If your hormones are out of whack – your skin won’t glow.
In actual fact, your whole body won’t function at it’s very best at all!
Happy balanced hormones are just as important for a healthy glowing you as having perfect gut health.
Two perfect examples of what happens when hormones are out of whack, are puberty and menopause.
Many women transitioning through in their late 40s and early 50s think their skin will stay looking the way it does, even if it is not ideal – but once they pass through to post menopause where their hormone activity is pretty non-existent or they start to suffer from estrogen dominance – that’s when you see the dryness, crepiness and complete loss of collagen and elastin occur – the glow goes.
But in so saying – you can still achieve beautiful skin post-menopausal with the correct diet, and a hydrating skincare routine.
And puberty – this period of our lives doesn’t have to be tormented by bad skin – possibly a few pimples here and there – but not septic acne. When a teen’s diet is clean and full of hormone balancing foods with processed chemical laden foods removed– the skin will stay clean and clear. This is also a period in a person’s life when food sensitivities begin to show – so a good time to try removing certain foods such as gluten and dairy and seeing how the skin, mood, and body reacts.
Our hormones are heavily affected by what we eat. When gut health isn’t optimal, hormones become imbalanced.
Research shows that the gut microbiome plays a major role in estrogen regulation. These studies indicate that poor gut health increases the risk of estrogen-related diseases such as PCOS, endometriosis, and even breast cancer.
Scientists have found that 95% of Serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced and stored in the gut. This is why people with unhealthy gut microbiomes also often experience feelings of depression and anxiety.
An unbalanced gut microbiome is also one of the causes of a low-performing thyroid, also known as Hypothyroidism. Symptoms of this include chronic fatigue, weight gain, and hair loss.
Insulin is in part regulated by Lactobacillus reuteri which is stored in the gut. With inflammation being a key symptom of an imbalanced microbiome, a deficiency of this beneficial flora makes it even worse.
Vitamin D3, which is a precursor hormone, is not absorbed well by the body if gut health is not in optimal shape. This vitamin is crucial to health on many levels and chronic deficiencies lead to a host of other problems.
Gut health also influences healthy cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a precursor to maintaining a healthy balance of Progesterone and Estrogen.
So how do you go about gaining optimal gut health and optimal hormone balance?
Getting the gut back on track.
Firstly, we need to get our gut health back on track by consuming gut healthy foods.
Unfortunately eating lots of yoghurt and swallowing a truck load of probiotics is just not going to cut it – you are going to have to do a lot more than that.
Yoghurt as a source of probiotics is my pet hate. Many so-called healthy yoghurts are loaded with sugar which undoes the goodness of probiotics – so they are a total waste of time – if not actually causing more gut issues.
Unless a yoghurt is pot set and free of sugar – you are not going to get the full benefits from the probiotics in the yoghurt – most yoghurts have probiotics added after they have been made so the yoghurt is not what you call a fermented food – the fermentation process is the important part of the yoghurt as much as the actual bacteria.
Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh, tofu, kefir (this one again – check for sugar added, ideally drink water kefir over milk based kefir) are all great sources of probiotics and prebiotics – only eat those found in the fridge section in your health food store, fruit shop or supermarket. Once the jars are heated to seal for shelf storage and travel – the bacteria are killed.
Spirulina and Chlorella are two fantastic sources of gut healthy lactobacillus bacteria – early research has found that spirulina helped improve ageing mice with their gut bacteria, and microflora is microflora no matter what mammal you are.
Eating a diet high in the following hormone balancing foods – will also improve your gut health, and your hormones.
Hormone balancing foods.
I have to admit that I am a bit of a picky eater – many of the so-called healthy meal recipes which I read about do everything bar make me want to cook them – so I am not going to give you a list of unpalatable recipes filled with ideal foods – just what you should add to your daily diet. I will of course also give you healthy alternatives for them.
First of all – let me give you a list of what foods MUST go.
+ Sugar – all forms of sugar are unhealthy – unless you go back to sugar’s pure form – molasses. Sweeteners are out as well – many of them are linked to cancer. Instead use monk fruit extract, coconut sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup or stevia which is often seen mixed with erythritol.
