Hormones are necessary for our body to function and they perform key roles that we couldn’t do without. The problem? With poor lifestyle choices sometimes our hormones can get a little imbalanced.
Excess estrogen, for example, can lead to unwanted symptoms such as weight gain, headaches, fatigue, and sore breasts. I personally have suffered from too estrogen dominance and hormonal imbalance before. It’s one of the main reasons I became a certified health coach from Cornell University and created my Mindful Elimination program.
The good news is that you can rebalance hormones with just a few easy changes – including eating more veggies! I have successfully used these vegetables in my diet to balance my hormones. So, let’s get into how you can use cruciferous vegetables for hormone balance and lowering estrogen.
Anyone can develop a hormone imbalance. It can come as a result of underlying health issues, poor lifestyle choices, or some treatments and medications. Estrogen is one of the hormones that most commonly gets out of whack, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed.
Put simply, estrogen is known as a ‘female’ hormone. Both sexes produce it, but it’s more prevalent in women, and contributes to things like breast growth. When your body produces too much estrogen, signs and symptoms include weight gain, breast tenderness, fatigue, and decreased sex drive. Women might also notice changes in their menstrual cycle, such as more blood loss.
Men can suffer from excess estrogen, too, which shows up in symptoms such as breast enlargement, erectile dysfunction, and even infertility. Luckily, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts have been shown to decrease estrogen, all thanks to a chemical called indole-3-carbinol. If you have excess estrogen and it’s negatively impacting your life, reach for the broccoli next time you’re serving dinner.
Estrogen can easily become imbalanced, leading to a whole range of symptoms that negatively impact sufferers’ lives. The good news is that in most cases, you won’t need to take drastic measures to rebalance those hormones.
One simple way is by enjoying more cruciferous vegetables in your diet. The best approach is to include at least one cruciferous vegetable in every meal. It’s not as hard as it sounds – your morning avocado toast will taste even better topped with some crispy kale.
If you haven’t heard the word cruciferous before, don’t be put off. This family of vegetables actually contains popular veggies that you probably eat most days anyway.
All cruciferous vegetables help a hormone balancing diet, but you might want to prioritize those that are most readily available at the grocery store. The cruciferous vegetables commonly available include the following:
- Brussels sprouts
- Collard greens
- Bok choy
- Turnips (roots and greens)
Here is an even more detailed list of of cruciferous veggies in case you need it.
I get it. Adding more veggies to your diet can sound boring. But the reality is, when cruciferous vegetables are properly cooked and seasoned, they can be absolutely delicious.
They can become a welcome addition or even the centerpiece of a meal. Let’s take a look at some easy ways to include cruciferous vegetables into your diet.
Refined carbohydrates such as white rice and white bread are known not to be great for our health. Luckily, there’s an alternative that not only avoids spiking your glucose, but also helps introduce more cruciferous veggies into your diet.
Cauliflower rice is a type of rice that’s low in calories but packs a nutritional punch. So the next time you’re creating a tasty curry or stir-frying some veggies, try pairing it with cauliflower rice in place or regular rice. Here are some great options:
When simply boiled, broccoli and Brussels sprouts can taste a little dull. But when roasted with salt and pepper and a generous glug of olive oil? There’s simply nothing better.
So the next time you’re making a stew or enjoying a piece of meat, try pairing it with cruciferous vegetables you’ve roasted in the oven. It works for cauliflower, too, whose neutral taste allows it to easily pick up spices such as turmeric.
In the mood for a snack? Put the potato chips down and switch on your oven instead. Crispy kale is one of the most delicious and nutritious snacks you can have.
Simply place the kale in a roasting tin, cover in olive oil, and gently season with salt and pepper. It shouldn’t take longer than around 10 minutes and will come out crispy with the perfect crunch. Or, you can buy Kale chips too!
Think cabbage is boring? Try pickling it! This works best with red cabbage, and you’ll need to pickle it in a jar. Here’s an easy pickled cabbage recipe that only includes ingredients you can eat on an anti-inflammatory diet plan.
Even just adding some cruciferous vegetables to your diet can make a difference, but for best results, try and have some with every meal (bonus points if you enjoy a few cruciferous veggies at a time). If you have a sensitive stomach, introduce these veggies slowly rather than all at once.
You can take small steps such as adding some broccoli to your dinner and swapping out a portion of regular rice for cauliflower rice. This is because cruciferous vegetables do have a tendency to make you bloat or even leave you a little gassy, so slow and steady wins the race with this one.
Experiment to see which cruciferous vegetables you like best too. If cauliflower isn’t your thing, you might love kale.
Hormone imbalance can cause some unpleasant and unwanted symptoms, but you don’t have to struggle forever if you’re willing to make some lifestyle changes. By introducing more cruciferous vegetables into your diet little by little, you should see a reduction in your estrogen, leading to a reduction in unwanted symptoms. Goodbye to unexplained weight gain and headaches, and hello to a more balanced body – all thanks to broccoli!
Finally, before you go you might be interested in our FREE 3-day hormone balancing meal plan. Just fill in the form below to get it.