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Why fruit and vegetables should be part of your hormone balancing plan

Fruit and vegetables come packed with a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that support our health. A high fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke to name just a few. But here is why fruits and vegetables are also important in dealing with any hormonal issues.

  • Fruits and vegetables contribute to our daily fibre intake – this helps to reduce constipation and also feeds our good gut bacteria, both of which are important for balancing oestrogen levels, particularly in those with endometriosis, fibroids or PMS (see previous blog).
  • The antioxidants in fruits and vegetables reduce levels of inflammation in the body -particularly important in conditions such and endometriosis and fibroids where inflammation levels are high.
  • A high antioxidant intake has also been shown to reduce the incidence of hot flushes that women going through the menopause transition may experience.
  • Green vegetables in particular are high in B vitamins and magnesium which are useful for boosting energy levels and reducing stress – something that often goes alongside hormonal conditions.
  • Cruciferous vegetables or brassicas really are the powerhouse of vegetables when it comes to hormone balance. As well as being anti-inflammatory, brassicas also support the liver in its detoxification processes which are important for hormone balance. They also contain a compound called diindolymethane which helps convert oestrogen into a safer form which is less likely to cause hormonal problems.

There are such a range of cruciferous vegetables, that there are bound to be some that you like. Cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower are the ones that are well known. However, these vegetables can also cause bloating in some people, particularly those with endometriosis. There are plenty of alternative cruciferous vegetables though that are also worth trying. Rocket, watercress, radish, turnips, collard greens, swede, bok choy and mustard greens are all on the list too.

For anyone with hormonal imbalances, it really is worth getting cruciferous vegetables into your daily diet.

Look out for my next blog on ways to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.  

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog  are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

References

Bina, F. Soleymani, S. Toliat, T. et al. (2019). ‘Plant-derived medicines for treatment of endometriosis: a comprehensive review of molecular mechanisms’, Pharmacological research, 139, pp.76-90.

Halpern, G. Schor, E. Kopelman, A. (2015). ‘Nutritional aspects related to endometriosis’, Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira, 61(6), pp.519-523.

Huijs, E. & Nap, A. W. (2020). ‘The effects of nutrients on symptoms in women with endometriosis: a systematic review’, Reproductive BioMedicine Online.

Hyman, M. A. (2007). ‘The life cycles of women: Restoring balance’, Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 13(3), pp.10-17.

Laschke, M. W. & Menger, M. D. (2016). ‘The gut microbiota: a puppet master in the pathogenesis of endometriosis?’, American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 215(1), pp.68-71.

Michnovicz, J. J. Adlercreutz, H. Bradlow, H. L. (1997). ‘Changes in levels of urinary estrogen metabolites after oral indole-3-carbinol treatment in humans’, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 89(10), pp.718-723.

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