This brain fog busting, hormone balancing smoothie is one of the new things I’ve added to my daily regimen. It has helped me so much that I decided I just had to share it here on the blog.
That’s because if you are a woman over 40 who is not feeling energetic, calm and clear-headed chances are you could possibly use a “hormonal tune up.”
This recipe is a follow up to my DIM, the estrogen balancing supplement for women. Even if you are not going through menopause (which I am not yet), if you are a woman over 40 then your hormones ARE changing. Some women are more sensitive to hormonal changes than others, and I think I am one of them.
Introduction to The Hormone Cure
As my new favorite hormone expert, the Harvard educated Sarah Gottfried, M.D., explains in her must-read book The Hormone Cure , the hormonal chaos can typically be traced back to three hormones she calls your “Charlies Angels”: estrogen, cortisol and thyroid.
But don’t worry, it’s not all downhill after 40. The good news is, there’s a lot you can do to balance things out.
Listen to Ivy talk about the smoothie on WPTV
Hormones and Birth Control
Before going further, I feel I should also point out that I do not currently take birth control pills. I only took birth control pills for a 2 month period in 1998 in my early twenties, but I stopped as soon as I was diagnosed with MS .
For what it is worth, twenty years ago I did not know what I know about birth control pills today. However, my gut instinct told me that any medication that interferes with the body’s natural hormonal cycle could potentially cause serious side effects. Little did I know how very detrimental birth control pills can be to a woman’s body–and mind!
The Perfect Hormone Balancing Smoothie
There are so many benefits and overall life improvements since I started adding in this hormone balancing smoothie every day. I selected adaptogens and superfoods that are scientifically backed to create the biggest impact.
No More Sugar Cravings
Every single friend who has tried the hormone balancing smoothie says the same thing. They are not hungry for hours after and it totally shuts down their sugar cravings. Although thankfully I have not had to battle sugar cravings in a while, this was what I did to finally stop them.
As for me, I have been drinking the hormone balancing smoothie recipe consistently for almost 2 weeks now and have noticed a very real difference in my energy as well as my ability to handle stress. I’ve stopped feeling so overwhelmed at each and every little thing. If I run out of toothpaste it’s not such a big deal. That wasn’t the case just a few weeks ago 😉
Brain Fog Be Gone!
And, the brain fog is gone. The funny thing is, I didn’t even think I was having brain fog. I just thought I wasn’t handling stress as well as I once did. Now that my brain is clearly working better, I noticed that I was feeling stress because I wasn’t able to get my to do list done as quickly or efficiently.
I might have worked for 2 hours straight editing new posts for Clean Cuisine, but only accomplish an hour of quality work. Thankfully, I am definitely getting more done and more efficiently since I’ve started the smoothie.
This Smoothie Gets the Job Done
I do have to be 100% honest, this hormone balancing smoothie is probably not going to win the “Best Tasting Smoothie of the Year” award. But, it’s certainly not downright terrible either. This is more of a “get the job done” recipe.
In fact, I created the recipe for myself and never even intended to share it here on the blog. But it is making too big of a difference in how I feel not to share. That’s because from day 1 you will notice a difference.
Shop Local for Ingredients
Down below, I share a breakdown of all the ingredients in my hormone balancing smoothie. Many of the ingredients in the smoothie recipe can be found in a well-stocked natural foods store.
However, in case you have difficulty finding them I have included a link to brands you can purchase online next to each ingredient.
How the Hormone Balancing Smoothie Works
The brain fog busting, hormone balancing smoothie is full of superfoods & adaptagens. These supplements increase mental flow, boost energy, support healthy estrogen & progesterone levels, boost mood & curb sugar cravings.
Again, even from day 1, you should notice feeling more energized, calm and clear-headed.
Maca Powder is Hormone Balancing
I’ve been talking about the benefits of maca for years now. However, I’ll be honest and tell you that I have not been consistently taking it until now. Maca can help with insomnia to low energy, hot flashes to vaginal dryness and low libido, and even anxiety and depression.
Maca has consistently been shown to help women (and men!) with an array of bothersome hormonal symptoms. Dr. Gottfried explains in more detail why mood-boosting maca is a girls best friend in on her website here.
This is a good brand of Organic Maca Powder.
Ashwagandha Powder Helps to Lower Cortisol
Thanks to hormonal changes, many women over 40 may start to notice anxiety for the first time in their lives. Or if they have had anxiety in the past, they may notice it all of a sudden getting worse with age. Ashwagandha is an adaptagen that works by lowering cortisol levels and mimicking the “calming” neurotransmitter GABA.
An effective, evidence-based remedy for anxiety, stress, and insomnia, ashwagandha also has anti-inflammatory properties. FYI: It is best to take ashwagandha in the root form (as a powder) rather than the leaf form.
This is a good organic brand for Ashwagandha Powder.
Flaxseeds are an Omega-3 Superfood
We recommend that you get a serving of omega-3 and lignan-rich flaxseeds every day. Flaxseeds are good for men and women because they support hormonal health, provide extra fiber and have anti-inflammatory benefits. They are also one of nature’s richest food sources of lignans, potent antioxidants that fight free radical damage and act as phytoestrogens.
