OPINION – I decided sometime ago to tackle my journey through menopause and hormonal changes as naturally as possible. It has definitely been a learning experience. I have tried a bit of everything. What I have learned is that what might work for one woman may not work for another. But you don’t know until you try! The trade off for not trying is a very frustrating, uncomfortable and sometimes just plain painful experience. I am not a Doctor and urge you to consult your medical practitioner before you try any of these ideas if you are having serious menopausal symptoms.

That being said here are my 10 top foods that I use to help keep my hormones balanced. In addition I exercise at least 30 minutes everyday, take a good multivitamin, make sure I get plenty of rest, meditate and practice yoga to reduce my stress and use essential oils.

Broccoli – and other calciferous foods (cabbage, brussel sprouts) are an excellent source of phytonutrients which helps to control estrogen levels. This is important because estrogen levels that are too high can create an environment for cancer to grow. Eat at least 2.4 cups of broccoli a week to reduce your risk to cancer.

Flaxseed – Add two to three teaspoons to your oatmeal, salad, smoothies, cereals to help reduce your cancer risk. Flaxseed is full of ligans that can prevent various cancers. I love to use ground flaxseed because it dissolves easier when making smoothies and shakes. There are also flaxseed supplements you can take that will give you the same benefit and the actual flaxseed .

Red Wine – Two glasses a week of Savingon, Cabernet and Pinot Noir have the high percentage offlavinoids that help fight disease, and lower stress levels which can help to lower cortisol levels. Plus a nice glass of wine at the end of a busy day is always relaxing.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Create a mixture of extra virgin olive oil and herbs to put over salad or use to braise your vegetables. Olive oil can help to suppress your appetite and helps to breakdown fats.

Cinnamon – Great for balancing your blood sugar and reducing your cravings. Just sprinkle 1/2 a teaspoon on your oatmeal, smoothies and even decaf coffee . Within 30 days you will see a significant improvement on your insulin levels.

Dark Chocolate – Not only taste great but has quite a few health benefits. Dark Chocolate can increase the endorphins which in turns will reduce the cortisol level that increase during stress. Just one square of dark chocolate can help increase your sense of well being by increasing serotonin levels.

Water – Drinking water is key when keeping your hormones balanced. You want to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses a day to prevent joint stiffness, weight gain, headaches, lack of focus and fatigue.

Tumeric – is a wonderful herb to add to your dishes such as casseroles, soups, and quiches. Tumeric helps to balance the hormones and is especially effective when combined with pepper. Garlic, rosemary, ginger and cayenne pepper are also helpful when balancing hormone levels.

Avocado – One of the most misunderstood vegetables. Yes, avocados can be high in caloric intake but they are a wealth of vitamins and minerals. They are high in Vitamin B which is needed to help combat the effects of stress on your body. Avocados help to lower blood pressure and are also high in mono-saturated fats and potassium.

Whey Protein – is great to add to smoothies and shakes. It helps to combat the effect of stress on the body, and can also help with weight loss, preserving muscle tissue, and enhancing your immune system. Try a scoop or two powdered whey protein for best results. If you have had any liver or kidney problems consult your medical practitioner first.