When you think of hormones, what comes to mind? Is it symptoms you may experience around your cycle like irritability or moodiness or maybe it is the hot flashes you are experiencing during menopause? Hormones do have a role in those symptoms but they do so much more! 

Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel throughout the bloodstream to tissues and organs. Hormones work slowly overtime and affect several different processes including: 

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism – how your body gets energy from the foods you eat
  • Sexual function
  • Reproduction
  • Mood & Emotional health
  • Digestion
  • Energy Management
  • Sleep

Hormones are produced in the endocrine glands (pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands, and pancreas). Also, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce hormones in their ovaries. It may help to think of your hormone production like an orchestra. The HPA (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, Adrenal) Axis is the conductor. Each is listening to the other and blending together to make beautiful music. OR what happens many times is that these instruments (our glands) come in at the wrong time or don’t play at all and the orchestra is no longer producing harmonious music but rather dissonant, off key sounds. This is where our hormones become haywire. There are several ways we can help the orchestra to make beautiful music once again resulting in happy hormones. 

Here are some symptoms of hormone imbalances:

  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss 
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability, anger or panic attacks
  • Constipation 
  • Diarrhea or more frequent bowel movements 
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Dry, coarse skin and hair
  • Hot flashes 
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Infertility 

The pyramid below is a guide to restoring hormone balance, in this article we will be focusing on the first two layers: Nutrient Dense Diet and Digestive Health.

Nutrient dense diet is the foundation:

  1. Hormones are made from specific nutrients
  2. Each gland is dependent on a specific mineral.

Digestive health impacts hormone balance:

  1. Microbiome play a role in converting inactive hormones to active
  2. Gut detoxifies excess hormones

As with most health conditions a nutrient dense diet should be looked at first. IFM (Institute of Functional Medicine) reports, “Specific nutrients, dietary patterns, and overall nutrition may play either beneficial or detrimental roles in hormonal balance.” (1) Hormones need adequate nutrients in order to be produced. Every gland is dependent on a mineral, this is why a healthy diet focused on whole foods is important for hormone production. See chart below for an example of the nutrient needed to produce the specific hormones: 

KEY NUTRITION that includes the following to support hormone production include: 

  • Fatty acids from natural fats (seeds, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, avocado)
  • Amino Acids (clean protein sources)
  • Cholesterol 
  • Specific minerals – each gland is dependent upon a mineral for example:
    • adrenals = copper  
    • thyroid = iodine  

The Mediterranean diet in particular includes fatty acids, amino acids and nutrient rich foods. This anti-inflammatory diet has several benefits in the body but specifically for hormones it provides what is needed to support hormone production. A study conducted showed that a Mediterranean/Low Carbohydrate diet model is a good treatment for overweight PCOS patients, significantly restoring their menstrual cycle, improving their anthropometric parameters and correcting their disturbed endocrine levels, and its overall effectiveness is significantly better than a low fat diet model. (6) 

Mediterranean Diet consists of:  

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean proteins (like fish)
  • Whole grains 
  • Beans and legumes
  • Healthy fats like olive oil

Seeds = Fertility = New Life. Seed cycling is an example of using specific seeds that have anti-inflammatory, natural hormone balancing and antioxidant properties to support happy hormones. For women, the goal is to help balance the two phases of your menstrual cycle (the follicular and luteal phases), by influencing the key hormones involved. During the follicular phase flax and pumpkin seeds are utilized, while sesame and sunflower seeds are ideal for the luteal phase. The seeds provide nutritional benefits which enhance the hormones in their respective phases. (7) 

Cruciferous vegetables = Cancer fighters. IFM reports, “additionally, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower contain glucosinolates, which help the body send estrogen metabolites down the pathway that helps prevent and suppress the development of hormone-modulated female cancers.” (5)

When it comes to dietary changes for hormonal health the coaches at Eureka! can help to create a personalized eating plan that incorporates healthy fats, seed cycling if necessary, or additional specific nutrients/minerals to meet your individual hormone needs! Move from haywire to happy with nutrition!

The second underlying layer when looking at hormone balance is digestive health. Stomach pH, adequate enzymes, liver and gallbladder nutrients and microbiome balance can all impact hormone levels. Hormones signal when we are hungry, when we are full, when certain enzymes need to be activated. Without these digestive hormones you may experience a lack of specific nutrients (even if you are consuming the necessary foods). Gut microbiome balance is also important for the regulation of hormones, as a number of hormones are synthesized (built) by beneficial gut bacteria. (8) The state of the microbiome may also play an important role in the regulation of certain hormones (especially sex hormones). It is reported by NIH, “It appears that not only is the gut microbiome influenced by sex hormones but also the gut microbiota itself also influences hormone levels.” (4) 

We also know that many hormones are converted from inactive to active in the gut and liver. Therefore, rebuilding our gut health optimizes this conversion while also supporting our detoxification of excess hormones. (3)  For example about 25% of thyroid hormone is converted to active in the gut. So, it may not be a gland problem at all. Increasing active thyroid hormone levels by 25% by improving gut health may just solve it vs. medication for the thyroid gland. THAT’S the Functional Medicine difference.

If our methylation pathways are blocked or not optimal, then hormone imbalances can occur. (You can read more about ways to improve your Detoxification systems here and your GI health here). Ensuring that your detoxification and digestive systems are functioning properly helps to restore hormone balance. 

When managing hormones it is important to look at the full picture. Lifestyle, diet and how your systems are functioning are all factors that should be considered. At Eureka! we look at the individual as a whole! Personalized protocols along with functional testing provide our clients with the tools needed to help their hormones go from haywire to happy! 

Interested in learning more about how Eureka! can helps support your hormones? Join our Hormone Protocol this month for only $40!

*Be looking for Part 2 of Haywire to Happy Hormones coming later this month! 


  1. https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/nutrition-impacts-hormone-signaling/
  2. https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/balancing-thyroid-hormones-naturally/
  3. Eureka! Nutrition Course
  4. He S, Li H, Yu Z, Zhang F, Liang S, Liu H, Chen H, Lü M. The Gut Microbiome and Sex Hormone-Related Diseases. Front Microbiol. 2021 Sep 28;12:711137. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.711137. PMID: 34650525; PMCID: PMC8506209.
  5. https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/womhorm-chronic-illnesses-menopause-role-nutrition/ 
  6. Mei S, Ding J, Wang K, Ni Z, Yu J. Mediterranean Diet Combined With a Low-Carbohydrate Dietary Pattern in the Treatment of Overweight Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Patients. Front Nutr. 2022 Apr 4;9:876620. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.876620. PMID: 35445067; PMCID: PMC9014200.
  7. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/a-guide-to-seed-cycling-for-hormonal-balance
  8. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/using-functional-nutrition-to-address-hormone-imbalances 

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