Hormone Balancing Greens
I know how navigating what to do and what not to do for weight loss and hormone balance can be overwhelming and sometimes there are conflicting and confusing messages out there.
Yet there is one health tip no one can dispute and that is the health benefits of dark leafy greens. Today I’m happy to remind you of the incredible benefits these veggies have on your health and share with you why they can ease peri-menopausal symptoms and hormonal weight gain.
Actually, dark, leafy greens are a cornerstone to and essential for hormone production, regulation and balance in Peri-menopause.
Eating them daily, as a main dish rather than a side dish (I’ll share helpful ways to do this below) helps to
naturally detoxify potentially harmful food and environmental toxins while
providing vitamins and minerals,
improving skin, circulation, digestion, elimination, the immune system and
facilitating weight loss.
Some perfect examples of Hormone Balancing Greens are: Arugula, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, collard greens, spinach, swiss chard, kale, turnip greens, broccoli, broccoli sprouts and dandelion greens.
• Greens are very high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K.
• Most green vegetables have Vitamin A, which is primarily responsible for healthy, smooth skin and helps with ovulation.
• Greens contain B vitamins.B vitamins protect cervical cells and elevates mood by acting as a mild anti-depressant, helps the liver break down and de-activate excess estrogen.
• All greens are high in fiber. Eating more fiber encourages regular bowel movements, ensuring that broken down and excess estrogen is removed from the body.
• Greens contain vitamin C, the powerful antioxidant that helps protect the DNA of eggs in the ovaries and the cells of the cervix thus reducing risk of cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer.
• Vitamin E contained in greens can ease stress during peri-menopause and is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.
A couple things to keep in mind regarding cruciferous greens:
1. Cruciferous vegetables (arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnips and watercress) contain naturally occurring compounds called goitrogens. Goitrogens can interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. If you have hypothyroidism or a goiter, you should only eat these foods cooked, not raw, because cooking inhibits the goitrogenic effects of these foods.
2. Oxalic acid is a compound that occurs naturally in many foods including spinach and beet greens. It can bind to minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the digestive process and inhibit absorption of these minerals. Cook these types of greens to reduce the amount of oxalic acid.
How to have greens at each meal:
A morning smoothie full of kale or spinach, a daily salad of mixed lettuce, or a good-sized portion of steamed or sautéed greens at dinner are fine ways to begin making greens a main dish rather than a side dish.
Start with ½ a cup of any kind of greens a day and work up to 3 or 4 cups a day.