We often experience ailments that seem inexplicable. Despite doing everything by the book, we still feel “off.” If you haven’t considered hormone health, you may be overlooking the reason behind your health complaints.
An imbalance in hormone health can affect your mood, complexion, body shape, and overall health. The following five tips to regulate your hormones brings you closer to a more holistic and comprehensive sense of well-being:
1. Eat Phytoestrogenic-Rich Foods
Phytoestrogens are found in plants and can imitate the human body’s estrogen activity. Phytoestrogenic-rich food can help to regulate hormone metabolism in both males and females. Phytoestrogenic foods include leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, dark bread, chili, chickpeas, cabbage, beans and lentils. Most research on phytoestrogens has linked them to reducing hormone-dependent cancers, and these studies are what point to phytoestrogens as significant in stabilizing hormones. Also, be sure to choose produce and other food products that are organic and free of hormones, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals that negatively affect the body’s hormone function.
2. Change Caffeine Habits (Depending On Race)
Research studies on this topic often contradict one another, but the situation seems to be a bit more complicated than meets the eye. According to a recent study conducted on a group of women between the ages of 18 and 44, caffeinated beverages change estrogen levels, but in a different way depending on race. In white women, estrogen levels dropped while in Black and Asian women, they rose.
3. Lower Sugar Intake
Sugar is a bittersweet food product, but its bitter consequences most certainly outweigh its sweet taste. The balance of the hormone that tells your brain when you’re hungry, ghrelin, and the hormone that tells you when you’re full, leptin, can go off the tracks, thanks to sugar. Halting leptin production, sugar allows ghrelin to do its job, only unchecked. Sugar also affects testosterone and estrogen levels in the body. The average American consumes 22 teaspoons per day – a far cry from the American Heart Association’s recommended 6.
4. Avoid High Levels of Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats
Omega-6 fats are polyunsaturated and promote inflammation in cells as a response to stress, as well, they stimulate fat cell production. They are crucial to human health, but it’s important that they strike the right ratio with omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats work to decrease inflammation, boost the immune system, limit body fat and prevent cancer. The wrong balance throws off the body and its various processes.
Post industrialization food quality standards have pushed this scale dramatically in favor of omega-6 fats. Consider milk for a moment. In an ideal world, milk would have a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats. However, industrialized milk reports a 175:1 ratio. Most people consume a much higher ratio of omega-6 fats, and this can lead to problems. Unbalanced omega-3 and omega-6 fats can lead to cancer and negatively affect reproductive tissue, spurring endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome.
5. Exercise in Stride
Cortisol is a stress hormone released by your brain whenever you are in danger. It hastens your heartbeat, sends extra oxygen to your brain and gets rid of fat from glucose stores. In small amounts, cortisol is a great thing for the body. However, continuous stress can expend your body’s cortisol levels, leaving you feeling exhausted and unable to respond properly to stress.
Exercise is important for overall health, but it doesn’t take much to keep cortisol secretion at bay. All it takes is three hours per week of short, intense workouts. After 40 minutes of exercise, you cortisol levels begin to rise again, so don’t overdo it.
Photo Credit: Another Pint Please…