“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Michael Pollan shared that sage advice and I have to say that not only has it changed my life and my hormone health, but it does the same for pretty much every client who struggles with hormonal imbalance too! Of all the plants for hormone balance, kale is my favorite. From tender, baby kale greens to the bumpy Neolithic texture of dinosaur kale to the curly green and purple varieties, kale has yet to disappoint. Raw, cooked and even massaged, kale may fast become your new BFF in the kitchen.
Below are all the reasons why you should add kale to your diet, especially if you want to balance your hormones.
- Kale balances estrogen.
Kale and all of the greens in the brassica family contain indole-3 carbinol, which is a powerful hormone balancer. I-3C promotes healthy estrogen metabolism, so the body is better able to eliminate excess estrogen and prevent estrogen dominance.
1. Kale has iron.
While kale isn’t brimming with iron, it does contain about seven percent of your RDA per cup. What’s impressive is that kale also contains copper and vitamin C, both of which help your body absorb iron from the digestive tract and store it in the liver
Iron is necessary for the body to synthesize thyroid hormones. Many studies have shown that hypothyroid people have lower serum iron concentrations compared to people with normal thyroid function. Healthy thyroid hormone balance means that you’ll have a lower risk of fertility and reproductive health issues, lower risk of heart disease, an easier time balancing your weight, energy, sleep, and mood, not to mention healthier eyes, nails, skin, and hair too!
2. Kale can ease PMS symptoms.
Mood swings, pain, irritability, bloating, and all the other symptoms caused due to your menstrual cycle are signs of imbalance. Kale to the rescue! Would you believe that this leafy green might make your periods bearable! Here’s the deal: Calcium levels in your blood can decrease during menstruation because of hormonal fluctuations that cause estrogen levels to spike, which in turn, lowers blood calcium. Getting calcium from foods like kale can help maintain hormone balance and alleviate your symptoms. Calcium and Vitamin K in kale help balance your hormones and fight the symptoms of PMS.
3. Kale can balance your stress hormones and boost your mood.
Kale is full of B vitamins, Vitamin C, and antioxidants, which help balance cortisol, counteract free-radical damage and reduce systemic inflammation. Less inflammation, less damage, balanced cortisol = less stress.
4. Kale supports detox.
Kale is rich in sulfur and fiber, which are great detoxifiers. Not only do they help flush toxins from your liver but, they support healthy digestion too. Since your liver is a key player in hormone health and overall health, we want to keep her happy! It doesn’t hurt to support proper bowel movements either. Pooping 3 times a day is optimal for great health. Constipation allows hormones and toxins to fester in the intestines and recirculate in the body (and that makes you feel gross!)
Keen to give kale more of a starring role in your cuisine? Swap out half of your regular salad greens for baby kale. Add a handful of tender baby kale to your next smoothie instead of spinach. Tear up a bunch of dinosaur kale into bite-sized pieces and massage it with about a teaspoon of coconut oil and a dash of salt, pepper, garlic and lemon juice for a delightful dish.