So you’re on the road to a healthy diet, but your skin still lacks a youthful glow. You may be religiously counting your calories, but still miss out on a major nutritional need: Hormone balancing foods. You may be craving for salads instead of cakes and chips while strolling through the grocery store, but you’re up against a battery of choices! There are leafy greens, organic foods, the latest diets, healthy shakes that lure you to stay in shape and be energetic. But are you eating those foods that help ensure your hormones don???t go out of whack?
Which hormone is the culprit?
The main hormone that affects the skin and causes it to break out is testosterone. Many health and wellness experts claim that eating right is the key to keeping testosterone levels stable and well-balanced, naturally. Well-balanced hormones help plump up and defend skin, as well as reduce wrinkles and even prevent acne. Here’s a list of the key hormone balancing foods that help rejuvenate your skin naturally:
Complex carbs are considered healthy for a good reason. Besides being loaded with protein, magnesium, and phosphorus, unlike other high glycemic index grains, they do not raise your blood sugar levels. Quinoa is a protein-rich superfood and complex carb, and it is ideal for keeping blood sugar levels stable. When glucose levels fluctuate too much, the pancreas has to create more and more insulin, the hormone that tells your cells to use glucose for energy. Make an effort to swap grains like white bread, bakery items, sweets, and white rice for brown rice and quinoa, and watch the difference! Just half a cup of quinoa taken twice a week will ensure you see health benefits like higher energy, weight loss, stabilise blood sugar and hormone levels.
When your skin goes nuts, try eating almonds and walnuts. They also make meals tastier and more satisfying. Nuts may be high in calories, but these are good fats and good hormone balancing foods. The adiponectin hormone levels increases, which lowers blood sugar levels. Plus, studies suggest almonds can shrink the levels of “male” hormones like testosterone that make skin look dry and wrinkled. Experts suggest eating about 11 almonds a day for gorgeous skin!
It???s not only vitamins, but good fats in your diet are also great for beautiful skin and anti-ageing. Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, fibre, potassium, C and E, and lutein that helps prevent sun damage too. Avocados help keep healthy cholesterol and hormone levels as well. Other good fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil are believed to be linked to body hormone synthesis. Avocados are not just beauty food. Healthy fats also boost natural lipid bilayers of the skin, so the membrane stays in top shape, helping skin retain water more instead of looking dry and lifeless.
4. Oily Fish
Seafood, especially fish is good for brain and heart health – and you guessed it – they are good hormone balancing foods. Avocados contain omega-3 fatty acids which are the building block in both cholesterol and hormone activity. Moreover, eating salmon has an anti-inflammatory nature which calms pimples and acne and dermatitis too. Nutritionists recommend eating 100 grams (about the size of a deck of cards or computer mouse) of fish at least twice a week. If you dislike fish or are vegetarian, try a fish oil supplement.
If you think only egg whites are healthy, think again. Yolks got an unfavourable rap for being high in cholesterol, but this is mostly HDL cholesterol which the body needs to create hormones, which makes skin softer and more supple. Doctors now recommend one egg a day to get the goods without overloading on saturated fats.
Don???t forget your veggies – especially broccoli, spinach, and other dark greens. They all contain sulforaphane and indole-3 carbinol, which metabolise the ???female??? hormone oestrogen in the liver. Oestrogen boosts collagen, the main reason for firm and taut skin. Oestrogen also bumps up your skin???s blood supply and speeds up repair. Boost your oestrogen levels with half a cup of dark leafy greens daily. In case greens are in short supply, substitute it with flaxseeds, sesame seeds, soy, lentils, peas, and chickpeas ??? all of which also boost oestrogen.
What about dietary supplements?
In a perfect world, we would get all nutrients from food, properly hydrate clean drinking water, breathe clean air and get enough Vitamin D from the sun every day. Unfortunately, we live in a world where foods are depleted of nutrients due to over-farming, pesticides, contaminated water and air. This is where hormone balancing supplements come in to make up for deficiencies. But supplement smartly. Fish oils, vitamin D and B vitamins help balance oestrogen that may be missing from your daily diet. Take these in addition to a good multivitamin with enough calcium and magnesium. And check with your doctor before taking new supplements, especially if you are on medication.
Besides hormone balancing foods, do enjoy the many other healthy foods you should add to your daily diet.