Everyone thrives when their hormones are balanced. Lack of adequate hormone secretion can affect mood, digestion, and fertility. For female-bodied people, there are not any foods that contain estrogen or progesterone. However, certain nutrients support the body’s natural process of producing these hormones in a balanced way. Since most of the neurotransmitters that produce our hormones live in our intestines, using food to balance hormones is very effective!
After age 35, progesterone levels tend to decrease and estrogen levels increase. This slow process eventually leads to menopause. We can support this gentle change while we are still in the child-bearing years (until age 43 on average) by boosting progesterone levels.
Here is a list of progesterone-stimulating nutrients and their food sources in order of importance. Don’t feel like you need to get all of these nutrients every day. Focus on L-Arginine, Magnesium, and B Vitamins.
L-Arginine: aim for 6 grams per day
Turkey – 4 ounces contain about 16 grams
Chicken – 4 ounces contains 9 grams
Pumpkin Seeds – 1 cup contains 7 grams
Chickpeas – 1 cup contains 1.3 grams
Magnesium: aim for 500 mg per day
Spinach – 79mg per 100g
Pumpkin Seeds – 534mg per 100g
White fish (cod, trout, haddock) – 97mg per 100g
Brown Rice – 44mg per 100g
Dark Chocolate (70% or higher) – 327mg per 100g
Vital Calm Magnesium powder – 320mg per serving
Vitamin C: aim for 1,000 mg daily (do not exceed)
Yellow Peppers –3mg per large pepper
Kale and Collard Greens – 120mg per 100g
Kiwi – 64mg per Kiwi
Broccoli – 89.2mg per 100g
Oranges – 69.7mg
Vitamin B6: aim for 25 mg per day
Sunflower Seeds –35mg per 100g
Pistachio Nuts – 1.12 mg per 100g
Tuna – 1.04mg per 100g (cooked)
Turkey – 0.81mg per 100g (cooked)
Prunes – 0.75mg per 100g
Vitamin E: aim for 150 mg per day
Almonds – 2mg per 100g
Sunflower Seeds – 3mg per 100g
Shrimp – 2mg per 100g of Shrimp
White fish (cod, trout, haddock) – 8mg per 100g
Olive Oil – 4mg per 100g
Zinc: aim for 25 mg per day
Beef – 12.3mg per 100g
Wheat Germ – 16.7mg per 100g
Pumpkin and Squash Seeds – 10.3mg per 100g
Cashews – 5.6mg per 100g
Here are some recipes that include hormone-balancing ingredients.
Easy Trail Mix
You will need:
2 cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup cashews
3 tablespoons pure Grade B maple syrup
A pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup prunes,chopped
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients except the prunes until well mixed.
Spread mixture in an even single layer on the lined baking sheets.
Bake the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, place back into bowl, add chopped prunes and toss to combine. Cool completely.
Store cooled trail mix in an airtight container at room temperature.
Lemony Turkey Stew
You will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 pound organic ground turkey
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger root, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1 teaspoon each: coriander, cumin, oregano and salt
1 bunch kale
1 inch chopped kombu or wakame seaweed
3 cups chicken stock
juice of 1 lemon to finish
In a soup pot, sauté turkey on medium high heat with vinegar, stirring constantly with a metal spatula, until chicken is cooked through - about 25 minutes depending on the cut.
Add the celery, carrots, ginger, cabbage, seaweed and spices. Stir well. Add the kale and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cook for 15 minutes, and stir in lemon juice.
Serve and enjoy!