Foods for Healthy Gut and Balanced Hormones, According to an Expert

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When your hormones are out of whack, you can experience everything from mood swings, depression, and anxiety to fatigue, weight gain, and acne. Many know that hormones control just about everything you feel in the body and that creating a balance among them is the ultimate goal. While achieving a balance in your hormones naturally may feel like a mystic undertaking, it's really not so complicated. Common hormonal imbalances can be dealt with through simple daily food choices.

Everyone is made up of a combination of different hormones. You've likely heard of insulin, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, and cortisol. In order to experience an increase in energy, happiness, and mental clarity, all of these hormones must work together in harmony. The good news is that you're more in control of this balance than you might think. Taz Bhatia, MD, explains that the best place to start this journey toward internal balance is in your gut. "Gut health equals hormonal balance and vice versa," she tells the health publication.

Start your day with a warming tonic like lemon tea to wake up your digestive system or ginger tea as an anti-inflammatory.

Throughout the day, aim for one or two servings of probiotic foods in order to balance your gut (which then works to balance your hormones). Bhatia suggests trying yogurt, kefir, bone broth, sourdough bread, or kombucha to get your fill.

Be sure to include healthy fats in your diet with a goal of getting 15 to 30 grams a day. Extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, and walnuts are all proper sources. Avoid inflammation by steering clear of processed foods, refined sugar and carbs, red meat, and alcohol. When the immune response is triggered by these foods that set off inflammation, your body will go on the defensive which can throw off your hormonal balance.

The simplest way to approach eating for your hormones is to create healthy plates for each meal. Start by piling up half of your plate with vegetables. Then allow protein (Bhatia recommends chicken, fish, or legumes for a healthy choice) to take up a quarter of your plate and fill the last quarter with a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa.

Lemon Tea
Bigelow I Love Lemon Herbal Tea Bags $15

Skip the coffee for a cup of lemon tea and give your digestive system a gentle boost each morning.

Ginger tea
Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Herbal Tea $4

Similar to lemon tea, ginger tea is another great alternative to coffee and works as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

Lifeway Plain Kefir, Low Fat Milk Protein Probiotic Drink, 32 Oz.
Lifeway Plain Kefir, Low Fat Milk Protein Probiotic Drink, 32 Oz. $3

Balance out your gut with a powerful probiotic like kefir. Add it to your lunch routine, or even swap it for a regular smoothie in the morning.

Health-Ade Organic Vegan Pink Lady Apple Kombucha $4

Skip on fizzy sodas and sip on kombucha instead. It works to balance out your gut, which in turn, balances out your hormones.

Olive Oil
California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil $8

Douse it over salads, or even slater it over bread in place of butter. Olive oil is a healthy fat that's good for the system and even works wonders in bringing out the shine in your hair and glow on your skin.

Organic Valley Ghee $12

Instead of vegetable oils, butter or cooking spray prepare your everyday meals in ghee. Just a little teaspoon goes a long way.

Head to MindBodyGreen for the rest of Bhatia's hormone-balancing tips, and read about the one healthy food that interferes with hormones next.

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