Balancing hormones naturally through diet and lifestyle changes

Hormonal imbalance in the body can cause many problems, including weight gain, diabetes, and infertility. Scientists have proven that certain foods can help maintain hormone balance. What foods should you include in your diet more often to stay healthy and live a long life?

How hormones affect health

Hormones are biologically active substances that play a crucial role in the human body. They help build cells and grow the body, manage metabolism and digestion, and are necessary for maintaining fertility and dealing with stress.

When the hormonal balance is disrupted – some hormones are produced in excess, while others are underproduced – health problems can develop. Proper, balanced nutrition and a doctor’s advice can help “synchronize” hormone levels and maintain good health.

What diet supports hormonal balance

What a person eats affects hormone production and signaling pathways. “For maintaining normal hormone levels, the body needs healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, as well as enough fiber from fruits and vegetables, and quality protein from eggs, fish and meat,” says a dietitian. “On the other hand, pesticides, alcohol and artificial sweeteners can negatively impact hormone levels.”

In addition to the presence of nutrients, the calorie content of the diet also plays an important role. “The female body is especially sensitive to calorie deficiency,” the expert warns. “If the body does not get enough calories from food, it reduces the production of sex hormones. For the body, there is no difference between war, famine and a new weight loss diet.”

Best foods for maintaining hormonal balance

The human body has more than 200 different hormones. The most well-known are estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, insulin, ghrelin, leptin, and thyroid hormones. All of them are closely related to metabolism, mood, and well-being. What foods can help maintain their normal production?

Cruciferous vegetables

“Cruciferous vegetables, especially broccoli and its sprouts, help the body effectively absorb estrogen. Regularly eating cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy is one way to prevent the development of cancer associated with the dominance of estrogen levels in the body,” says a medical doctor.

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Salmon, sardines, herring

Healthy fats are necessary for the body to produce sex hormones, including estrogen and testosterone. It’s very important to choose the “right fats” and limit saturated fat and avoid trans fats altogether.

Fatty fish are rich in beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids. “The healthy fats in fish improve overall hormonal communication. The endocrine system uses hormones to communicate with the brain,” explains a medical doctor.

Avocado

“Avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a substance that can positively influence blood cholesterol levels and help balance the cortisol hormone level,” says a dietitian. “The plant sterols in avocado also affect the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which are responsible for regulating ovulation and the menstrual cycle in women.”

Eat half an avocado for breakfast or lunch. This will prolong the feeling of fullness after a meal and help you avoid unnecessary snacks.

Sweet potato

Sweet potato, or yam as it’s also called, is a very nutritious vegetable with high starch, antioxidant, and fiber content. Together, they help maintain healthy blood glucose levels, which in turn supports the normal balance of various hormones.

It has been proven that including sweet potato in the daily diet helps maintain normal progesterone hormone production, which directly affects mood and fertility. Sweet potato can easily replace regular potatoes in the diet, and the flavor of dishes will only improve.

Eggs

Eggs are valuable sources of high-quality protein, beneficial fats, and vitamins. They contain the fat-soluble vitamin D, which plays a key role in maintaining healthy levels of several hormones. They also contain choline, which helps produce acetylcholine – a substance linked to the health of the nervous system and brain functions. Additionally, the beneficial fats in eggs support overall health and reduce inflammation.

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Flax and pumpkin seeds

These beneficial seeds are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. For example, flaxseed has long been considered a superfood, as it contains a huge amount of nutrients and essential fatty acids that support a healthy hormone balance. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, which along with vitamins C and B5, helps reduce the concentration of the cortisol hormone in the body and strengthens adrenal health.

You can add seeds to yogurt, milk porridge, and smoothies, or use them to top main dishes. Flaxseed should be ground before consumption, otherwise you won’t get the full benefits.

Kefir, sauerkraut, soy

“More than 20 different hormones that participate in the body’s metabolism are synthesized in the intestines. These hormones control hunger and satiety levels,” explains a medical doctor. Therefore, the diet must include prebiotics – foods that improve gut microflora. As well as probiotics – the beneficial bacteria themselves.

Here are the foods to avoid:

While there are beneficial foods that support a healthy hormonal balance in the body, there are also those that threaten health and can cause hormonal imbalance.

“Studies have shown that consuming products with artificial sweeteners can change the balance of bacteria in the gut, which can affect the production of the hormones leptin and ghrelin,” says a dietitian.

Alcoholic beverages in general have a negative impact on hormonal processes. For example, they have been shown to increase the risk of developing breast cancer and other types of cancer.

Other dangerous foods for health are processed and fried foods, products high in sugar and its substitutes. Their amount in the diet should be limited, with a greater emphasis on healthy foods.

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