+Alcohol – all forms of alcohol should be avoided or at least cut down to once per week and then ideally it should be red wine. The liver removes excess hormones as well as toxins from the body. When the liver has to detoxify the liver of alcohol it makes it harder for it to remove excess hormones – which can cause the body to become for example estrogen dominant (Estrogen dominance can affect a woman’s body in many ways, including abnormal menstruation (heavy/painful periods), PMS, headaches, decreased sex drive, bloating, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety & depression, breast tenderness, endometriosis, fibroids, and hormonal weight gain – plus it lowers progesterone – the happy hormone).
+Anything which contains an emulsifier or binder, or “don’t actually know what that word is on the label” or number (a number is basically not a real food) Anything which has not grown in the ground, or eats what grow in the ground – man made foods, even those which say made from corn, soy, oil etc – is still man-made – our bodies don’t know what to do with them, which causes inflammation in the gut.
+Farmed meats – all meats which don’t say free range or grass fed. Beside the fact that this form of farming is completely barbaric – the animals don’t get enough sunlight, fresh air, grass or any healthy nutrients. They are fed on chemical laden grain which is passed on to you the consumer. They are traumatised, stressed with excess adrenal activity – which you then consume.
+Caged eggs or barn laid eggs – unless the eggs say free range or organic -the chickens don’t see sunshine and grass or dirt. They too are fed processed chemical laden grains and lack natural sunshine and vitamin D.
+Refined carbs – white flour, biscuits, cakes, so called health bars sold with muesli bars in the same isle – they are generally full of sugar, binders and other nasties.
+Dairy. Dairy in the past used to not be an unhealthy food. Cows produced something we now know as A2 milk – they were a different breed – plus, the milk was drunk raw, full of healthy colostrum and probiotics. Today’s cows have been genetically modified, and their milk contains A1 (form of beta-casein) which is being linked to inflammation, leaky gut syndrome and diabetes, whilst A2 milk is easier to digest and contains strontium that boosts the body’s immune system, prevents intestinal flare ups and promotes healthy blood sugar levels. But in so saying – this milk today too is dead – it is pasteurised, and homogenised – so nothing healthy is left in it.
Unfortunately, cheese is generally made from dead A1 milk so off limits as well.
+Margarine, and popular cooking oils such as canola oil and safflower oil. They contain mass grown, heavily sprayed ingredients which become toxic when heated up.
Hormone balancing foods
I know this can be a hard thing to do – but whenever and wherever possible – eat organic, homegrown, or pesticide free – or any products which say that they are grown in an eco-friendly environment. – The later means they are usually organically grown, but the supplier hasn’t the money to apply for certification or they are going through the process (an extremely hard and expensive process for small producers).
+Broccoli, and even better broccoli sprouts. Broccoli is loaded with sulforaphane – the sprouts containing even higher levels per gram. Scientific studies have found that sulforaphane has the ability to reduce breast cancer cell clusters and keep Helicobacter pylori (nasty bacteria associated with the proliferation of cancer at a bay).
+Sprouts. They best type of sprouts are those grown in your kitchen. All plants start as sprouts – and the best ones for hormone balancing besides broccoli are clover sprouts – especially red clover, alfalfa sprouts, hemp seed sprouts, chia seed sprouts, you name it – they are powerhouses of nutrition and proteolytic enzymes which help the body digest proteins and carbohydrates as well as absorb nutrients.
+Greens – all greens – kale, silverbeet, spinach, bok choy and all of the other Asian greens, watercress, celery, cucumber, leeks, lettuce, cabbage – you name it. Everything green – the darker the green the plant is the better – are all great for you.
The darker the colour of the leaves the more chlorophyll the plant contains – it is nature’s healer and can neutralise bad breath and body odour nearly instantly as it is incredibly detoxing. Green plants are also loaded with silica which is important for glowing skin. Green plants are also calming and help with stress. Green plants create an alkaline environment in your body – for glowing skin your body needs to be alkaline and free of toxins – nothing does this better than green plants.
Greens neutralise, deodorise and detoxify.
+Seeds – are nutrient dense and filled with healthy fats – the two main seeds most important for hormonal balance are pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.