Flaxseeds are also rich in fiber and fiber helps flush out “bad” estrogen. All in all, flaxseeds are potent anti-cancer and hormonal-health superfoods.
For years I made it a point to eat 2 or 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds everyday, but you know how life goes. Somehow I got out of the flaxseed habit, but now I’m back. When it comes to hormonal health, the lignans in ground flaxseed can make a BIG difference.
Flaxseed Study Showed Reduced Hot Flashes
One study showed that eating just 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds twice a day for 6 weeks reduces hot flashes. This is a key symptom to hormone imbalance and half of the study showed the hot flash intensity diminished by 57 percent.
Lignans and a few other naturally occurring phytoestrogens have been shown to provide protection against hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast cancer (1), ovarian cancer, uterine cancer (2), prostate cancer (3) and even colon cancer. F And I am back to eating them every single day.
This a good brand of organic ground flaxseeds.
Hemp Seeds Contain Omega-6 GLA’s
Just like flaxseeds, I’ve been talking about the health benefits of hemp seeds for years now. This is an incredible plant based source of biologically available and easily digested protein. Hemp seeds also contain a healthy anti-inflammatory 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fat. In addition, hemp seeds contain an especially beneficial type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones.
Unfortunately, this special omega-6 fat is not typically found in foods. Hemp seeds are just about the only edible food source of GLA. While it’s true your body can convert the typical food version of unprocessed omega-6 called linoleic acid (LA) into the “useable” GLA form your body needs, the conversion process can be thwarted by many internal and external factors.
Hemp Seeds are a Powerful Inhibitor of DHT
For example, the older you get the less efficient the enzymes your body uses to convert LA into GLA become. Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, infections, and even stress can reduce your body’s ability to convert dietary LA into GLA. And, if you also happen to be experiencing hormonal hair loss or hair thinning, it’s good to know GLA is a powerful inhibitor of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone. Whether you are a male or female, DHT is the enemy for your hair. Simply put, GLA blocks DHT and that means less hormonal hair loss.
This is my favorite brand of organic hemp seeds and used in many Clean Cuisine recipes.
Raw Cacao Powder is a Source of Iron and Magnesium
Thanks to life stress compounded with hormonal changes that make it more difficult to manage stress, many women over the age of 40 struggle with a constant cortisol surge. Not only does the cortisol surge make them feel miserable, but it restricts blood flow to the brain. Thus, impairing cognitive function and memory, which inevitably leads to more stress and more cortisol! It’s a viscous cycle.
In what might be the most popular study ever performed on cortisol, cacao-rich dark chocolate was shown to lower cortisol. It has also been shown to increase serotonin levels and stabilize blood sugar levels. But you do NOT want to just grab a sugar-loaded Hershey’s bar and call it a day.
Raw Cacao is a True Superfood
Cacao is the active health-promoting ingredient in chocolate. Raw cacao is a true superfood. This superfood powder has one of the highest plant-based sources of iron and magnesium. In addition, it has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries and more calcium than cow’s milk. By the way, here are 10 reasons why milk does not do a body good.
This is a good brand of organic raw cacao powder.
Vitamin C Rich Camu Camu Powder
Another superfood, vitamin-C rich camu is another one I have talked extensively about on the blog in the past. Here’s the deal, the camu berry is a Peruvian superfood and one of the world’s most abundant sources of vitamin C. It contains as much as 60 times more C per serving than an orange! But unlike vitamin C supplements, camu powder is a whole food. Unlike vitamin C supplements, camu contains a full spectrum of the naturally occurring bioflavonoids your body needs in order to properly utilize and metabolize vitamin C.
Vitamin C Treats Low Progesterone
And if you are a woman over 40 years old, you need to make certain you are getting plenty of vitamin C. One of the hormonal changes that occur in middle age with women is that they start to make less progesterone. This contributes to the dreaded (but very prevalent) estrogen dominance problem.
Vitamin C is the only over-the-counter nutraceutical treatment for low progesterone that is proven to be both safe and effective. In addition to balancing estrogen, progesterone plays a critical role in optimizing your thyroid health and if you are over the age of 40 you are at risk for thyroid dysfunction. The vitamin C in camu is also critical for your adrenals to function properly.
Camu Supports Over 300 Different Body Functions
The more stress your body is under, the more vitamin C your body needs. And your body doesn’t just need vitamin C to lower cortisol and fight stress. This critical antioxidant is essential for more than 300 different functions in your body. Vitamin C even plays a critical role in the creation of key feel-good neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine. And there is no better way to get your vitamin C than from a whole food, which is exactly what camu is.
This is a good brand of organic camu camu powder.
Collagen Powder Helps Our Bodies Build and Restore
For the hormone balancing smoothie, I used the Collagen 1 + 2 that is unflavored. Collagen is in every tissue of the body and is the connective tissue in structures such as skin, hair, nails, bones, lungs, heart and liver. It is often referred to as the glue that holds the body together. Adequate intake is necessary to produce our own collagen as well as maintain healthy metabolism.
