Mood swings, cramps, hot flashes, anxiety…hormone imbalances unfortunately plague many menstruating bodies, and these symptoms, while common, are not normal. Yet symptoms like PMS or an uncomfortable transition from peri-menopause to menopause have been normalized. When the body is in balance, a menstrual cycle CAN be an easeful, pain-free experience, and the same is true for the transition into menopause. Below are some herbal and nutritional tools that can support your journey in balancing your hormones.
Maca is a great ally for those looking to balance their menstrual cycle, or those transitioning into menopause. It is a aromatase inhibitor, which means it helps block estrogen production (excess estrogen is responsible for many of the unpleasant side effects of a menstrual cycle and/or menopause). It also boosts libido! Try the Vancouver Fog or Mermaid Latte, or add it as a booster to your go-to latte or smoothie.
An adaptogen that helps the body become more resilient to stress. PMS, PCOS, endometriosis menopause, and other hormonal conditions can evoke heightened states of anxiety, so incorporating functional mushrooms like Reishi can be a simple yet powerful tool to ease fluctuating emotions. Try the Brain Train Latte, add it as a booster to your go-to latte or smoothie, or find it in the Rainbo 11:11 or Reishi Mushroom tincture sold at the TurF Shop.
Phytoestrogens help balance Estradiol (E2), a type of estrogen in the body, by binding to estrogen receptors. This binding acts as an estrogen “substitute” when levels are low, and acts as an antagonist when levels are too high. They are 100-1000x weaker than estrogen found in the body. Sources of phytoestrogens include soy, tempeh, miso, oats, yam, rice, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, coffee (yep!), carrots, and apples. Some of our favourite menu items to get a healthy dose of phytoestrogens include the Oat of Control Bowl, swapping any toast or bun with sweet potato, the Golden Latte, the Tempeh Salad, Veggie Sausage Hash with tofu, and Greens All Day with a side of tempeh or tofu.
Fibre plays an integral role in clearing out excess hormones and helping our body maintain homeostasis. Fibre acts as a “mopping” agent in the colon and prevents the reabsorption of hormones back into the bloodstream, instead, taking them out with elimination. Consequently, constipation is not your cycle’s friend. Opt for fibre rich dark leafy greens, berries, quinoa, avocado, brown rice, apples, oats, onions, mushrooms, hemp seeds, peppers, carrots, and sweet potato to increase your fibre intake (to name a few). When it comes to fibre, pick literally any main on the TurF menu and you’ll find ample fibre. Some items to highlight include the Avocado Toast, Rainbow Salad, Mushroom Ricotta and Oat of Control Bowl.
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts support liver detox by increasing the metabolism of estrogen. Opt for the Kimchi Edamame Toast for a dose of probiotics and cabbage, or add the Ginger Chili Broccoli side to any toast or burger.
Another contributing factor to hormone imbalance is the presence of xenoestrogens, which are 100-1000x stronger than estrogen made in the body. Xenoestrogen exposure comes mainly from herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, PBB and PCB in plastics, phthalates (found in some cosmetics), and livestock fed anabolic steroids. Nasty stuff. Opt for organic produce when you can, organic/grass fed/pasture raised meat/eggs, wild caught fish, and clean cosmetics. EWG is a great resource to seek brands that are free from these chemicals.
We hope you find this information supportive! Start by picking 1 from each tool and integrate into your weekly nourishment routine to help ease hormone imbalance. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Trilby directly at @trilby_.