The Balancing Act
“Hormonal imbalance can be because of inadequate nutrition, improper functioning of the liver, malfunctioning of the endocrine glands and excessive stress”
There are plenty of times we fail to understand our own behaviour or know the reason why we crave for certain foods. It is also common to sometimes cry over the most trivial issues and also take petty things to heart. Why does all this happen? The answer to all these eating and behaviour changes lies in our hormones.
Hormones are biological chemical substances released into the blood by the endocrine glands. The blood carries the hormones to the respective organs and tissues for functions like digestion, growth and maturation, proper reproductive system functioning and much more. Therefore, a slight imbalance in these hormones can lead to health issues.
Hormonal imbalance can be because of inadequate nutrition, improper functioning of the liver, malfunctioning of the endocrine glands and excessive stress. The most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance includes weight gain, anxiety, mood swings, painful breasts, depression, cravings, bloating, insomnia, hot flushes, headaches and migraines, night sweating and also acne.
Though these symptoms might seem serious, It can be quite effectively managed. Eating a proper nutritious diet including proteins, healthy fats, foods rich in antioxidants and a small helping of spices and herbs can help regulate hormones.
Methods To Regulate Hormones
- One Protein Meal Every Day
Good sources of protein include eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, whole soybeans, tofu or tempeh.
- Healthy Fats
The body requires fats to rebuild cells and produce hormones, therefore some fat should be included in your diet. Hormones are produced with the help of cholesterol and some fatty acids as raw material.
These fats include the following :
- Products with launc acid like coconut acid and related products are good for the skin and help in hormonal production.
- The nutritious richness of avocados include ample amount of potassium, fibre, vitamin E, magnesium, folic acid and vitamin B. These are all essential to maintain hormonal balance.
- Butter or ghee is full of vitamins K, E, D and A, which are fat-soluble. They play a key role in the production of hormones in the body.
- Egg yolks contain calcium, iron, choline, potassium, vitamins D, E, A, and phosphorous. These are required for skin health, hormonal balance and good reproductive function.
- Egg yolks also play a vital role in producing thyroid hormones.
- Vegetable oils are extremely high in omega 6. And ideally, we should be consuming a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 omega 610 omega 3 but we consume an average of 10:1 to 20:1.
- It is important for one to always be consuming a mixture of fats regularly.
- Antioxidant Rich Foods
These foods protect the body from cellular damage caused by free radicals and thus help the body function properly. Good sources of antioxidants are cabbage. asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, collard greens, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and carrots.
- Spices And Herbs
Though we cannot eat large quantities of these everyday but a dash of them is enough to keep people healthy. Therefore, they should be an integral part of your diet. Some of the most commonly used spices and herbs include cinnamon, raspberry leaf, turmeric, cumin, cayenne. ginger, aniseed, garlic, red clover, oregano and sage.
- Fruits And Vegetables
These comprise of flavonoids, fibre and antioxidants which are wonderful for hormonal balance. Some of the best vegetables and fruits that must be eaten regularly are asparagus, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, cilantro, green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, apples pomegranates, plums and cherries.
Barley, oats, rye, wheat and wheat germ help keep the gut healthy which in turn helps in keeping hormones functioning at an optimal level.
Tips For Hormone Health
- Limit calf eme intake as too much caffeine affects the endocrine system and impacts hormonal balance.
- Avoid toxins in pesticides, plastics and household chemicals. It is sate to cook in glass or non-coated metal pans but avoid heating or storing foods in plastic.
- Eat at least three meals daily.
- Cut down on refined and high glycemic index carbohydrates.
- Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.
- Sleeping well is a must to maintain normal hormonal levels.
- Regular physical activity is imperative for a healthy mind and body.
“Eating a nutritious diet, exercising daily, implementing stress management techniques and avoiding harmful substances are the groundwork for maintaining and reinstating hormonal balance”