Healthy Eating For Hormone Balance: Men & Women’s Needs

eating for hormone balance

As a nutritionist, it’s crucial to understand the biochemical variances that exist between men and women. While the requirement for the macro nutrients (the carbohydrates, proteins and fats) are similar, physiological differences result in unique nutritional requirements.

One of the most notable biological differences lies in the hormones. In males, testosterone is the predominant hormone, it’s associated with muscle mass. For women, it’s the estrogen, which affects fat distribution and bone strength.

For these reasons, it is important to be mindful about eating for hormone balance depending on our sex. 

What are the key differences?

As a rule, men have higher metabolic rates and caloric needs, requiring more carbohydrates for energy and more protein for muscle development. They also require more zinc and magnesium which are crucial for testosterone production.

Women have their own unique set of nutritional needs. This is especially prominent during their reproductive years with a greater iron requirement, and during fetal development requiring more folate.

Women’s requirements for vitamin D and calcium are also higher, as hormonal fluctuations can affect nutrient metabolism, energy and appetite in women.

Knowing that our requirements are different gives us an opportunity to address our unique needs and make sure that everyone can optimise their health.

Foods to help increase men’s testosterone levels

Foods high in Zinc, vitamin D and magnesium help to increase testosterone naturally. These include;

  • Oysters
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Leafy greens
  • Legumes
  • Fatty fish
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Eggs
  • Olive oil

Foods to help support women’s hormones

Keep your estrogen, progesterone and testosterone hormones in balance with these foods;

  • Soybeans
  • Flaxseeds or hemp seeds
  • Dark chocolate or cacao
  • Legumes
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cruciferous vegetables


Eating for Hormone Balance: Top Recipes

Everyday tips for hormone support

For both men and women, there are lifestyle interventions that are necessary to support hormone production, things like;

  • Managing stress
  • Exercising daily
  • Sleeping well
  • Consuming healthy fats – avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, hemp seeds
  • Eating fermented foods daily
  • Avoiding sugars
  • Consuming adequate protein
  • Getting quality sleep
  • Maintaining a moderate weight
  • Increasing your fibre intake

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