Foods That Balance Hormones: 11 Things All Women Need In Their Diet

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Written by: Erin Coleman,

B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

foods that balance hormones

Eating foods that balance hormones can help you look better, feel better, and achieve the quality of life you deserve at any age!

Believe it or not, eating certain foods over others promotes hormone stability.

This is especially beneficial for women over 40, as that's when estrogen levels tend to decrease, and thyroid problems may be a concern. The good news is that hormone imbalance is a condition you don't have to live with!

The key to eating foods that balance hormones is choosing a variety of whole, plant-based foods and protein-rich options.

Doing so maximizes balance, minimizes symptoms of fluctuating hormones, and diminishes perimenopause (pre-menopause) and menopause symptoms — including hot flashes and unwelcome weight gain.

Other things you can do to normalize hormone levels include taking hormone balance supplements for women, getting regular exercise and at least 7 hours of sleep each night, minimizing stress, and being treated for medical problems that negatively affect hormone levels.

But you can start restoring balance today by eating the 11 foods that balance hormones we discuss below!

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Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance in Women

The hallmark symptoms of hormone imbalance in women are as follows:

  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Decreased bone density
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping problems
  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness

Eating foods that balance hormones and adopting additional healthy habits is the best way to look young, feel young, and maximize your energy. It's also important to see your doctor to determine if you have hormone problems requiring medical intervention.

Sometimes diet, exercise, and adopting other healthy habits are enough to balance your hormones. In other cases, however, medical intervention combined with foods that balance hormones in females is the best way to minimize your risk of complications.

The Natural Hormone Balancer Busy Women 40+ Are Using For Improved Mood, Sleep, Skin, Stress & Easier Weight Loss

At around 40, most women's hormone levels begin a “rollercoaster' ride, which eventually culminates in menopause. You feel tired all the time. It's hard to lose weight. Your body doesn't respond to diet and exercise like it used to. But now, it doesn't have to be that way for you…

11 Foods That Balance Hormones In Females

Consider adding the following foods to your typical meal plan because they improve overall health and promote hormone balance in women:

1. Nuts

In research studies, nuts appear to reduce metabolic syndrome in women during menopause. Furthermore, experts say that fats found in nuts and other plant fats, as well as oils in fatty fish, help reduce appetite and insulin resistance.

Because nuts are rich in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats, these superfoods boost satiety without contributing to weight gain. In fact, nuts and seeds are part of a heart-healthy diet that aids in weight management and optimizes hormone levels in women.

Add nuts to soups, salads, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, and main dishes, or eat them as a between-meal snack as some of the best foods that balance hormones in females. You can also blend nuts and seeds into your favorite protein shake recipes!

2. Olive Oil

Olive oil, a staple in the Mediterranean diet, is another important part of healthy weight management and hormone balance for women.

Studies show that the Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced body weights and smaller waist circumferences. Additional research shows that consuming extra virgin olive oil is associated with reductions in psychological symptoms (irritability, anxiety, depression, tiredness, etc.) of menopause in women.

Olive oil is rich in plant-based fatty acids, which promote improved heart health, satiety, and lower cholesterol levels when used in place of animal-based fats.

Add extra virgin olive oil to soups, salads, sauteed vegetables, omelets, stir fry, and other main dishes to promote hormone balance and healthy weight management at any age.

3. Salmon

Salmon is another staple in the Mediterranean diet and is one of the best foods that balance hormones in females. This superfood is packed with protein and omega-3 fats, containing about 19 grams of protein in each 3-ounce serving.

To achieve optimal hormone balance, experts recommend consuming about 20-30 grams of protein during meals. Grill or bake salmon as a main dish or eat in on sandwiches, soups, salads, in stir fry, or as an ingredient in omelets or veggie kabobs.

Consuming fish oil or other omega-3 supplements, if your doctor recommends it, can help too!

4. Eggs

Eggs are packed with protein, which boosts satiety, aids in healthy weight management, and helps control insulin levels to properly manage blood sugar.

