Recipes Ultra healthy

25 Vegan Recipes for Hormone Health

By Lora O’Brien

Hormones — including oestrogen, testosterone, adrenaline and insulin — are vital chemical messengers that affect many aspects of your overall health. They’re secreted by various glands and organs, including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, and pancreas. Your entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if even just one is slightly imbalanced, it can lead to major health problems.

Many factors including stress, poor gut health, vitamin D deficiency and lack of sleep, can cause hormone levels to go a little crazy. Even food can play heavily on how our hormones behave – for better or worse – according to Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist.

How diet affects hormones

The food we consume provides the energy and nutrients that allow the body to produce hormones and energy. If your diet doesn’t supply enough fuel to help make all of the hormones you need, it will automatically prioritise the production of stress hormones first over others, such as reproductive hormones or those associated with metabolic functions. And why is that? Well, stress hormones are essential for our survival. So, when you’re not properly sustaining your body in a healthy way, stress levels rise, and this then has an impact on our overall health and well-being.

Stress can also come from emotional or physical sources, which can stem from anything such as not eating a sufficient amount of calories, not getting a decent sleep every night or even having an illness. So, whilst it’s hard to control all the hormones your body naturally produces, you can fuel your body with a high quality nutrient-dense diet that will help it to effectively reach a stable equilibrium when it comes to hormones.

Signs and symptoms of hormone disruption  

Are your hormones off kilter? Here are a few key signs and symptoms you can look out for:

  • changes in mood including symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • severe fatigue
  • hair loss or thinning
  • low libido
  • sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • disturbed sleep or insomnia
  • unexplained changes in appetite
  • irregular periods and/or infertility
  • signs of fluctuating blood sugar levels, including nervousness and weakness.

Lifestyle changes to support hormone health

Before we delve into the foods that will help improve your hormone health, there are some crucial lifestyle changes you can make, too. Since stress and your surrounding environment can play huge roles when it comes to your hormones, it makes sense that you would work to eliminate these as best as possible. Chronic stress can have the same detrimental effects on the body that poor diet and lack of sleep can have, so taking the time to relax and to reduce any tension will help to drastically improve your overall well-being and balance your hormones.

Other ways you can manage stress in a natural way are by: exercising regularly, practicing yoga or meditation, spending more time outdoors in nature, being more social and practicing aromatherapy with essential oils. Getting enough sleep is essential, as is taking care of your liver, which impacts hormone balance. You can maintain a healthy liver by consuming less alcohol, quit smoking, limit the use of over-the-counter drugs and by adopting a diet that is high in plant foods.

Foods for hormone health 

Each person is different, so it’s worth noting that when transitioning to a healthier diet, individuals will see and feel results at a different pace. Depending on how drastically you’re changing your diet, you may suffer some side effects. These can range from a change in digestion, such as bloating and gas, to brain fog and moodiness. You can expect this to last for several weeks, and will dissipate once your digestive system gets used to the new foods that you’re providing your body with. After two to three weeks, you’ll notice huge improvements when it comes to your energy and focus. You may even find your taste buds have changed and you’re enjoying new flavours. Other changes you may notice is your sleep quality, mood and even weight.

Be sure you’re eating high quality, non-GMO foods, and try to stick to these guidelines:

1. Vegetables (3 or more servings, cooked or raw, throughout the day)

Leafy greens like kale, chard or spinach, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocados, beets or beet greens, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, green beans, eggplant, squash, pumpkin, mushrooms, onions, radish and tomatoes.

2. Fruit (2 or more servings per day)

Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, mango, apples, pears, bananas, melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, cherries, coconut, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, limes, peaches, nectarines, papaya, pineapple, plums, pomegranates and rhubarb.

3. Healthy fats (3 or more servings, at least one with each main meal)

Coconut oil or milk, olive oil, olives, avocados, sesame oil, walnut oil, macadamia oil, grape seed oil.

