Cruciferous vegetables are great for acne, slow ageing & happy hormones.
The most common hormonal imbalance is estrogen dominance in women. The hormones are out of check either from excess estrogen or unbalanced progesterone. Estrogen dominance manifests itself in conditions such as endometriosis, PMS and fibroids. It is not surprising the estrogen dominance since many of the products we use daily like skincare, cleaning, packaging and food expose us to imbalances in our hormones. Good digestion and elimination are some key factors for healthy removal of estrogen and glowing skin.
Cruciferous vegetables particularly are rich in a substance called DIM (diindolylmethane) which is a key part of liver elimination of mutated estrogen metabolites and detoxification. We have heard about some broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower not being great for thyroid health, but this is not always the case.
For example in the first two weeks of our female cycle during the menstrual and follicular phases, kale and broccoli work well to help eliminate much of the excess estrogen that may be lurking around and promoting hormonal imbalances. In the second half of the cycle moving from ovulatory to the luteal phase, cauliflower, cabbage and collard greens are great in addition to other hormone boosting foods work with the estrogen and progesterone balances at this time.
What we notice is that cruciferous veggies are also rich in antioxidants which eliminate the free radicals which speed up ageing. The expression of the one of the key antioxidants from these vegetables is known as sulforaphane. The sulforaphane found in these cruciferous vegetables is the key component which could slow and reverse the ageing process along with other health benefits. Sulforaphane is a sulfur containing molecule which reverses ageing, stops inflammation, kills cancer, protects the brain and ends cardiovascular disease. While broccoli sprouts have the highest amount of this sulforaphane, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens and brussel sprouts.It is recommended to only do light steaming or cooking methods to maximize the sulforaphane, but hey if you get sprouts you can enjoy those raw in lesser frequencies.
We know that antioxidants are of benefit to our skin and preserving of our human bodies. The antioxidants in these cruciferous foods are not as high as other foods like tea, cocoa and coffee but they do contain valuable amounts especially in the sprouts to preserve our skin and in combination with healthy antioxidant rich whole foods can contribute to glowing skin naturally.
Hormonal Acne and Skin health
People have long thought that diet would be linked to acne but now scientists have evidence that this is true. Not to mention for women, many of the hormonal breakouts that happen around different parts of our cycles due to excess intake sugars, dairy, fats or other pollutants. They can be ameliorated with our cruciferous veggies. Dairy is one of those high estrogen foods that contributes massively to our imbalances and soy could also be a contributing factor to be mindful of. The rich soluble fibres of these cruciferous veggies and leafy greens have been shown to stabilise blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and feed the microbiome which boosts our gut health.
What to eat and what to avoid for great skin?
- High GI Foods
- Soda and juice drinks
- Refined sugars
- White flour and bread
- Ice cream
- Junk Foods
- Fried foods
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Fish and Flax Seeds for their omega 3
- Green Tea
- Zinc rich oysters and pumpkin seeds
- Juice dark leafy greens
- Probiotics (water kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi)
- Lemons and lemon water
Methods to enjoy these foods
Cooking the cruciferous veggies reduces the goitrogenic effects that have been thought to interrupt our hormonal health by blocking the iodine uptake. For women with hypothyroidism, they may still wish to limit but not eliminate goitrogens from their regular intake as it may decrease iodine further. Thyroid issues can be traced back to autoimmune conditions triggered by digestive health by which the digestive system should be a major target for healing.
- Kale chips
- Cauliflower “rice”
- Asian stir fry broccoli
- Fermented cabbage sauerkraut
When us nutritionists recommend that you eat your broccoli and sprouts, it is for more reasons that you may imagine. The top contributions you make to your health when you eat from the cruciferous family include improve acne, slower signs of ageing on your skin, having happier hormones, improved gut health, and we know that people who tend to eat more vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower as part of their balanced diet have healthy waistlines.
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