Studies show that eggs and other protein-rich foods can also reduce ghrelin (the hunger hormone), helping to decrease your appetite and keep you full for longer time periods.

Eat scrambled eggs with avocadoes for breakfast, hard-boiled eggs as a snack or on top of salads, or cooked eggs with stir fry or other favorite main dishes.

5. Avocados

Like olive oil and fish oil, avocados are loaded with heart-healthy fats. Studies show that they boost satiety, decrease hunger hormones, promote healthy weight management, stabilize insulin levels, and improve insulin sensitivity.

Avocados are easy to add to nutritious meal plans for women. Eat them between meals as a snack, add avocadoes to scrambled eggs or omelets, eat them with stir fry, top salads with avocados, or add avocados to protein smoothies.

You can eat them with fish, chicken, seafood, or other protein-rich foods, plus vegetables or whole grains to complete any well-balanced dish!

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), a type of fatty acid shown to reduce hunger hormones and insulin resistance. The Cleveland Clinic found that MCT oil aids in healthy weight management, promoting weight loss and decreased appetite.

You can use coconut oil for medium-heat cooking and baking or add it to smoothies, coffees, teas, or recipes. MTC supplements are also available. Ask your doctor if they're right for you.

7. Vegetables

The fiber in vegetables is beneficial for hormone balance in women and healthy weight management. Studies show that a high-fiber diet improves insulin sensitivity and the production of satiety hormones, which helps you feel full and makes it easier to eat fewer calories.

Aim to fill half of your plate of food with non-starchy vegetables.

Examples include leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms, celery, onions, asparagus, and green beans.

Fill one-fourth of each plate of food with starches that may include corn, peas, sweet potatoes, or dried beans. While not vegetables, whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, etc.) are also healthy starch options to fill your plate with. The other one-fourth of your plate should be lean protein.

8. Legumes

Technically a vegetable, legumes (lentils, dried beans, peas, etc.) are sometimes in a category of their own because they're rich in protein and starch in addition to fiber and essential micronutrients.

And legumes are foods that balance hormones in females. In fact, studies show that eating legumes helps decrease menopause symptom severity.

They can diminish hot flashes, fatigue, sleeping problems, irritability, and many other symptoms of hormone imbalance.

Add legumes to your meal plan to improve hormone levels in women by eating cooked legumes alone, with brown rice or quinoa as a main dish, in soups or salads, or in casseroles, stir fry, omelets, or veggie dips.

9. Fruits

Fruit is also a source of fiber and an advantageous food for balancing hormones in females.

Studies show that antioxidants and polyphenols in fruits promote balanced hormones affecting your brain, enhancing cognition and improving the management of brain diseases. Additional research shows that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables can decrease menopausal symptoms in women.

Examples of fiber-rich options that promote better balance include blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pears, plums, bananas, peaches, watermelon, grapes, and many other fresh fruits.

You might also choose 100% fruit juice, traditional dried fruits without added sugar, or freeze-dried fruits containing no added sugar.

10. Flax Seeds

Adding flax seeds to your meal plan appears to enhance hormone balance in females. Such seeds are rich in fiber and heart-healthy fats. They also contain some proteins and essential micronutrients.

Studies show that flax improves the quality of life and decreases hot flashes and other bothersome menopause symptoms in women. The Mayo Clinic found that flax seeds also reduce your risk of high cholesterol and heart disease complications.

It's simple to add flax seeds to your daily menus. Sprinkle oatmeal, Greek yogurt, soups, salads, and main dishes with ground flax seeds, or blend flax seeds into protein shakes and smoothies. Flax seed supplements are also available!

11. Green Tea

Green tea helps promote healthy weight management in addition to boosting your body's metabolism and energy.

Research shows that green tea extract helps fight against complications of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women, enhances weight loss, and improves insulin levels and fasting blood sugar.

Drink green tea between meals, in smoothies or protein shakes, or with meals containing foods that balance hormones in females.

Erin Coleman
B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer, The Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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