Ever wondered what foods to incorporate into your day to help out your hormone health? If you've heard me speak, read my books or a regular here on the blog, you'll know I'm a big advocate for foods that enhance liver health.
One group of veggies that just can't be ignored are the cruciferous family, also known as brassicas- including cabbage, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, brussels sprouts and broccoli. They help to clear excess hormones from your body, such as oestrogen and testosterone through liver detoxification and gut support.
When working efficiently, the phase 2 liver detox, prevents imbalances such as oestrogen dominance. Oestrogen dominance may contribute to the symptoms such as breast tenderness, puffiness, headaches, anxiety, insomnia (especially in the lead to your period), painful and heavy bleeding, plus worsening conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids.
The liver also plays a role in eliminating excess androgens, which if left at high levels can contribute to the symptoms of PCOS.
Another way munching on brassicas can improve your hormone health is through your gut. They provide important prebiotics- fibre fuel for your beneficial bugs, which have an important job in the elimination of wastes from your gut- including excess hormones. Your liver metabolises and packages up your oestrogen (that is no longer needed in your body) and prepares it ready to pass onto the next phase of elimination. If you're struggling with constipation however, this can also lead to hormone imbalance in your body. The oestrogen lingers for longer and it can be recycled back into your system via an enzyme that is switched on from a slow moving bowel, called betaglucuronidase. The result? Your liver is presented with more work from yet another load of oestrogen.
You can find out further inspiration and education to support your gut and liver detoxification for balanced hormones, here.
While I adore of all these liver and gut loving greens (especially when they're cooked to help out thyroid health), I understand they're not everyones veggie preference. So I've created a simple way to spice up your plate of broccoli for your family to enjoy and embrace the liver cleansing and hormone balancing effects this cruciferous veg with additional herb power brings.
Serves 2 adults (if aiming for the hormone healthy 2 cup portion of greens)
4 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized peices
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon ghee, butter or extra coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary leaves (using the herb rosemary through your diet is another way to support your liver health for healthy hormones)
Sprinkle of salt. I use this one for nourishing my thyroid.
What You'll Need To Do:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Line a baking tray with bleach free baking paper.
Melt your ghee/ butter and/or coconut oil in a medium saucepan with half of the rosemary leaves. Once melted, add your broccoli and mix well, covering all pieces.
Arrange the broccoli out onto your baking tray and sprinkle with the remainder of your rosemary leaves.
Roast for 10 minutes before shaking/ stirring the broccoli to turn them over and add back into the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the stems are tender.
Sprinkle with healthy salt and serve as a snack for your little ones or with your choice of protein and starches, such as baked fish and roast pumpkin for a main meal.
That's it. Time to enjoy!
Got a bubba under 11 months? Their gut may not be ready for broccoli yet, so you can find other age appropriate nourishing recipes for their solid food introduction here.
Otherwise, be empowered with more ways to improve your hormone health, in my book Balanced, The Natural Way To Healthy hormones.