Did you know that if you power up your plant based diet it can improve your hormone health? Let’s talk about it.
Studies show that a plant based diet is the way to go for all your health needs.
Colorful produce delivers multiple vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory effects on your body. A plant based diet can actually increase your longevity. And a plant based diet is fantastic for your hormone health.
One of the most well touted plant based diets is the Mediterranean diet. It’s well known that Mediterranean people have better hormonal balance and more hormonal longevity, meaning that they age more gracefully through their midlife transitions. That’s because a plant based diet provides essential phytonutrients to help your hypothalamus keep your Hormones in Harmony.
So how do you power up your plant based diet so your hormones are balanced?
#1 Monounsaturated fats
Make sure you’re including abundant monounsaturated fats in your diet. My favorite of course is olive oil for cooking and dressing your food. Olive oil is the most well researched of the monounsaturated fats. Studies have shown that roasting your vegetables in olive oil helps to retain their nutrients better than any other oil, than dry roasting or steaming. Roast at temperatures between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit as over 500 degrees denatures the olive oil.
Why are monounsaturated fats so healthy for Hormonal Health? Well, your cell membranes need monounsaturated fats to stay healthy in order to maintain their receptor sites. Receptor sites are doorways in which hormones get into cells and actually do their business. If your cell membranes are not healthy and receptor sites are not active, your hormones cannot get into your cells and perform vital functions of maintaining your metabolism, health, and immunity. So add olive oil into your diet.
I recommend at least two-thirds of your fat coming from polyunsaturated fats including olive oil, and less than one-third from saturated fats.
#2 Omega 3 rich PUFAs
Make sure you’re getting enough omega 3 rich polyunsaturated fats or PUFAs. Nuts, seeds, and sea vegetation are rich in omega 3 PUFAs. A plant based diet does not necessarily mean you’re only eating plants. Adding fatty fish at least three times a week to your plant based diet can really boost essential omega 3s, especially EPAs which are critical to healthy estrogen metabolism. PUFAs help to balance your hypothalamus health so that it does a better job at orchestrating your hormones so they stay in harmony.
Make sure that you’re getting an adequate amount of protein. Protein is important because if you don’t get enough protein to maintain your lean body mass you’ll start consuming your own body tissues for vital amino acids. So powering up your plant based diet with protein means you’re getting a half gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.
Don’t forget spices. One of the biggest things that I see with my patients is that it’s hard for them to add lots of vegetables into their meal plans to ensure a more plant based diet. Moving away from the standard American diet of white starch, meats and fat is not easy if you don’t know how to use spices in your cooking. Lots of people don’t like vegetables because they don’t know how to prepare them in an appealing way.
Even once they figure out how to steam, roast or sauté, they often do not use enough spices to make it appealing. Salt and pepper are your friends. If you live away from the coast you need to make sure your salt is iodized. Otherwise, you can use sea salt or add iodine in other forms, like through seaweeds and fish. Include spices like oregano, basil, thyme, tumeric, and ginger to add flavor to your meals. Follow recipes at first and then use your taste buds to decide what you like best.
Spices are not only going to spice up your meals, but they have benefits for your health as well. For instance, cinnamon is well known to help to balance your blood sugar. Tumeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory. Ginger is an excellent spice to help your digestion.
Be sure and spice up your cooking to make your plant based diet as nutritious and delicious as possible.
If you want more ideas on how to power up your plant based diet, please join us in our Hormone Reboot Training where you get access to all of my dietary recommendations.