This article is an excerpt from my research paper, “Nutritional Guidelines for Transgender Patients.” It is not intended to function as medical advice. Before beginning or changing your diet, always consult a healthcare provider.
Nutrition is an important part of Chinese Medicine that should not be overlooked especially when working with clients taking hormones and other medications, as those medications can have significant effects on a client’s digestive system and nutrient absorption.
For any client, it is most important to start with a basic healthy diet. Clients should try to avoid animal products raised with hormones, salty and fried foods, sugar, white flour, chocolate, processed or refined foods, soy, alcohol, and caffeine, and to add more fresh fruits and vegetables (Gladstar, p. 84-85). Clients should also try to avoid too much raw or cold food and drinking with meals; and focus on chewing thoroughly, eating slowly, and eating a variety of foods (Caruso-Radin). Eating plenty of healthy fats helps to support mental health since fats form the myelin sheaths that coat nerve and brain cells, allowing them to function more effectively (Midnight). Fats also support the body in making hormones, many of which are derived from cholesterol (Midnight). Starting with these guidelines, specific nutrients may be used to support synthetic hormones and create a new healthy balance based on the client’s goals. Nutrition is extremely important for anyone’s health, but is especially valuable in a transitioning process which can cause both bodily and mental stress. Creating a diet that fits a client’s goals can ensure more compliance as well as enhance the work being done with other modalities.
American Pregnancy Association. Folic Acid. June 2014. Retrieved from americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/folic-acid/
Balch, Phyllis and Balch, James. Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 3rd edition. Avery, Penguin Putnam Inc, New York. 2000.
Bennett, Alan. How to Convert Cholesterol to Pregnenolone. Livestrong: Health. January 28, 2015. Retrieved from livestrong.com/article/72359-convert-cholesterol-pregnenolone
Caruso-Radin, David. Nutrition East and West. Course at AIMC Berkeley, Winter 2015.
Coffman, Melodie Anne. Which Foods are Rich in CoQ10? Livestrong. January 10, 2014. Retrieved from livestrong.com/article/256149-what-foods-are-rich-in-coq10/
Cole, B. and Luna Han, editors. Freeing Ourselves: A Guide to Health and Self Love for Brown Bois. 2011.
Earthangel, Reverend Doctor. The Importance of a Healthy Diet. The House of Sissify: The Herbal Encyclopedia. 2005. Retrieved from sissify.com/feminization-hormones/healthy-diet
Erickson-Schroth, Laura. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. 2014.
Gaby, Alan R. and The Healthnotes Medical Team, editors. A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions, 2nd edition. Three Rivers Press of Random House, NY. 2006.
The Gale Group. Ipriflavone. AltMD: Gale Cengage Learning. 2008. Retrieved from altmd.com/Articles/Ipriflavone–Encyclopedia-of-Alternative-Medicine
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbal Healing for Women. Fireside of Simon & Schuster Inc, NY. 1993.
Griffith, H. Winter. Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals and Supplements: The Complete Guide, revised edition. New York, NY. 1988.
Kerns, Michelle. Foods with the Highest Content of Quercetin. Livestrong: Food and Drink. June 23, 2014. Retrieved from livestrong.com/article/301326-foods-with-the-highest-content- of-quercetin/
Kerns, Michelle. Foods Containing L-Carnitine. Livestrong: Food and Drink. August 25, 2015. Retrieved from livestrong.com/article/22647-foods-containing-l-carnitine
Marz, Russel B. Medical Nutrition from Marz, 2nd ed. mni-Press, U.S. 1999.
Midnight, Dori. Holistic Health for Transgender & Gender Variant Folks. Ohlone Herbal Center, Research Papers. December 28th, 2009. Retrieved from ohlonecenter.org/research- papers/holistic-health-for-transgender-gender-variant-folks/
Petersen, Julia, Johanna Dwyer, Herman Adlercreutz, Augustin Scalbert, Paul Jacques, and Marjorie McCullough. Dietary Lignans: Physiology and Potential for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction. Nutrition Review, 68 (10), p. 571-603. October, 2010. Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951311
Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions in Modern Nutrition 3rd edition. North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA. 2002.
The Prodragonist. More Queer Herbs (Masculine). July 24, 2013. Retrieved from belladonnaquixote.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/more-queer-herbs-masculine/comment- page-1
Renee, Janet. List of Foods that Contain Glutamine. Livestrong: Food and Drink. January 9, 2014. Retrieved from livestrong.com/article/249890-list-of-foods-that-contain-glutamine
Transgender Nutrition Considerations. February 27, 2013. Retrieved from transidentified.com/2013/02/27/transgender-nutrition-considerations
UCSF Medical Center. Guidelines for a Low Sodium Diet. University of California San Francisco. Retrieved from ucsfhealth.org/education/guidelines_for_a_low_sodium_diet
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27. Agicultural Research Service. Retrieved from ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients
ivCan include a variety of identities that do not fit into the categories of “man” and “woman.” Some terms are gender neutral, genderqueer, non-binary gender, gender non-conforming, and gender fluid, among others. Sometimes people with these identities also consider themselves trans and may or may not undergo medical transition.
All information in this blog is for educational uses only. Always consult your doctor before taking any herbs or supplements, or changing or discontinuing your medications.
Contact us to see if your insurance covers services at our office!
Join the Prism Family! Subscribe to our newsletter and get $30 off your first visit.