Nourishing Balance: Discovering Hormone-Balancing Foods

Published on June 21, 2024

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

Hormone levels change during the course of our lives, and that can leave us feeling off-balanced. Learning how to naturally adapt can help restore the equilibrium our bodies need to thrive. 

If you’re feeling a little off of your natural rhythm, there are natural ways to support your body and balance hormones. While hormone health is complex, the foods that make up a healthy diet contain the ingredients our bodies need to:

  • Create hormones
  • Regulate and balance hormone levels
  • Filter out “used” hormones we no longer need

Let’s talk about what hormonal imbalances are, what causes them, and which foods can support this balance and overall health. We’ll also cover several herbal supplements that can encourage healthy hormonal balance. 

What is Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormones are the compounds in charge of virtually every bodily process we have. When we experience a growth spurt during adolescence, hormones are there. Every month of a menstrual cycle, hormones are there. When we get older and begin to experience hair loss, hormones are there. 

Hormones even play a role in our cholesterol levels — in fact, cholesterol is needed for hormone production. Hormones are produced by glands that are part of the endocrine system. Adrenal glands, the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland, the hypothalamus, and the gonads all produce hormones. 

A hormonal imbalance occurs when our bodies make either too much or too little of a particular hormone.REF#4086 For instance, the adrenal gland, which produces cortisol in response to stress, may become off-balanced. This may lead to high cortisol levels even when there’s no stress present.REF#4086

Too much of any stress hormone, like cortisol, can lead to negative health impacts like weight gain and bodily irritation. This is just one example of what happens when our hormones are unbalanced. Of course, there are many other ways that hormones can lose their regulatory function. 

What Foods Can Help With Hormone Balance?

Nature is packed with foods that are both delicious and helpful in maintaining our bodies and supporting overall health. The following foods, in particular, are excellent choices for helping to support your endocrine system and keep your hormones in balance.

1. Healthy Fats

By now, you’ve probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids are essential. That’s because our bodies need them in order to function properly — but our bodies can’t make these fatty acids on their own. We have to get these healthy fats from foods like olive oil, avocados, and fatty fish. 

These fats are the building blocks of hormones and also help modulate hormone balance. REF#4090

2. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but they are also a source of phytoestrogens. The particular phytoestrogens in flaxseed, lignans, are recognized as estrogen by the body during digestion. Eating flaxseed can help support the way your body regulates estrogen levels. 7 You can also find phytoestrogens in legumes. 

Read more about the seed cycling trend and its impact on hormones.

3. Fermented Foods

Maybe the idea of adding sauerkraut or kimchi to your daily dietary lineup makes you cringe, but fermented foods contain probiotics that are essential for gut health. Your gut health is directly involved with your hormone levels and immunity. In fact, the majority of the body’s immune cells are located in the gut. 

Foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, are all sources of probiotics that can help your gut microbiome flourish. For bonus points, add a prebiotic fiber supplement to your daily health stack to help nourish your gut flora and help it thrive. 

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage release a particular phytochemical when they are cooked called indole-3 carbinol. This phytochemical supports liver functions and helps with detoxification. 5 By supporting liver function, we can help support our bodies’ ability to get rid of hormones that are “used” and no longer needed. 

5. Magnesium

You can find magnesium in foods like lentils, leafy greens, avocados, and dark chocolate. Magnesium is essential for regulating blood sugar levels and proper neurological function. REF#4092

Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet can support your cognitive function and blood sugar levels when hormones make you feel stressed or foggy-headed. REF#4092

6. Whole Grain Carbohydrates

Whole grains contain fiber, which is important for proper digestion and can help with PMS symptoms like constipation. Additionally, complex carbs contain plenty of B vitamins, which are important for hormone synthesis. 

Sources of whole grains include quinoa, rolled oats, and brown rice.

7. Colorful Veggies

You may have heard it said that “eating the rainbow” is the best way to ensure you get all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs. This is generally true. Vitamins and minerals play a role in the creation, maintenance, and regulation of hormones. If you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, your hormones could become unbalanced. 

To stock up on vitamins, load up your plate with bright foods such as:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Colorful carrots
  • Beets
  • Yellow squash
  • Eggplant

Eating a healthy diet can not only help you with weight loss if you’ve experienced a little weight gain, but it can also help support your body as it attempts to rebalance itself. You can also try herbal supplements to help with hormone balance.

What Causes Hormonal Imbalances? 

Hormonal imbalances are a normal part of life. Causes include:

  • Menstruation: Progesterone and estrogen levels both change before, during, and after a person has their period. REF#4085 These changes in sex hormone levels can be why many people suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Puberty: Hormonal changes during puberty are responsible for a person’s growth of secondary sex characteristics. REF#4085
  • Pregnancy: When someone becomes pregnant, their body will begin producing drastically different levels of estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. REF#4085
  • Menopause. During the years prior to menopause, estrogen levels begin to decline. Once menopause is reached,hormone replacement therapy may be recommended. REF#4085 
  • PCOS: This medical condition can result in estrogen dominance, high testosterone, and low progesterone levels, which can affect ovulation. People who have insulin resistance and do not maintain a healthy weight may be at higher risk of developing PCOS. REF#4085
  • Imbalanced stress response: When the body perceives stress when there is none, it may produce abnormal amounts of cortisol. This can lead to an imbalance that can cause chronic irritation in the body. REF#4087

Hormonal imbalances can sometimes rectify themselves. However, if you don’t address the stressor that caused the imbalance in the first place, your hormones may remain chronically imbalanced.

What are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances?

There are numerous symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances. You may experience one or all of them. 

They can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Stress and worry
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Digestive issues 
  • Decreased quality of life 
  • Sexual dysfunction REF#4088

Learning how to manage a hormonal imbalance, even if it is temporary, can help you get relief and better manage your health. REF#4088 One way to help is by eating a balanced diet filled with hormone-balancing and nourishing foods. 

Supplements That Can Help With Hormone Balance

Eastern medicinal practices, like TCM and Ayurveda, have relied on herbs to support hormonal changes for centuries. Now, we can use them, too. 


This is an adaptogenic herb that helps meet your body’s stress levels and restore them to balance. REF#4094 When you feel weighed down, unbalanced, and continually stressed, ashwagandha can help encourage feelings of relaxation and nervous system balance.

You can find Ashwagandha in many of our supplements, but for balancing and nourishing your adrenal glands.


One of the most highly researched herbs for hormone health is Vitex. Taken from the Chaste Tree, this herb is also called chasteberry.9 It can help encourage overall hormone balance and minimize symptoms such as hot flashes. REF#4095

Supplements are a great way to help add extra support to your body when hormones are changing. There are also a few lifestyle changes you can make to help your body adjust. 

These include:

  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Getting high-quality sleep
  • Managing stress levels
  • Spending time outside

Stay In Balance

Hormonal imbalances happen at virtually every stage of life. Adjusting our diets and using herbal supplements can help us mitigate the side effects that might come along with those changes. 

For herbal supplementation, let Gaia Herbs be your guide. We source organic, sustainable herbs in their purest form, so you can trust that you’re getting exactly what’s on the bottle. 


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