Optimizing Your Nutrition For Healing

I often get asked about what diet is best for our hormones and honestly if feels like a really hard question to answer since it’s usually coming from someone that isn’t a client.

The best diet for your hormones will be relative, but I do think there are things we can all do to reduce stress on the body and support our hormones. So that’s what I’m digging into today!

Step 1 of Hormone Healing Nutrition: Minimize Stress On The Body Via Balanced Meals

When I think of a hormone healing die I think of blood sugar balance. Why? Because most of us are dealing with hormone imbalances due to stress. The best way to support this balance is minimizing all stress within our control.

Eating balanced meals with a protein, carb and fat is definitely within our control. This provides stable blood sugar for your body and is the theme of how to reduce stress on the body. Why? Drops in blood sugar lead to a rise in cortisol (stress hormone) so that your body can get sugar from your liver and have healthy blood sugar levels again. Yes, our bodies are designed to do this to keep us alive, but we can also avoid another rise in cortisol by eating enough and eating balanced meals.

I don’t know about you, but I have enough things that spike my cortisol during the day so I’m going to keep eating starchy carbs at all meals.

Carbs don’t make you fat. They provide the energy that your body is craving. Giving your body carbs allows it to know it’s fed, has energy, and to function optimally.

Example of a balanced meal:

3 eggs scrambled with spinach and peppers with a piece of sourdough bread and a peach.

Step 2 of Hormone Healing Nutrition: Minimize Stress On The Body Frequent Meals

Now that we’ve got the balance under control, let’s talk frequency. If we want to avoid blood sugar drops and cortisol spikes that set us on a blood sugar rollercoaster, we also have to be mindful of how often we are eating.

I recommend eating a meal or snack every 3-4 hours. This helps avoid that blood sugar drop and provides your body with a consistent stream of energy. The goal is to avoid going too long without eating. I also find that most of my clients under eat and many struggle with cravings. These first two steps help solve both of those problems.

Step 3 of Hormone Healing Nutrition: Minimize Stress On The Body With Nutrient Dense Foods

Make it easy for your body to get the nutrients it needs by including nutrient dense foods. These are foods that contain a large amount of absorbable nutrients in a relatively small amount of food.

I want to emphasize absorbable. Vegetables contain protein and micronutrients, however, they are not as easily absorbed as those in animal products. I’m not saying not to eat veggies! Please do not take this that way. I’m saying making sure you include high quality animal foods in your diet as well so you can get as much out of your food as possible.

My Top Nutrient Dense Foods For Hormones:

  • Grass fed beef
  • Eggs
  • Wild shrimp/cod
  • Coconut oil
  • Sea salt
  • Organ meats
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Leafy greens

What the Actual F Amanda?!

I know, I know. You probably wanted some extreme take on nutrition telling you to only eat certain foods and only eat at certain times. Sorry, you won’t find that here.

Im sure at this point you’re probably also wondering about diets like keto and intermittent fasting. Here’s the deal, those can sometimes work in a short term setting to experience relief, but if we are talking longterm hormone health I don’t see it in my practice. To heal hormones we need to relieve stress and this is how you do it with food.

The way you eat needs to be enjoyable and sustainable. Vitamin P (pleasure) is a real thing and studies show that people that enjoy their food break down and absorb nutrients better. Having a flexible diet also allows you to enjoy time with loved ones. Our relationships are just as important to our health as food.

I hope this is helpful! I know sometimes we have to unlearn many things we have been taught to heal, but it’s worth it.

a great podcast episode I did to help you unlearn extreme ways of eating is the episode, Metabolism 101 & Unlearning dieting dogma and Top 5 Nutrition Myths!

reminder: i’m currently taking on 1:1 clients. if you’d like to explore what it would be like to work together and if we are a good fit, fill out this form to get more details!​

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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