4. Complex carbs (in moderation, about 2 to 3 times per day)

Whole or ancient grains including brown or wild rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, and millet, beans and legumes like lentils or chickpeas, sweet potatoes, yams, butternut squash and other starchy veggies like yuca or taro.

5. Probiotic foods (try to have every day)

Yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi and kombucha.

6. Nuts and seeds (in moderation, about 1 to 2 times per day)

Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and cashews.

7. Other superfoods

Sea vegetables like kelp or wakame, wheat or barley grass, apple cider vinegar, mustards, hot sauces, vinegars like balsamic, coconut palm sugar, blackstrap molasses, dark chocolate, tamari, coconut aminos and cocoa.

What to avoid

A general rule to abide by is that the fewer ingredients used, the better – and of course, homemade food is always best.

Avoid these foods:

  • high fructose corn syrup & sugar in all forms
  • all vegetable oils but coconut, avocado, hemp or olive
  • caffeine
  • processed foods
  • any food additives and chemicals
  • alcohol

So how can you ensure your meals are balancing your bod? Just check out our recipes, below.

Vegan Recipes for Hormone Balance

1. Banana Bread Oat Protein Smoothie

Clean proteins are vital for hormone balance, and what better way to kick-start the day than with this delicious banana bread smoothie? The protein from this comes from the chia seeds and peanut butter, but you could add in some hemp protein for an added boost!

Get the recipe here.

2. Strawberry Milk

Looking for a hormone-balancing breakfast? Strawberries are super high in antioxidants and all coconut products contain lauric acid, which is great for encouraging hormonal production. Add a tablespoon of flaxseed to make this even healthier for your hormones.

Get the recipe here.

3. Homemade Kombucha

Gut health is essential for balanced hormones, and probiotic foods like kombucha help support that, big time. It’s easier to make than you think: you just need some kombucha scoby and you’re good to go!

Get the recipe here.

4. Veggie-Stuffed Vegan Omelette

Wondering how to make an omelette without using eggs? The secret ingredient is…chickpeas! Yep, chickpea flour makes the egg-free omelette, and black salt gives the dish a surprisingly authentic eggy flavour. The biggest hormone booster? All of those veggies!

Get the recipe here.

5. Avocado Sprout Toast

Upgrade your avo on toast by throwing on lots of goodness, from broccoli sprouts to sunflower seeds. Avocado is not only delicious to eat, but provides a dose of healthy fats that will leave you looking and feeling fab!

Get the recipe here.

6. Curry Roasted Cabbage

Struggle to chow down on your veggies? Herbs and seasonings will be a lifesaver when it comes to sprucing up your five-a-day. Curry and cilantro work together to turn this cabbage into a side dish you’ll be happy to eat. Add some coconut oil for added sweetness and a health boost.

Get the recipe here.

7. Raw Vegan “Goat” Cheese Dip

A cheese recipe that is both raw AND good for you? That’s exactly what this vegan goats cheese recipe is! The ‘cheese’ is made from cashews, which makes it wonderfully rich and creamy, whilst the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes add a savoury element.

Get the recipe here.

8. Cashew Broccoli Kelp Noodles

Sea vegetables are great for hormone balance, and if you’re unsure how to include them into your diet, why not start with kelp noodles? They’re super easy to turn into a stir-fry like in this dish, and whilst they’re low in calories they’re high in minerals.

Get the recipe here.

9. One Pot Spinach Rice

Looking for a quick and delicious dish to serve as a side or main? This one pot spinach rice is healthy, and packed full of proteins, fibres and vitamins. Plus, it only takes around 30 minutes to prepare, making it ideal for days when you’re in a rush. Add a load of extra thyme for a big hormone boost!

Get the recipe here.

10. Vegan Brown Butter Gnocchi With Herbs

Sage is well known for its hormone-healing properties, and it tastes damn good, too – especially when paired up with some pillowy-soft gnocchi!

Get the recipe here.

 

11. Black Bean & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers 

Stuffed peppers make a great vegan meal! You can pretty much pack them full of goodness, like the black beans, quinoa and sweet potato in this dish. They’re all topped with dairy-free cheese and fresh cilantro. Quick, easy and totally yum!