+Pumpkin seeds and oil contain phytoestrogens that help improve estrogen levels whilst preventing excess estrogen – this is really important in phase one of the woman’s menstrual cycle. Pumpkin oil and seeds also contain the amino acid tryptophan which is lacking in people’s diets because it is heat sensitive so tends to burn off. The body cannot produce tryptophan so it is important for us to consume it. Tryptophan is important for our nervous system and sleep cycles – sleep is important for healthy hormones.
+Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil, contains 66 percent edestin and 33 percent albumin. Edestin is used by the body to produce almost all types of enzymes, hormones, and blood molecules whilst also contributing to stress reduction. Albumin maintains the strength of tissues which contributed to taut smooth skin.
Oil from hemp sees boasts one of the highest percentages of Essex fatty acids of any seed on earth, it is an almost perfect ration to meet the body’s nutritional needs.
EFA’s (essential fatty acids) are antioxidants that protect the skin from sun-damage and support the health of the brain, eyes and cardiovascular system. They also help removed toxins from the skin, intestinal tract, kidneys and lungs.
Hemp seed oil is a outstanding source of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid or AHA), omega-6 (linoleum acid and gamma-linoleic acid or GLA) an anti-inflammatory powerhouse that helps hormone balance and omega-9 (oleic acid).
Hemp helps treat eczema, dryness, scaling, cracking and some forms of acne.
+Flax seeds and flaxseed oil, also contain phytoestrogens and work in the same way as pumpkin seeds– increasing estrogen when needed and deceasing it when it is not needed. Early research is undergoing looking into flaxseed oil as a replacement for hormone therapy.
+Honey – supports the production of melatonin, which is essential for a good night’s sleep, and sleep affects telomeres, a critical component of healthy ageing.
Honey contains amino acids, and in its raw unprocessed form, honey is one of nature’s richest sources of live healing enzymes, containing about two hundred active substances on average.
+Maca – is from the cruciferous family whose members are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, radishes, and turnips. Maca has the ability to balance your glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculature. It is also an adaptogen – so helps your body deal with stressful situations. It works on your adrenals to provide you with energy whilst at the same time keeping you calm and level-headed.
Maca is mainly known for its libido and fertility enhance properties and this is because of its action on the hypothalamus, the sex-hormone centre of the brain. The hypothalamus stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone, which in turn stimulates the adrenal glands and the gonads to secrete testosterone, progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
Why is this so important? As you become overburdened with toxins, demineralized, and suffer from poor nutrition, you produce less of these hormones. This decrease causes the physical signs of ageing.
Therefore, increasing hormone production naturally with maca can keep your body looking younger longer. Fortunately, since maca is an adaptogen, it will keep your hormones is check leveling them out only when needed.
+Sweet potatoes/kumara – these delicious tubers are not only loaded with skin plumping hyaluronic acid, but also B6 a vitamin which assists liver detoxification.
+Sunflower seeds – are high in vitamin E which is linked to lowering the breast cancer cells and are thought to help boost progesterone levels.
+Wild Salmon – is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which are needed for hormone health as fats are needed to produce cholesterol which is critical for healthy hormone production and lower the chance of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Salmon is also a source of natural vitamin D which is a fat-soluble vitamin needed to make our hormones.
+Avocado – is loaded with beta-sitosterol, which can positively affect blood cholesterol levels and help balance cortisol. The plant sterols in avocados also influence estrogen and progesterone. Avocados are also nutrient boosters helping the body absorb more fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin D, and alpha and beta-carotene and lutein.
As always also drink 2 litres or more clean and unfiltered water – the cleaner your liver is and better hydrated your gut, the better your skin will be as well.
If you need one on one help, book a Glowing Skin Appointment with me.
Thank you for reading my blog!
I am Yvette van Schie, I am a holistic beauty therapist, skin nutritionist, skincare developer and makeup artist. I am passionate about sharing real beauty advice with a whack of reality.
For over 30 years I have worked with the best in the beauty and health industry as a trainer, educator and product formulator and I still do – so my knowledge is diverse – I am not blinkered when sharing my information with you because everyone I speak to shares what they know, and I turn it into easy to digest information because I want my readers to feel empowered to make their own decisions and to feel that they are fully in control of their beauty and well being.