Do you have acne along your chin, jawline or neck?
Are they painful and cystic pimples below the skin?
Does the acne usually pop up at the same time in your cycle every month?
If you said “hell yes” to any of those questions, you most likely have hormonal acne. This type of acne tends to pop up when your hormones are out of whack and it can be a complicated process to rebalance them. That’s why I recommend working with a healthcare practitioner like one of our acne experts in The Clear Skin Solution.
However, there is one thing you can start doing now to love up on your hormones: Focus on your diet.
The food you eat has a significant impact on the health of your hormones, which is why you need to include these seven hormone balancing foods on your menu plan.
Before I share the top seven hormone balancing foods to include in your diet, it’s important to understand which hormones are not in harmony.
While there are over 50 different hormones in the body, here are the most common hormonal imbalances I see in my clients with acne.
The adrenal glands are two small glands located on top of the kidneys. They produce adrenaline, aldosterone, cortisol, DHEA, norepinephrine and estrone (a form of estrogen) when the ovaries stop producing estrogen. Their secretions regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, electrolyte balance and help us manage stress. Imbalances of the adrenal hormones may arise as a result of long-term stress, poor diet and insufficient sleep.
The most well-known sex hormones are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. They’re responsible for puberty and sexual development, reproduction and sexual desire, among many other functions. Puberty, pregnancy, menopause, medications like the birth control pill, stress and eating disorders can all contribute to imbalances of the sex hormones.
The thyroid gland releases triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These thyroid hormones influence the rate of metabolism, body temperature, energy levels, protein synthesis and cholesterol secretion. Factors that can lead to thyroid hormone imbalances include autoimmune diseases like Graves’ disease or Hashimoto’s disease, iodine deficiency and when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones.
Over in The Clear Skin Solution, I make sure my clients include lots of nutritious foods that support their hormones, especially these seven:
This vibrant green fruit is an excellent source of healthy fats, which help to stabilize blood sugar levels and increase hormones that promote satiety. Avocados also contain beta-sitosterol, which helps to regulate cortisol and positively influence cholesterol levels.
These sweet and colourful peppers can help support the adrenal glands due to their vitamin C content. When you’re stressed the eff out, nutrients in your body are used up more quickly (especially vitamin C and B vitamins). So it’s important to have a nutrient dense diet to ensure you’re refilling the tank. Bell peppers are an excellent option for this.
Cauliflower is an example of a cruciferous vegetable, along with broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale. Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower contain sulphuric compounds that support liver health and glucosinolate to help the liver produce detoxifying enzymes. A healthy liver is able to properly filter hormones.
The gut is the largest endocrine organ in the body and the bacteria in your gut influences your hormones. In fact, the gut produces and secretes over 20 hormones that are involved in appetite, metabolism and satiety. In order to achieve optimal gut health and hormonal balance, you need a healthy colony of good bacteria in your gut. Fermented foods like coconut yogurt provide that beneficial bacteria. The healthy fats in coconut yogurt also help to balance blood sugar levels and reduce stress hormones in the body.
Organic, pasture-raised eggs are a great option for supporting thyroid hormones because of their high selenium content. Selenium is one of the minerals required for the conversion of thyroid hormones from the inactive T4 form to the active T3 form. Egg yolks are also abundant in iodine, with a single egg yolk providing 27 mg of iodine. This mineral is essential for the production of thyroid hormones and a deficiency can lead to a thyroid hormone imbalance.
Flaxseeds help to balance hormones for two reasons: the high amount of fibre and small compounds called “lignans.” First and foremost, the insoluble dietary fibre in flaxseeds binds to estrogen in the intestine and flushes them out of the body through your poop. Daily bowel movements are essential for balanced hormones and clear skin because it’s how your body eliminates excess hormones and prevents them from being reabsorbed. Flaxseeds also contain lignans, which will block excess estrogen in the first phase of the menstrual cycle. This reduces the risk of developing estrogen dominance, which leads to conditions such as PMS, PCOS and endometriosis.
Wild salmon contains a high amount of vitamin D, which is needed to produce your sex hormones. The beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in salmon also help to improve hormonal communication and stabilize your hunger hormones.
Want to go more in-depth?
Listen to our podcast episode “Is Your Acne Hormonal?“ here!