The food we consume has an effect on our hormones.1 Being mindful of what we consume and its effect on our health is vital, including how it changes our hormones and has a massive impact on our lives and well-being.
Most of our hormones are usually affected by certain foods, especially blood sugar regulatory hormones (e.g., insulin) and stress hormones (e.g., cortisol). Hormonal imbalance has some symptoms, which include depression, insomnia, low libido, hair loss, infertility, weight gain, and fatigue.2
Certain drinks could have a positive effect on our hormones, but there is no particular drink that balances hormones on its own. Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can contribute to hormonal balance.
Drinks that can improve hormone imbalances
Drinks that could be helpful as a part of a balanced diet for balancing your hormones include:
It is important that you stay hydrated, as this is vital for hormonal balance. The production and regulation of your hormones can be enhanced by drinking enough water.
One-half to one-third of our body weight is made up of water. Our body depends on water for almost all the processes necessary for survival. Dehydration in our cells and tissues disrupts the normal functioning of body systems, including hormonal regulation.
Water is essential in flushing out toxins and excess hormones from our bodies. If we do not drink enough fluids throughout the day, we become dehydrated, allowing the accumulation of biologically active molecules, including hormones, which can affect our mood, behaviour and well-being.
Water is also a major part of our blood, which is essential for the transportation of hormones throughout our body and for taking away the excess.
Water is also vital for the excretion of solid wastes as it keeps the stool soft enough to be passed, avoiding constipation.
Water has a major role in temperature regulation, hydrating and nourishing our skin and tissues. This helps to combat hormonal imbalance symptoms like hot flush, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and acne.
When we are dehydrated, the body reacts by producing a stress response. This stress response increases the hormonal levels of cortisol, which can impact the levels of other hormones in your body. And finally, the brain requires water for proper control of the release and balance of hormones in our system. A dehydrated brain cell may not function or produce hormones properly.6
There are numerous health benefits associated with green tea, one of which is the enhancement of hormonal balance. Antioxidants are present in green tea and they help in the reduction of inflammation that can contribute to hormonal imbalances.
Hormones are responsible for the regulation of vital bodily activities, and when they are regularly or chronically (long-term) imbalanced, it can lead to several health problems. Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is implicated in the regulation of hormones.4 Also, green tea is a good source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that help in hormonal balance. Ways green tea helps in balancing hormones include:
- Antioxidants: Certain antioxidants, like catechins, are standard green tea flavonoids. They help in reducing oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress could heat up the hormonal imbalance. Hence, the reduction of these oxidants could help in enhancing hormonal balance.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Green tea has been revealed to have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce bodily inflammation. Hormonal imbalances have been associated with chronic inflammation. Thus, reducing this inflammation could promote hormone balance.
- Insulin regulation: Some studies have made suggestions regarding the impact of green tea on insulin levels in the body. Green tea regulates insulin function in the body.7 Insulin resistance contributes to hormonal imbalance as insulin plays a major role in metabolism
Smoothies prepared with fruits, vegetables, and protein powder are nutritious and can help with balancing hormones. Some ingredients like flax seeds or chia seeds, when added to the smoothie, provide beneficial fats required for the biosynthesis of many hormones. Smoothies are also a nutritious means of supporting hormonal balance since they are full of minerals, vitamins, and fibre.
Certain ingredients that could be added to smoothies for hormonal balance include avocado, which is a good source of fibre and healthy fats that aid the regulation of insulin. Coconut water or almond milk can be used as a base in smoothies, and milk and/or yoghurt can be used. Leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in vitamins and minerals essential for hormonal balance. These vitamins include vitamin D, and vitamin K. Minerals include calcium, potassium and phosphorous. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are rich in antioxidants and could help reduce inflammation in our bodies. Flax seeds or chia seeds contain fibre and healthy fats, essential in the regulation of blood sugar levels and the promotion of hormone balance.
Kefir is a dairy product that is fermented and contains probiotics that can help support your gut and contribute to hormone balance. Kefir contains bacteria that help to support gut health. A healthy gut is vital for hormone balance since the gut plays an essential role in hormone metabolism and regulation.5
Calcium is also present in kefir, which is also essential for hormone balance. Calcium plays a vital role in hormonal processes which include hormonal release and the regulation of blood sugar.
Kefir also contains vitamin D which is also important in hormonal balance. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with hormonal imbalance, and obtaining enough vitamin D is crucial in hormone regulation. Kefir is a good source of protein.
There is no drink anywhere that you can use to balance your hormones single-handedly, but there are some drinks that you could add to your balanced diet in order to support your hormonal balance. Regular hydration with water, drinking green tea, consuming smoothies prepared with fruits and vegetables, drinking herbal tea, and consuming kefir are some ways to help balance your hormones. It is essential that you consult your healthcare professional before making remarkable dietary and lifestyle changes to balance your hormones.
- Barnard ND. Your body in balance: the new science of food, hormones and health. London: John Murray; 2020. 1 p.
- Palacios S, Stevenson JC, Schaudig K, Lukasiewicz M, Graziottin A. Hormone therapy for first-line management of menopausal symptoms: Practical recommendations. Womens Health (Lond Engl) [Internet]. 2019 Jan [cited 2023 Nov 29];15:174550651986400. Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1745506519864009
- Ahammed GJ, Li X. Hormonal regulation of health-promoting compounds in tea (Camellia sinensis L.). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry [Internet]. 2022 Aug [cited 2023 Nov 29];185:390–400. Available from: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0981942822002947
- Liao S. The medicinal action of androgens and green tea epigallocatechin gallate. Hong Kong Med J. 2001 Dec;7(4):369–74. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11773671/
- Martin AM, Sun EW, Keating DJ. Mechanisms controlling hormone secretion in human gut and its relevance to metabolism. Journal of Endocrinology [Internet]. 2020 Jan [cited 2023 Nov 29];244(1):R1–15. Available from: https://joe.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/joe/244/1/JOE-19-0399.xml
- Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health: Nutrition Reviews©, Vol. 68, No. 8. Nutrition Reviews [Internet]. 2010 Aug [cited 2023 Nov 29];68(8):439–58. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-lookup/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
- Yu J, Song P, Perry R, Penfold C, Cooper AR. The effectiveness of green tea or green tea extract on insulin resistance and glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Metab J [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Nov 29];41(4):251. Available from: http://e-dmj.org/journal/view.php?doi=10.4093/dmj.2017.41.4.251