Happy hormones are the currency of staying healthy. With estrogen levels naturally dropping as you age, it can be tough to keep those hormones high, or even balanced.
With menopause affecting women in middle age an abundance of stress and hormonal changes can lead to mood swings, hormone imbalances, and weight gain. In the last few decades, research is showing more evidence of a connection between hormones and mental health. Believe it or not though, there are a few nutrition hacks that have been proven to naturally promote happy hormones which might help some women with their mood swings, anxiety, or depression.
Eat More Fatty Foods
Women tend to eat less fat during middle age and some of the hormones involved with mood swings, such as cortisol, are produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Eating a diet high in fat can stimulate the adrenal glands and help balance cortisol levels. Good fatty food for hormone balance is salmon, but women who don’t like fish can eat fatty cuts of beef and lamb, as well as nuts, avocados, and eggs.
Consume More Plant Foods
Did you know that women need more plant-based foods? This is because they tend to have lower levels of phytoestrogen than men do. Phytoestrogens are plant hormones that have a balancing effect on certain hormones like estrogen and cortisol that promote mood swings and other changes associated with middle age. Adding more fiber-rich plant foods such as peas, beans, lentils, flaxseed and whole grains to her diet can be helpful for women.
Consume More Probiotics
Women need more probiotics in their diet because of the changes that occur in the vaginal area due to hormonal shifts, which can make women more susceptible to infections and yeast which can also lead to mood swings or depression. A very effective probiotic food is sourdough bread fermented for a week. Acidophilus milk and yogurt are also good sources of beneficial bacteria.
Take Herbs That Improve Happy Hormones
Some women who experience anxiety or stress may benefit from herbs and plant extracts that have been shown to promote healthy hormones. For example, for women suffering from hormonal imbalances, milk thistle, which has a very effective ability to balance estrogen and cortisol levels, can be effective. This has been shown to improve hot flashes and mood swings, especially when taken as a standardized extract.
Consume More Cold–Water Fish
Women tend to have lower levels of omega-3s than men do, and a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been proven to be helpful for depression, stress, and anxiety in the body. Cold–water fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring contain levels of omega-3s that are much higher than other forms of protein like beef or chicken. Adding more cold–water fish to a woman’s diet can help her feel more energized and happier about her life.
Drink More Green Tea
Women need more green tea because of the changes occurring in their cervix and mid-luteal phase (14 to 16 days before menstruation) that can lead to mood swings, PMS, and hormone shifts. Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants that help the body produce more energy. Drinking green tea has also been linked with better memory and concentration in both young and middle-aged women.
Drink A Lot of Water
Women often experience water retention during middle age caused by hormonal changes. Drinking more water, preferably in the morning hours, can help flush excess fluid out through the kidneys and reduce bloating. For those who have a metallic taste in their mouths, it is possible to purchase water that has been filtered and reverse the osmosis process that excludes most of the minerals and metals.
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By taking a few of these tips, women can reap benefits from improving their mood swings and hormone levels. As the body ages, there are natural changes that occur in our hormones, so women need to get tested and monitor those symptoms that might be accompanied by mood swings and anxiety. With some changes to the diet, women can gain more energy, reduce water retention and improve their mood swings.