Diet plays a huge role in balanced hormones. For women, particularly, hormone imbalance can be the root of many, many health problems that can make you feel crummy, make it difficult to lose or gain weight, impact your fertility and even increase your risk of certain cancers and other serious diseases.
Besides healthy fats (which provide the building blocks for steroid hormone production), fiber is my go-to for overall health.
Fiber is a special type of carbohydrate that doesn’t get converted to sugar and therefore doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like other carbohydrates do.
Insoluble fiber is found in the cell walls of plants and cannot be dissolved in water. This adds bulk to stools by binding with water and acting as a stool softener that helps move stool through the digestive tract.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, helps slow the passage of food through the digestive tract, lower blood sugar levels, and reduces cholesterol (by binding to it and giving it transport out of the body in the stool).
Both soluble and insoluble fiber are essential to a good diet.
Not only does fiber help lower blood sugar but it helps keep blood sugar levels balanced. It can help you achieve a healthy weight by keeping you feeling fuller longer and ensuring that your bowels are functioning properly. That bowel function is key since fiber helps eliminate excess estrogens and other toxins that mess with hormone balance.
Sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, apples, oranges, pears, beans, lentils, flax/chia/hemp seeds, and berries. Insoluble fiber is found in dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts and seeds, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts), celery, and onions.
Increase your fiber intake slowly so that your body can adapt. Sharp increases in fiber can cause digestive distress, so take it slowly to avoid gas and bloating. The recommended intake (per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) for women is at least 25 grams of fiber daily (more if you are diabetic.)
Try this delicious recipe to get a little boost of fiber:
Blend until smooth. Enjoy!