Traditionally, collagen used to make its way into peoples’ diets through foods like bone broths, slow-cooked organ meats, kidney pies, baked beef hearts, whole crustaceans, and whole-fish soups and stews. If you are not routinely eating these types of foods, then chances are your body is not getting the naturally occurring collagen protein it needs. Your body needs collagen to help restore and rebuild itself, which indirectly can negatively impact symptoms related to hormonal health.
Collagen Contains Amino Acids and L-Lysine
Collagen powder contains numerous amino acids and is rich in l-lysine and l-arginine, both amino acids. Several studies, one randomized, of more than one hundred subjects who supplemented with the amino acids L-lysine combined with L-arginine showed that the combination reduced salivary cortisol levels as well as anxiety.
In another study, 90 percent of women with thinning hair, were deficient in the amino acid l-lysine as well as iron. The point is, if you do not give your body the building blocks it needs to repair itself then you can’t possibly expect to perform at peak performance. Adding collagen powder to your hormone balancing smoothie recipe simply fills in any missing nutrition gaps.
This is a good brand of unflavored collagen powder.
Acai or Wild Blueberries Pack a Huge Antioxidant Punch
Both Acai and wild blueberries are packed with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, fiber, anti-inflammatory antioxidants and phytonutrients. They all work indirectly to boost energy and stamina, curb appetite hormones and support a healthy metabolism.
Whether you choose acai or wild blueberries, both “superfruits” reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. These two are major underlying causes of cognitive problems, including loss of memory and “brain fog”, that can occur with hormonal changes in women over 40.
If you are going to go with blueberries, you definitely want to choose wild blueberries because they pack a much more powerful antioxidant and nutritional punch than conventional blueberries.
Both Acai and Wyman’s Frozen Wild Blueberries are available in the frozen section of most supermarkets.
Frozen Cauliflower Provides Magical Detoxification
I know green smoothies are still all the rage. However, when it comes to reducing estrogen dominance then cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower (as well as cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts) are better than leafy greens. For what it is worth, cauliflower works it’s hormone balancing magic through through phase 1 and phase 2 detoxifcation.
Keep Eating Your Greens… Just Not in This Smoothie
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should not eat your greens. If you have our Clean Cuisine nutrition book or are familiar with our anti-inflammatory food pyramid, you know eating a large serving of nutrient-dense dark leafy greens every day plays a very important role in our overall nutrition recommendations in the past and it still does.
However, when it comes to the practicalities of daily life, I find it so much more convenient to eat a salad than I do to make cauliflower (or any other cruciferous vegetable) on a consistent basis.
Frozen Cauliflower Blends Beautifully
Frozen cauliflower is the one that blends most easily and without any funky aftertaste into a smoothie. I simply prefer to get my daily cruciferous vegetable in my smoothie recipe and eat my greens in a salad. Of course you can always substitute kale or spinach for cauliflower if you wish, but I don’t recommend it.
Find frozen cauliflower in the frozen section of your grocery store. You definitely want to use frozen cauliflower rather than fresh as frozen has already been pre-blanched.
Optional Hormone Balancing Smoothie Ingredients
Dates, stevia and pure vanilla extract are completely optional. If you need a boost of sweetness, then consider one of these additional ingredients to add to the hormone balancing smoothie. Also, feel free to omit if you do not want your smoothie to be sweet.
Doing Everything Right, but Not Losing Weight?
If you feel that you are doing everything right but not losing weight, you might want to look into 12-hour intermittent fasting. I highly recommend that you check out the 4 BIG Benefits of Intermittent Fasting article.
For those of you with food allergies and food sensitivities, it’s helpful to know this Hormone Smoothie Balancing Recipe meets the following dietary restrictions:
Egg Free / Grain Free / Bean Free / Gluten Free / Dairy Free Option / Soy Free / Nut Free / Paleo-Friendly / Vegan Option (eliminate collagen) powder)Print
Hormone Balancing Smoothie for Women Over 40
Women over 40: If you want to feel energized, calm & clear-headed, then this brain fog busting/ hormone balancing smoothie recipe is for you. It’s chock full of superfoods that increase mental flow, boost energy, support healthy hormones, boost mood & curb sugar cravings.
- Prep Time: 7 minutes
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 1 (BIG) serving 1x
- Cuisine: Smoothie
- 2 tablespoons collagen powder
- 1 teaspoon camu powder
- 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon maca powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries OR 1 package unsweetened frozen acai
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower florets
- 1 frozen banana
- Optional: 3 or 4 medjool dates
- Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon stevia powder
- Optional: Go Raw brand “Coco Crunch Sprouted Granola” topping (for sprinkling on top)
- In a blender jar, add 1 1/4 cups water and 1/2 cup ice. Add the collagen, camu, cacao, maca, ashwagandha, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, frozen wild blueberries (OR frozen acai), frozen cauliflower and frozen banana.
- Process in a for at least one full minute, or until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- To make the smoothie sweeter: Add the dates, vanilla and stevia powder and process until smooth and creamy.
- To add a crunchy topping: Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of Go Raw brand “Coco Crunch Sprouted Granola” topping.
- Drink cold.
The hormone balancing smoothie recipe can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in a covered container (such as a thermos) in the refrigerator.