Green Smoothies To Balance Female Hormones Naturally
Women are amazingly strong, but our hormone balance can be a bit delicate.
Common hormone imbalances can cause mood instability, stubborn weight, fatigue, hair loss, premature aging, lack of libido, often feeling hot or cold, gum and tooth issues, and so much more.
Using food as medicine, we can help maintain our hormonal balance as well as regain control over the hormones that may have gone out of whack.
I spoke with my friend Dr. Alan Christianson, New York Times best-selling author, naturopathic physician, and co-creator of our Healthy Hormone Revolution Masterclass, for a frank discussion and practical advice on female hormone balance.
Following his insights, we’ll share foods that are best for maintaining that balance, as well as my favorite green smoothie recipes for helping balance female hormones naturally.
In this post:
- How Hormones Get Out of Balance
- Best Foods For Balancing Hormones Naturally
- Green Smoothie Recipes for Female Hormone Balance
How Hormones Get Out of Balance
Our hormones are so critical for all of our body’s functions, and our body also works really hard to ensure they’re working properly. Sometimes, however, things go a little haywire. Dr. Christianson gives three main reasons your hormones may become imbalanced:
The most common example of a hormone-related disease is thyroid disease. Your thyroid gland contains many cells that make hormones that nothing else in your body can make, but unfortunately, the immune system can get confused and start attacking these cells and breaking them down.
“Imagine your immune system like a security guard you’ve got in your home,” says Dr. Christianson. “If there were a bad guy trying to break in, that guard would stop them and keep you safe.
“Now imagine the scenario that the guard is working 10 other jobs,” Dr. Christianson continues, “and he’s ridiculously stressed and frazzled and not sleeping at night. In a situation like that, you could see how the guard might get trigger-happy or make mistakes. That’s what happens in the case of disease states that affect the hormones.”
This faulty immune-triggering reaction is known as an autoimmune disease. When the autoimmune response flares up, the cells get damaged, and there are too few of them to make the right balance of hormones critical to good health.
Dysfunction is when your glands are working, but not exactly in ways that help your body. This dysfunction is most relevant to the adrenal glands, which are responsible for your stress hormones.
“Adrenals can become attacked just like the thyroid,” Dr. Christianson explains, “but typically what happens is that wires get crossed and the timing of the adrenals are affected.
“By timing, we mean how your body knows when to secrete certain hormones. For instance, natural daylight, or darkness and sunset, or temperature changes cue certain hormones to be released throughout the day.”
There are many factors that can disrupt how your body receives these cues, and thus confuse the adrenal glands’ signaling system. Dr. Christianson cites some common materials like plastics which contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that affect your hormone function, or lead that you might be tracking into your home from the soil outside.
“These chemicals can enter the body and they can alter those timing cues, and the adrenals don’t know when to function,” Dr. Christianson says. “They’re able to work—they’re not diseased, but the signals coming into them cause them to not work in ways that serve you, and that’s the main pattern of dysfunction that can affect hormones.”
When we think of aging, we tend to think of everything in decline. That’s just the way it’s supposed to be, right? Regular wear and tear until the bitter end. Not so.
According to Dr. Christianson, emerging science tells us that’s not quite how it works. We’re learning that genes use aging as an intentional, evolutionary strategy.
“Aging is not a mistake, it’s a process of planned obsolescence,” he says. Reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are designed to keep us energetic and healthy enough to reproduce and raise our genetic “copies,” but after that, the cold mathematics of our own genetics calculate that we’re taking resources from those younger copies.
The genetic plan for nature, according to Dr. Christianson, “is really to have older folks get out of the way and make room for the next generation. When we pass the window of time of reproduction and child-rearing, the hormones that help us reproduce start to plummet, and a lot of our protection against cellular damage also plummets. That’s when so many problems emerge that seem related to the aging process.”
Because of the close relationship between hormones and the cellular damage of aging, naturopathic hormone physicians like Dr. Christianson consider themselves to be practicing “anti-aging” medicine. They use nutrition, bioidentical hormones, and other protocols to balance and replace declining hormones.
[Related: 9 Questions For Your Hormone Doctor]
Best Foods For Balancing Hormones Naturally
The best foods for balancing hormones will contain vitamins and minerals that support the endocrine system.
For example, look for foods containing Vitamin B5, as it aids in the production of adrenal hormones, or B6, which helps detoxify excess amounts of hormones.
Other important nutrients include manganese, aiding in the synthesis of hormones; copper, which supports thyroid hormone production; and iodine, which is critical for thyroid health.
Cue the grocery shopping list! Below are some of the foods that contain these hormone-supporting nutrients:
- Flax seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Collard greens
- Split peas
- Brown rice
[Related: Is Buying Organic Food Always Necessary?]
Green Smoothie Recipes for Female Hormone Balance
I’ve got five delicious green smoothies for female hormone balance, which use some of the foods in the above list. These recipes make big batches, so get your mason jars ready!
