Beans For Hormone Balance?
Beans. The subject of many a schoolboy (and girl) joke… and rhyme.
“Beans, beans good for your heart, the more you eat the more you … ” … well, you catch my drift!
Did you know beans and other legumes ARE good for your heart?
AND they are great for hormone balance, especially for the Perimenopausal Princesses and Menopausal Misses. And I’m about to dish *groans* the dirt on why beans are so good for us girls, to encourage some Lentil Love and Chickpea Cherishing.
Beans Contain Phytoestrogens
These are oestrogen-like substances found in some plants. They help hormone balance in the body. They help reduce risks of breast cancer They help calm menopause symptoms like hot flushes. They can help reduce breast pain and tenderness.
The Queens of Phytoestrogens are called Isoflavones. Soya beans, lentils and chickpeas are great sources. I suggest eating one serving of isoflavone-rich food daily. A serving is roughly a couple of ounces or 50 grams.
Beans Contain Fibre
Back to the rhyme? No. Fibre can actually reduce bloating and windy-pops.
Most girls know that fibre plumps out your poop, makes you “go” more regularly and generally helps for a healthier digestive system.
Did you know that fibre helps control levels of oestrogen in the body? Here’s how…
Old oestrogen that your body no longer needs, goes into your gut. You need fibre to bind to the old oestrogen and basically get rid of it in your poop. If you don’t get rid of all the old oestrogen, it can lead to “oestrogen dominance” – basically too much oestrogen. And too much oestrogen has been linked to fibroids, endometriosis and even breast cancer. Wahay, better hormone balance if you love your legumes!
A Word on Soya
Lots of women have heard that soya is good for them. The tell me that Japanese women eat loads of the bloomin’ stuff and have a lower rate of breast cancer AND reach menopause later in life. That may be true, but it’s not a fair comparison…wanna know why?
Soya might contain the Queen of Phytoestrogens, Isoflavones but not all soya is created equal. No sirree.
Soya can be highly processed and refined to make “soya protein isolates”. Processing sometimes means being exposed to aluminium and aluminium exposure has been linked to Alzheimers. Are the Japanese eating highly refined and processed soya? Maybe not.
So please read labels. Look out for the soya protein isolates and avoid them.
Also steer clear of genetically modified or GMO soya. And much of the world’s soya is now genetically modified. Bleurgh. I prefer not to eat a science experiment, if I can avoid it.
I suggest organic soya. And eat it in it’s natural form. Try miso, tofu, soya milk, tempeh, fresh or frozen soya/edamame beans to get your isoflavones.
The Spice of Life
There’s an old cliche that variety is the spice of life and nothing could be more true than in food choices.
Isoflavone filled foods include beans, chickpeas, lentils, which are beaut for hormone balance, as I said.
There are also different phytoestrogens called Lignans in flax seeds, grains such as oats and rice and veggies like green leafy veg and broccoli. They are also very positive for hormone harmony.
And AGAIN great for fibre. Make sure you grind your flaxseeds for maximum benefit. I like mine in smoothies or sprinkled on my porridge and granola. A couple of tablespoons are good for starters. And I grind mine in a cheap coffee grinder I bought online. It was a worthwhile investment.
So cook yourself up a storm and get more hormone balance with phytoestrogen and fibre filled foods into your diet, gorgeous girls.
Love those Lentils. Favour those Flaxseeds. And they don’t call them CHICKpeas for nothing, eh ladies?!
As a little gift, here’s my recipe for crunchy chickpeas – a tasty, savoury snack that is way better than crisps – honest!
Love, Kathy x