If you’re struggling with hormonal acne or hormonal imbalance, consuming more cruciferous vegetables may help.
Cruciferous Vegetables for Hormone Imbalance & Hormonal Acne
Cruciferous vegetables, such as arugula, broccoli, and cauliflower, contain many healthful nutrients and phytochemicals, but it’s their glucosinolates – which are unique to cruciferous vegetables – that may be the most beneficial for hormone health.
When you eat cruciferous veggies, the glucosinolates are converted into sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, and DIM which play a role in liver detoxification.
The Role of the Liver & Gut in Hormone Balance
The liver regulates the balance of hormones. It transforms or removes any excess from the body with the help of the gut. Your liver breaks down excess hormones like estrogen and sends them to your gut to eliminate via a bowel movement. If your liver is not working efficiently to break these excess hormones down, or if you’re constipated so that you’re not excreting them in a timely fashion, this may lead to hormone imbalance.
If your body is bombarded with toxins (from the environment, personal care products, alcohol, smoking, food, etc.) and / or you’re not consuming enough nutrients to support the liver’s natural detoxification processes, your liver may become “sluggish” or inefficient, resulting in an inefficient breakdown and elimination of excess hormones.
How Cruciferous Vegetables Aid in Hormone Balance
This is where cruciferous vegetables come into play. They support both your liver and your gut, facilitating efficient hormone and toxin breakdown by the liver and elimination by the gut.
When you chew and digest cruciferous vegetables, the by-products that are created as a result of digesting the glucosinolates (sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol, and DIM) stimulate the enzymes required to remove excess hormones and toxins, supporting and protecting your liver, so it can work optimally.
Cruciferous vegetables are also high in fiber and help to maintain a healthy and balanced gut microbiome. This aids in regularity and elimination, which is crucial for hormone balance.
Cruciferous Vegetables & Thyroid Issues
If you have thyroid issues you may have been advised to avoid cruciferous vegetables however, there is research to indicate they may only become problematic in the presence of an iodine deficiency. So, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider about it before making any dietary changes.
How Much Cruciferous Vegetables Should You Eat?
For mild hormone imbalance, 1-2 cups of cruciferous veggies daily, lightly cooked may be beneficial, while for a more moderate imbalance, you may want slightly more.
What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?
Cruciferous vegetables are part of the Brassica genus of plants. They have a little “kick” or “bite” to them, and a pungent, sulfur-like smell.
- bok choy
- brussels sprouts
- collard greens
- mustard / mustard greens
Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes
Sweet & Salty Antioxidant Salad
Spicy Blueberry Arugula Salad with Hemp Crusted Avocado
Crispy Orange Sesame Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts Recipes
Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts
Kale & Avocado Salad with Chickpea Croutons