Get the recipe here.

12. Rainbow Cauliflower Pizza

Yes, it’s true. You can still take care of your hormones whilst eating pizza! But let go of the pizza slathered in cheese and tomato sauce. This pizza is made using cauliflower as its base, and is topped with a rainbow of delicious veggies.

Get the recipe here.

13. Black Truffle Pasta

Truffles have such a hormone stimulating effect that even the scent of them works to help the brain boost sex hormones. So you can just imaging what eating them can do! No wonder truffles are known as an aphrodisiac…

Get the recipe here.

14. Vegan Miso Ramen

As you know by now, fermented foods help gut health, and gut health helps hormone health….so this tasty miso ramen bowl is healthy as heck. It calls for some fancy ingredients, like dulse and tamarind paste, but frankly, you can add whatever you like.

Get the recipe here.

 

15. Seaweed Soup

This hearty soup is super easy to make, and is loaded with key minerals and nutrients that not only boost your health in general, but strongly support a balanced thyroid, too.

Get the recipe here.

16. Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas 

Sure, baked sweet potatoes are one thing but STUFFED potatoes? Next level! These babies are stuffed with marinated chickpeas and then topped off with an avocado tahini sauce that’s packed with healthy fats.

Get the recipe here.

17. Creamy Vegan Sauerkraut Soup

Not sure how to use sauerkraut? Turn it into this creamy, comforting vegan soup. It’s bursting with immune boosting goodness, such as celery, onions, carrots, potatoes and white beans, all of which are packing some serious fibre content, too.

Get the recipe here.

18. Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower Buddha Bowls

Buddha bowls are a great way to boost your body with goodness, and you can pretty much throw whatever you have on hand into them. This vegan bowl has roasted turmeric cauliflower, brown rice and lots and lots of hormone boosting veggies!

Get the recipe here.

19. White Beans & Roasted Fennel

Fennel is Gaia’s gift to womankind, really. It helps with menstrual cramps, balances hormones, and of course, tastes amazing – especially when braised and served with white beans, Italian style!

Get the recipe here.

20. Hormone Balancing Nut Butter Bark

We all need a treat from time to time, and this nut butter bark is studded with hormone balancing foods. Yep, a sweet treat that will leave us feeling good. What a time to be alive!

Get the recipe here.

21. Coconut Berry Bliss Bars

If you’ve never tried the combination of strawberries and coconut, you need to rectify that ASAP! These bliss bars are made from lots of hormone balancing ingredients, and are naturally sweetened with dates and coconut.

Get the recipe here.

22. No-Bake Chaga Maca Cookie Bites

A potent antioxidant, ground chaga is paired here with maca root powder for a natural hormone and health boost – in raw cookie form. These two ingredients may not be the most common things in your kitchen, but once you buy them (here and here), you can sprinkle them in smoothies, on yogurt, cereal or even in tea. Naturally sweetened using lots of plant-based ingredients, these are sure to become a staple in any household.

Get the recipe here.

23. Energizing Raw Coconut Maca Fudge

Fudge that will leave you feeling both energised AND good? Sign me up! It’s packed with hormone balancing maca, but best part about this raw fudge is that it literally melts in the mouth, thanks to that healthy coconut oil.

Get the recipe here.

24. Iced Golden Milk Turmeric Latte

This is a great iced coffee alternative! It’s loaded with spicy, anti-inflammatory turmeric and other ancient, healing spices, and  will leave you feeling well and truly flooded with goodness.

Get the recipe here.

25. Happy Hormones Hot Chocolate

Who knew that chocolate recipes could actually be so healthy? The star here is that hormone balancing miracle ingredient: maca! Maca helps your body to produce whatever it is lacking, and whilst it doesn’t contain hormones, it can help to generate any that you’re deficient in. And of course, it’s caramel-like flavour blends so, so well with chocolate!

Get the recipe here.

Main image: from holistic hormone help

 

 

Lora O'Brien

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