What we eat has a huge impact on our health, happiness and productivity. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn how to eat for our own individual bodies.
In light of International Women’s Day, here is some guidance on how females can eat to satisfy their unique nutritional requirements and feel their best.
Magnesium is involved in more than 1000 biochemical processes in the body! Yet, due to over-farming , ultra-processed foods and chronic stress, it is often deficient in modern diets.
Adequate magnesium intake may help with PMS, PCOS, sleep concerns and migraines. In fact, an interesting recent study showed that 45% of people who suffered with pre-period migraines were
found to have magnesium deficiency.
Sources of magnesium include oily fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, dark chocolate, cashews, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and sesame seeds. You can also take magnesium supplements to bolster your intake. In addition, magnesium is absorbed well through the skin. Use a magnesium body lotion or magnesium-containing epsom salts and reap the benefits of this important mineral.
Fats help us manufacture hormones. So, we must eat plenty of healthy fats (despite what 90’s diets would have us believe!).
For example, use organic, extra-virgin olive oil and add it to virtually any dish. Stock up on avocados,
almonds, walnuts, pecans, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Oily fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. For example, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring. You can save money by purchasing the tinned versions. Luckily, we live in Portugal!
Avoid processed fats like buttery spreads or margarine and inflammatory oils like rapeseed oil.
Protein is another macronutrient that helps us make hormones, yet I often see this lacking in female food diaries. Females are recommended to consume between 0.8g and 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight (or their ideal body weight if overweight) depending on their activity level and some other factors.
Remember, protein uptake is maximised by the body when spread throughout the day. So, ideally, each
meal should contain a source of protein.
Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound which has a regulatory effect on oestrogen levels in the body. This effect is therefore beneficial in both individuals with low and high oestrogen.
Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and bok choy are examples of cruciferous vegetables that should be eaten daily to benefit your hormone detoxification system.
Please note that those with thyroid imbalances will need to exercise caution with cruciferous vegetables.
Unfortunately, sugar is not our friend when it comes to hormonal health! Balance your blood sugar and reap the benefits of hormone balance, steady energy levels and reduced cravings.
Some tips for blood sugar balance:
○ Do an overnight fast of around 12 hours.
○ Include protein and lots of vegetables with each meal.
○ Reduce sugary and starchy carbohydrate foods
○ Opt for complex grains over simple carbs
One of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance is stress. This is due to the fact that when your
body perceives a threat, it reduces sexual and reproductive function because survival comes first.
Unfortunately, many of us suffer from chronic stress. This means a constant release of stress hormones
which have a huge impact on our health.
Stress management strategies will vary from person to person, but here are some things that work well with
● Boundaries. Saying ‘no’.
● Yoga and pilates
● Long walks with a podcast
There you go! Best of luck with implementing these tips and improving your hormone balance. Follow me @sophietrotmannutrition on Instagram for more tips. And, if you think that this kind of nutrition information could be useful for your employees, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can have a chat.
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