Anyone who's ever experienced an imbalance can speak to hormones' pervasive role in influencing behavior. From determining fertility to shaping the way you experience stress and anxiety, your hormones can make or break your mental and physical health. A hormonal imbalance can manifest in "low energy, fatigue, cravings, unexplained weight gain, anxiety, [and] low sex drive," writes Steph Lowe, a practicing nutritionist, for My Body+Soul. Fortunately, by sticking to the following dietary guidelines, you can correct a hormonal imbalance naturally:
- Avoid refined sugars.
- Eat good fats, like those found in salmon, avocados, and almonds.
- Support digestion with probiotics and fibrous vegetables, like kale, broccoli, and cabbage.
- Load up on foods containing Vitamin C, like strawberries, oranges, and lemons.
- Minimize your intake of processed soy, commonly found in cheaply made energy bars.
- Try supplements such as maca powder, vitamin D, or ashwagandha to naturally regulate hormones.
Lifestyle factors also play a pivotal role in shaping hormonal health—especially stress. "Elevated stress hormones are the enemy for hormonal control," Lowe says. "[Be sure to] walk, breathe, meditate, and find a yoga class you love. And don't forget good quality sleep."