Hormonal imbalance and diet.
What are hormones?
Your mental, physical, and emotional health are all significantly impacted by hormones, which are chemical messengers. They significantly influence your ability to control your appetite, weight, and mood, for example.
Normally, each hormone is produced in exactly the right quantity by your body to support various bodily functions that keep you healthy.
The endocrine glands produce hormones, which are important regulators of many bodily functions such as metabolism, appetite, reproduction, mood, growth, and body temperature.
It is crucial that hormone levels are produced in an ideal amount because even small variations—known as hormonal imbalance—too much or too little hormone production can have profound effects on the entire body.
Hormonal imbalances can affect both men and women, and if left untreated, they may worsen and interfere with the body’s normal processes.
What to eat
•Befriend Whole Grains – One or two of your meals should contain a fist-sized portion of whole grain slow-releasing carbohydrates, such as brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millets to ensure that you are getting the essential B vitamins and much-needed fibre that support hormone balance.
•Say yes to leafy veggies – These aid in reducing cortisol levels and fighting inflammation, which lessens stress on the body. In addition to boosting our iron and serving as a natural antioxidant, greens also increase our energy levels.
•Green tea – Green tea may improve our bodies’ sensitivity to insulin and maintain a healthy level of this hormone. In addition to helping us lose weight, green tea may also lower our risk of developing hormonal imbalances.
•Herbs & Spices – Include a variety of fresh (or dried) herbs and spices, especially those with anti-inflammatory properties like ginger, turmeric, sumac, paprika, and garlic, to ensure we are adding a variety of different nutrients to our meals.
•Nuts – Nutrients are abundant in nuts. They have an effect on our endocrine system, which controls the major glands in our bodies, including the pituitary, pancreas, ovaries, thyroid, etc.
•Seeds – MCTs or medium chain triglycerides, are present in seeds. MCTs help to control appetite and improves metabolism and blood sugar regulation.
•Fruits – Fruits that haven’t been pesticide-treated are better for your body because pesticides can act as hormone disruptors. Even if you can’t afford organic fruits everyday, eating fresh fruits and vegetables is still important for a healthy diet.
•Water – keeping yourself well hydrated is super important as that affects your pH level which in turn affects the inflammation in your body.
What to avoid
•Caffeine – It turns out that drinking too much coffee can interfere with other bodily functions as well as your sleep pattern. Your body may also be impacted in a number of ways. The presence of caffeine in coffee causes the body to produce more cortisol. Your body enters a state of high alert when you are exposed to cortisol, popularly known as the stress hormone.
•Alcohol – It harms the body’s sex hormones and interferes with the normal production of insulin. It decreases testosterone production in men and interferes with women’s menstrual cycles. Stress hormones are negatively impacted by alcohol as well. Serotonin is released when alcohol is consumed, which initially makes us feel good, but the subsequent slump we experience is bad because serotonin has been depleted.
•Sugar – Optimising hormone function and preventing obesity, diabetes, and other diseases may be made possible by reducing the amount of added sugar consumed.
•Dairy – Milk can disrupt hormones and cause intestinal inflammation. Excessive milk consumption increases triglyceride levels and can hasten the onset of diabetes. Therefore, it is best to avoid dairy products if you are experiencing hormonal problems.
•Gluten – Inflammation is fueled by gluten. Hormonal imbalance is made worse by inflammation. Specifically, gluten causes inflammation and harm to the small intestine’s villi (few projections that resemble fingers). Food passes through the intestines more slowly and the body has a harder time absorbing nutrients when the villi are damaged.
•Processed foods – Cookies, bread, and other packaged foods are examples of processed foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and preservatives. You run the risk of gaining weight and having a serious hormonal imbalance as a result of this harmful combination, which intensifies inflammation and strains the adrenal glands.
It’s okay to give in to cravings sometimes but make sure you balance it with a healthy meal later on.
If you need further guidance, feel free to connect with Kanupriya Khanna who has been working in this field since 2003. She is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.