1. Betsy’s “Can’t Live Without It” Green Drink (from Readers’ Favorite Healthy Recipes, Vol. 1)
This smoothie contains spinach, strawberries, and banana from the list above, but the ingredient I really want to highlight in this recipe is the flaxseed.
Flax is a key food for endocrine health. It has a minor phytoestrogen effect, meaning it mimics women’s estrogen hormones and may be beneficial for correcting hormonal imbalance. For even greater nutritional benefit, use sprouted flaxseed.
- 2–2 ½ cups water
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp flaxseed or sprouted flax
- ½ banana
- 1 apple
- 5–7 cups spinach
- 6–7 oz frozen strawberries
Blend in a high-powered blender until smooth.
2. Sunny Berry Smoothie (from Readers’ Favorite Healthy Recipes, Vol. 1)
This smoothie will make you feel energized and refreshed if you have it for breakfast, and is loaded with nutritious, hormone-balancing foods. Besides being anti-inflammatory, pineapple is included here for its manganese content, which is critical for helping your body use your hormones as they are intended (so those wires don’t get crossed!).
- 1 large handful collard greens or spinach
- 2 kale stalks, with the largest part of the stalk on the end removed
- 1 apple or pear (fresh or frozen)
- 1-2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
- 1 peach, mango, nectarine, or other fruit (fresh or frozen)
- Several large frozen strawberries
- 1 cup fresh pineapple juice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4-8 drops liquid stevia, to taste
- Optional: Sesame seeds, almonds, sprouted flax
Blend, baby, blend!
3. Blast of Broccoli (from Big Book of Green Smoothies)
Broccoli is a great source of Vitamin B5, which supports adrenal function. It’s also a different vegetable you probably have never put in a smoothie! Don’t be afraid to switch things up from what you’re used to, because a variety of foods means you get a variety of nutrients–and that means no deficiencies that could result in hormone imbalances. You could also use broccoli rabe, or broccolini, in this recipe as well.
- 2 ¾ cup water/ice
- ⅔ tsp stevia (or to taste)
- 2 cups broccoli (florets and/or stems) or broccoli rabe (found in Italian or Asian markets)
- Spinach, added until blended mixture reaches 5-cup line
- 1 orange, peeled and quartered
- 2 cups pineapple, chopped
- 2 bananas, frozen in chunks
- 2 cups frozen mixed berries
Blend first four ingredients until smooth. Add fruit and blend again until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours and shake well before serving.
4. Sexy Springtime Surprise (from Big Book of Green Smoothies)
There are many star ingredients for female hormone balance in this Sexy Springtime Surprise smoothie, but maca powder takes the cake. Maca is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it can directly affect your hormones to allow your body adapt to stress. Maca is a great superfood to add to your smoothies, or you can blend it in coffee or tea as well. It has a nutty, almost toffee-like flavor that adds a nice touch no matter what recipe it’s mixed with.
- 3 cups water/ice
- Mixed greens, added until blended mixture reaches 4-cup line
- Chard, added until blended mixture reaches 6-cup line
- ¼ cup maca root powder
- ½ tso lemon-flavored liquid stevia
- ¼ whole lemon (including peel)
- 2 cups pineapple
- 2 bananas, frozen in chunks
- 4 cups frozen berries
Blend first two ingredients until smooth, then add chard, blending until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve immediately for best results or refrigerate up to 24 hours and shake well before serving.
5. Banana-Berry Smoothie (from Readers’ Favorite Healthy Recipes, Vol. 1)
Also on the adaptogen list? Licorice root! We use it in a small quantity here, but this ingredient can mimic good stress hormones like cortisol, so it’s best for people who deal with low cortisol levels. That’s right, we need cortisol! It’s not always a bad thing. We need it for things like blood pressure control, glucose metabolism, and lowering inflammation. It’s when we overproduce cortisol, or produce high levels of it at the wrong times, that it becomes a problem. As well as including licorice root in your Banana-Berry smoothie, it can also be consumed as an herbal tea.
- 1 banana
- 1–1 ½ cup strawberries
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1 large handful spinach
- ¼ cup brown sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp flax seeds or sprouted flax
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- ¼ tsp licorice root
- Water, to desired consistency
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Eating foods that balance female hormones is easy and yummy in green smoothies, and is a fantastic support for any other protocols your natural hormone practitioner may recommend.
More GreenSmoothieGirl resources for learning about balancing hormones naturally:
- 9 Questions for Your Hormone Practitioner
- Hormone Health Revolution Masterclass
- Vibe Ep. 50: Thyroid Disorder with Dr. Alan Christianson
- Vibe Ep. 77: Balance Your Hormones with Magdalena Wszelaki
- Vibe Ep. 99: Hormones, Birth Control, and Your Daughter’s Health with Dr. Jolene Brighten
- Vibe Ep. 105: Healthy Hormones, Happy Life with Dr. Rob Jones
- Endocrine Disruptors: 14 Common Chemicals That Affect Your Hormones
Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
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