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Three Ways Fibre Helps to Maintain Hormone Balance

It’s amazing how easily hormones can get out of balance, it only takes one hormone producing gland to be out of whack and often the others start to follow suite creating a tidal wave of health challenges. Think weight gain, diabetes, bad PMS, skin problems, low libido!

Diet plays a huge role in creating and maintaining balanced hormones. With so many foods both helping and negatively affecting hormones it is best that I start with just one, that can be easily modified by you. That one is fibre! Getting enough fibre in your diet can help normalise certain hormones that impact mood, energy levels, fertility, sleep and weight gain / loss.

The three biggest ways that fibre can help normalize hormones is by:

  • Stabilizing blood sugar;
  • Reducing cortisol levels; and,
  • Flushing out excess estrogens

Stabilising Blood Sugar
Fibre, although technically considered a carbohydrate, does not break down in the body so is not converted to sugar and therefore does not raise blood sugar levels as other carbohydrates do. Subsequently, fibre not only helps lower blood sugar levels but helps keep blood sugar levels balanced by helping maintain a good weight.

A diet with sufficient fibre will keep you full longer and assist in weight management and loss. Weight loss impacts hormone balance significantly given fat (adipose tissue) is a hormone producing tissue.

Reducing Cortisol Levels
Due to its stabilising influence on blood sugars, fibre also helps to reduce cortisol levels which helps keep other hormones balanced, blood sugar in control and prevent weight gain.

High cortisol levels lead to excess weight gain (especially around the abdomen and hips) which leads to estrogen dominance.

Reducing Excess Estrogens
A healthy dose of fibre will help to eliminate excess estrogens that are produced by the body and eliminated via the bowels.
Without enough fibre to bind with, it is suggested that estrogen is recycled into our system and imbalance quickly starts to occur. This increases the likelihood of weight gain, impacts mood and can negatively influences fertility.

Consequently, this is why I ask you to examine your fibre intake and ensure you are getting the minimum 25 – 30g required for your body to function optimally.

There are many foods that you can obtain your fibre through.
The following foods contain soluble fibre:

  • Oatmeal
  • Bran
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Beans
  • All pulses
  • Flax seeds
  • Berries
  • Chia seeds

The following foods contain insoluble fibre:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Asparagus

It is best to get your fibre from a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains to ensure that you are getting both soluble and insoluble.

If you are not used to consuming much fibre, start adding it slowly so that your body can adapt to this new change. Sudden increases in fibre can often cause digestive distress. Over time your body will get used to the increase and will not have that problem. Also remember to drink plenty of water as you increase your fibre intake.

 

Nereda Merrin

Flex Body Nutritionist

See our Nutrition Page for more information about how Nereda can help you feel better.

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