplementing with grass-fed beef liver pills (I love these ones from Perfect Supplements), or with a quality cod liver oil is a wonderful way to give your body help in the vitamin D department. Mushrooms, eggs, and grass-fed dairy are also all delicious ways to consume a little extra vitamin D!
Iced Red Raspberry Leaf Chia Tea
If you haven’t heard of them before, adaptogen herbs are healing plants that contain anti-stress agents which help promote hormone balance. Besides these, there are many amazing herbs that can help hormonal imbalances, but I’m just going to mention a few of my favorites.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps balance the adrenal glands and can help people dealing with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Tulsi, or holy basil, is another adaptogen that helps balance the hormone cortisol. And astragalus helps regulate blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and can help counteract insulin resistance.
Thought not considered an adaptogen, red raspberry leaf has long been one of my favorite herbs. It’s used to help during pregnancy and is also helpful in reducing PMS and cramping. And another that I’ve only recently started using, maca root (also called Peruvian ginseng), has a hormone balancing effect that can relieve PMS and menopausal symptoms. (Though if you’re pregnant, maca shouldn’t be used.)
Though you don’t exactly eat these herbs, they all make wonderful teas! I usually purchase my herbs from Frontier Herbs or Starwest Botanicals, both of which I buy through amazon.com. If you’re not a tea person, I would suggest taking them as a tincture or in a capsule form.
These are the herbs/supplements I use…
- Starwest Botanicals Organic Ashwagandha Powder
- Starwest Botanicals Organic Holy Basil or Organic India Tulsi Tea (love this stuff!)
- Starwest Botanicals Organic Astragalus Root
- Frontier Herbs Organic Red Raspberry Leaf
- Maca Team Red Maca Root Extract
Embrace the fat.
Sadly, fat has gotten a bad rap for a while now, but research is showing just how much your body needs it! Healthy saturated fats from animals and vegetables are the essential foundation your body needs to be able to produce hormones. If you’re not eating enough healthy fat, not only will your body not be able to properly produce hormones, but you also will not be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and other minerals your body needs.
So if you see ‘fat-free’ at the grocery store… steer clear. It might as well say ‘hormone issues.’
Coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil, olives and olive oil, raw nuts, organic eggs, and meats, butter and cream from grass-fed animals are all excellent sources of healthy fats. I make sure I eat at least one of those delicious fat sources with every meal, and sometimes with a snack, too!
Cleaning up your diet can be hard, especially if you’re super busy and tired, but it is essential for healthy hormones! If you’re having trouble getting your meals in check, my friend Kelsey from over at Full of Days has put together an amazing resource to help you out!
Through her own struggles with hormone health, Kelsey developed a delicious 14-Day meal plan for balancing hormones and restoring gut health. The plan contains a complete menu – snacks and desserts included – as well as tips for your journey and what you can expect along the way. It’s just what you need to get yourself off to a healthier start, hormonally. 😉
Get the Meal Plan Here!
The meal plan is only $15, the same price as a few Starbuck’s drinks, and SO much better for your health. 😉 I know you won’t regret checking it out! I’ve sure been loving it…
This is so interesting and so true! Everything starts with a good, healthy diet and the right mind set! Great post!
Thanks so much, Joni! It is amazing what healthy eating can do for our bodies. 😉
These are some really helpful tips! I need to incorporate more of #3. I need to start putting myself first and remembering these important things.
Yes! It’s hard for me to remember to take care of myself too, but it’s best for everyone. 🙂
Love all these tips but number one changed my life!
It’s been a life-changer for me, too!
YES! I take magnesium and vitamin D on a daily basis, consume herbal teas and tinctures (ashwagandha got me through a particularly rough time, actually), eat ALL the fat, and consume clean foods. My hormones are by no means perfect, but considering that I used to be on The Pill, had postpartum psychosis after my second child’s birth, and have dealt with life-long anxiety, I’m a whole lot better off than I used to be! This is great information that people should really listen to!
Thank you for your affirmation, Lindsey! What a great testimony you are to the wonders of a healthy, real-food diet! Keep it up!
Rachel, I’m always stunned by the depth, clarity, and accessibility of your research and information. Thanks for your blog- It makes life much better.
Thank you so much for your encouragement, Ana Maria! I’m always glad to share what I’ve learned in hopes that it will help others as well! 🙂
Hormones can really drive you crazy. I am menopausal now and it drives up cortisol. Just an FYI, Ashwaghanda is part of the nightshade family if anyone has any issues with them.
I grow all three of the adaptogens!
Thanks for the tip, Anna! I didn’t know that. I should look into growing them, too. Probably cheaper… 😉
I’m all about the dark chocolate 😉
Haha! Me too! 😉
Fat has been such an important part of my healing process!! It sure does help.
It does help SO much! I can tell the difference in my life, too.
Hormones rule the world! Great post Raia.
Haha! Thanks. 😉
YES. I made some pretty strict changes to my diet recently and can fully attest to the power of food. I’m feeling so much more hormonally balanced! More fats and less sugar made the biggest difference, but I’ll have to try some of your other suggestions!
Isn’t it amazing? I’m glad you’re seeing the positive effect of fat! I hope some of the other tips are helpful for you, as well. 🙂
This post is filled with great tips! So many of us deal with hormonal imbalances…thanks for sharing your wisdom!
So glad to share, Kelsey! Thanks for putting together that great meal plan!
Fat is king! I’ve been enjoying all the fat my body craves, avocados, nuts, coconut oil, butter and yes, even bacon!! And even though they don’t say it, my hormones are happier that way. 😉
I agree! Fat makes happier hormones. 😉
Great article Raia. Glad you found natural ways to balance your “mama induced” hormones. But for some people, I’m convinced that the low fat and fat-free diet trend and hormone disrupters (like BPA) caused hormonal imbalance which led them to more health problems. If they eat real food as much as possible, enjoy nature at least 30 minutes a day, and stay away from toxic chemicals, they should all be better off.
I definitely agree, Karen! Low fat/fat free is dangerous to our health. It’s so sad that it’s so popular.