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    How to Eat For Your Hormones

      |  Oct 20, 2023

    Hormones play a key role in the healthy functioning of our bodies. While many of us are familiar with their impact on our reproductive systems, from puberty to old age, hormones also affect a laundry list of other facets that make up our daily lives, including our skin, hair, mood, sleep quality, and our susceptibility to diseases. 

    They’re a tricky thing to manage, too: they change throughout our lives, and are easily impacted by our environment and lifestyle. But maintaining a well balanced diet is one way to keep your hormone levels in check. Here’s what to look for when eating for your hormones.

    Your body’s key hormones


    Estrogen levels naturally fluctuate throughout a woman’s life: they increase during puberty, fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, and lower during menopause. But men can also be affected by excess or low levels of estrogen. Along with your reproductive system, estrogen also impacts bone density, your cardiovascular system, and brain function. Estrogen imbalance, whether from aging or other causes, can lead to vaginal dryness and irregular periods (if too low) or obesity and even uterine cancer (if too high).

    Thyroid Hormones

    Your body’s thyroid controls your metabolism by releasing two main hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones impact how your body converts food into energy and distributes it to the cells across your body. An imbalanced thyroid can result in sudden weight loss or weight gain, irregular menstrual cycles, increased heart rate, intolerance to cold and heat, or changes to skin moisture.


    Although most commonly associated with men, testosterone is a key sex hormone for both men and women. Lowered testosterone, which occurs naturally during the aging process or due to hormonal imbalance, can lead to low libido, fatigue, weight gain, and sleep disturbances, along with chronic conditions including osteoporosis. High testosterone can cause acne, unwanted facial hair (or balding), and mood swings.

    How to eat for hormonal balance

    When it comes to balancing your hormones, a healthy diet is key in facilitating your body’s functions that support hormone development and excretion. If you’re looking to support healthy hormone levels — either for longevity or to support ongoing hormone therapy — look for these key vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids in your foods.

    Selenium: Selenium, an essential component of enzymes and proteins called selenoproteins, is key to regulating thyroid function. Low levels of selenium can cause autoimmune disorders that attack the thyroid gland, dysregulating hormone production. Selenium may also impact testosterone production. One study showed that individuals with optimal levels of selenium in their blood had higher levels of testosterone. The average American gets enough selenium in their daily diet through food like eggs, seafood, beef, whole-wheat bread, and nuts.

    Magnesium: This powerhouse of a mineral is nature’s own secret to hormonal balance. An antioxidant, magnesium reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, two causes of lowered testosterone levels. Magnesium can also help with thyroid imbalance. One study showed that women who have reached menopause are more susceptible to Hypomagnesemia, a condition caused by low magnesium levels in the blood that can cause thyroid imbalance. If that wasn’t enough, magnesium also aids in the healthy excretion of estrogen by detoxifying pathways in the liver. Magnesium rich foods include dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, and dark chocolate.

    Zinc: Another essential mineral, Zinc plays a key role in thyroid function — without zinc T3 is unable to convert into T4, resulting in a thyroid imbalance. Zinc also has the ability to rebalance estrogen, and support optimal testosterone levels. Bonus: it’s easy to incorporate into your diet with either red meat, shellfish (6 medium oysters have nearly 400% your daily required zinc), and seeds and nuts. Many other foods, like eggs, also contain a small amount of zinc. 

    Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are often touted for their anti-inflammatory properties, but did you know they were key to hormone balance as well? Testosterone is produced from cholesterol, making fats an essential part of your diet. Avocados, nuts and seeds, fatty fish like salmon, and olive oil are excellent sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that support hormone production and overall health.

    Protein: Protein is essential for many bodily functions, including repairing and building tissues, making hormones, and supporting immune function. When it comes to hormonal health, protein provides your body with amino acids that are a precursor to thyroid hormone and estrogen production. You can include protein in your diet from a wide variety of sources, including lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, and plant-based protein sources like quinoa and lentils. 

    Hormone Health with Modern Age

    If you have symptoms of hormonal imbalance, it can be difficult to determine exactly what’s going wrong and how to fix it. With Modern Age’s Aging Wellness Assessment, you’ll get a full picture of your hormone health, and a clinically created, customized plan to treat your symptoms. Whether you’re going through menopause or just feeling more sluggish than usual, understanding the “why” behind your health is the first step to feeling like yourself again. Book a free consultation today.