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Food as Medicine

Recently, I worked with a client who had a tight budget and wanted to minimize her reliance on supplements for healing. Although I’m a big fan of herbs and supplements, I love a good challenge, and this was the perfect opportunity to explore how food can be our best medicine. Superfoods have been all the rage lately, and for good reason—they offer a wealth of benefits, especially when it comes to balancing hormones and alleviating PMS symptoms. Here, I’m sharing the top superfoods that can help you manage PMS naturally. Please share with those you know are suffering.

Maca: The Hormone Balancer

What Is Maca?

Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is a nutrient-dense tuber that has gained popularity for its hormone-balancing properties. Packed with enzymes, minerals like magnesium and iodine, and all essential amino acids, Maca is a powerhouse for your endocrine system.

Benefits of Maca

  • Restores Fertility: Helps balance hormones and reduce thyroid imbalances.
  • Adrenal Support: Great for combating adrenal fatigue and burnout.
  • PMS Relief: Eases symptoms of PMS, menopause, and boosts libido.

Note: If you have excess androgens or PCOS, avoid Maca as it can increase testosterone levels.

How to Use Maca

Maca has a musty, caramel-like taste. Add it to smoothies, stir it into yogurt, or mix it into warm milk for a comforting drink. I am post-menopausal and use Maca on a regular basis.

Flaxseeds: The Omega-3 Rich Powerhouse

Why Flaxseeds?

Flaxseeds are tiny but mighty when it comes to hormone balance. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and support hormone regulation. Flaxseeds also offer a host of other nutrients, including Vitamin B6, magnesium, and folate.

Benefits of Flaxseeds

  • Hormone Balance: Omega-3s help stabilize hormones.
  • PMS & Depression: High levels of Vitamin B6.
  • Fertility Boost: Rich in folate.
  • Cramp Relief: Magnesium helps reduce menstrual cramps.

How to Use Flaxseeds

Grind flaxseeds to enhance digestibility and nutrient absorption. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on yogurt, oatmeal, or salads, or incorporate them into smoothies. For maximum freshness, store ground seeds in the freezer.

Chia Seeds: Tiny Titans of Nutrition

What Makes Chia Seeds Special?

Chia seeds, like flaxseeds, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are also high in iron, which is crucial for menstruating women, and contain essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

  • Inflammation Reduction: Helps ease menstrual pain.
  • Iron Boost: Supports women who lose blood monthly.
  • Stable Blood Sugar: Prevents energy crashes and mood swings.
  • Hormone Support: Keeps hormones balanced.

How to Use Chia Seeds

Chia seeds form a gel-like texture when mixed with liquids, making them perfect for puddings. You can also add them to smoothies, yogurt, salads, or oatmeal for a nutrient boost.

Green Tea: The Antioxidant Champion

Why Green Tea?

Green tea is packed with antioxidants, has anti-cancer properties, and supports weight loss and appetite suppression. For women with PCOS, green tea can reduce androgen levels, offering an alternative to Maca.

Benefits of Green Tea

  • Antioxidant-Rich: Fights free radicals and supports overall health.
  • Hormone Balance: Lowers androgen levels in women with PCOS.
  • Weight Management: Aids in weight loss and reduces appetite.

How to Use Green Tea

Enjoy a few cups of green tea daily. Use it as a base for smoothies, chia pudding, or even to poach salmon. The possibilities are endless!

Coconut Oil: The Hormone Helper

The Magic of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a versatile superfood that supports hormone production and thyroid health. It’s also excellent for weight loss, blood sugar regulation, and reducing inflammation. Additionally, it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it great for combating candida overgrowth.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

  • Hormone Production: Provides essential building blocks.
  • Thyroid Support: Enhances thyroid function.
  • Weight & Metabolism: Boosts metabolism and helps with weight loss.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Keeps blood sugar levels stable.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Reduces inflammation in the body.

How to Use Coconut Oil

Incorporate up to 1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil into your daily diet. Use it for cooking, baking, or even as a supplement. I love adding MCT oil to my morning cup of joe!

Eggs: The Nutrient-Dense Protein

The Truth About Eggs

Don’t believe the myth that eggs increase cholesterol! Eggs are a complete protein source and provide healthy fats essential for hormone production and balance. They also contain lecithin, which supports liver function—crucial for filtering excess hormones.

Benefits of Eggs

  • Complete Protein: Essential for hormone production.
  • Healthy Fats: Keeps you fuller longer, reducing cravings.
  • Liver Support: Improves liver function to filter hormones.
  • Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Rich in vitamins A, D, and K.

How to Use Eggs

Incorporate eggs into your weekly diet. Poaching or frying them in butter while keeping the yolks liquid ensures you get the most nutrients.

Conclusion: Embrace the Power of Superfoods

Balancing your hormones and alleviating PMS symptoms doesn’t have to break the bank. By incorporating these superfoods into your diet, you can harness the healing power of nature to feel your best. Remember, food is your pharmacy—use it wisely!

Note: For personalized advice and detailed protocols like Seed Cycling, consult with us as your functional medicine health coaches.

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