Balancing hormones is a tricky task, but it's possible! There are many layers to living in flow with your monthly cycles, and nutrition is a huge piece of this puzzle.
Today I'm tackling the topic of gluten and dairy and their role in healthy hormones.
March is Endometriosis Awareness Month so you'll be seeing a lot of Endometriosis and hormone balancing posts on social media and here on the blog - I hope you enjoy learning about this topic as much as I love exploring it & explaining it!
Balancing your hormones includes supplements, what we consume (food and beverages), movement, sleep, and more. It's complicated, which is why many women struggle so much with living out of sync with their cycles and their body's natural rhythms.
Because there are so many aspects to hormone balancing, it can seem overwhelming to start this process so let's start with a big aspect of living in your flow and that's nutrition. Gluten and dairy may take up a large or small amount of your current diet, and they are nutritional "hot button" topics so let's explore their role in hormonal balance.
Keep in mind this post is focusing on utilizing your nutrition to find optimal hormone health for your body. This guidance would only be applicable to women feeling like they want to live more in sync with their body's natural cycles. For more information about cycle syncing you can start here. You can also search the blog for tagged CycleSyncing posts!
Each phase of your monthly cycle has unique nutritional needs, but there are also general nutritional guidelines that can help your hormone health, no matter what phase of the month you find yourself.
Gluten & Your Hormones
Going gluten free isn't a magical cure-all for hormone health but research suggests that eliminating gluten from your diet does set you up for healthy, happy hormones. What does this look like throughout your cycle? Take a look below for this guidance!
Follicular phase (before you ovulate, after your period)
Oats (inherently gluten-free, although processing can sometimes include wheat, so those who are super-sensitive should choose oats that say “gluten-free” on the label)
Ovulatory phase (when you’re ovulating)
Amaranth, corn, quinoa
Luteal phase (before you have your period)
Brown rice, millet
Menstrual phase (your period)
Buckwheat (kasha), wild rice
Dairy & Your Hormones
I know you probably don't want to hear it, but if you're looking to balance your hormones, dairy isn't going to be your friend.
The majority of dairy cows in the US are injected with a genetically modified growth hormone that causes them to produce more milk than they would naturally. So when you eat or drink this milk, you are also consuming these artificial hormones.
The majority of cows are also treated with antibiotics, GMO corn or soy, which your body will then absorb. All three of these components combine in your body to cause some major disruptions to your hormonal system.
Here are some additional ways in which dairy can affect your hormone health:
If you just can't ditch the dairy completely, opt for goat milk cheese or raw goat milk cheese.
A 2014 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that the inflammatory impact is not found with dairy that contains A2 casein rather than A1. A2 casein is found in the milk of Jersey and Guernsey cows, Asian and African cow breeds, sheep and goats.
Dairy has probably been the most difficult food for me to eliminate but when I have a cheese craving, I know that goat cheese will satisfy me!
What has your experience been with gluten and dairy and your hormone health? Send me your feedback, questions & input!
About Jessica Leigh Wellbeing
At Jessica Leigh Wellbeing, I support women in discovering the wisdom in their body's cravings.
I utilize a customized multi-faceted approach that addresses the psychology of eating, intuitive movement, energy healing, bodywork & more.
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