Hormones play an integral role in maintaining many of the important processes within the body. They act as an important trigger for bodily functions such as metabolism and reproduction. The hormones leptin, insulin, oestrogens, androgens and growth hormone influence our appetite, metabolism and body fat distribution.
Hormonal imbalance occurs when you have too much or too little of a specific hormone. Even small changes in hormone levels can critically affect your health.
Because hormones play a significant role in regulating your metabolism and the way your body uses energy, hormonal imbalance can cause weight gain.
Causes of hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalance can be the result of a variety of risk factors. Though both lifestyle and diet can contribute to hormonal imbalance, it often develops from illness.
- Hypothyroidism– This condition causes your metabolism to slow down. This can cause weight gain.
- Age– Certain periods of life cause more dramatic changes and fluctuations in hormones, including: Puberty, Pregnancy and Menopause.
- Weight– Low levels of thyroid hormones, high levels of cortisol, PCOS, and other hormonal imbalances can cause unexplained weight gain.
- Side effects of certain medications
- Allergies– Allergies can interfere with the normal function of the hormones. histamine – a hormone that is triggered by allergens and binds to receptors that cause symptoms like itching and swelling – in your body is directly related to the amount of estrogen your body is creating.
- Stress– Stress is the most common causes of fluctuating or imbalanced hormone levels. Stress causes your body to produce cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to Cushing syndrome. Long-term stress exposes your body to high levels of cortisol for long periods and can affect the levels of other hormones in your body.
Nutrition can be a powerful tool when addressing hormone imbalances as when hormones are in harmony you reclaim your life back!
FOOD GROUPS THAT HELP PROMOTE HORMONE BALANCE
Consider adding some of these hormone-friendly foods into your daily diet to keep your mind and body functioning at optimal levels.
Protein is extremely important for hormone balance since it influences the release of leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that control your appetite and food intake.
Nutrient-rich complex and high-fiber carbohydrates are ideal foods for hormone balance because they help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cortisol levels. Fiber doesn’t break down in the body, and since it doesn’t convert to sugar, fiber can’t raise blood sugar levels like other carbs can.
Including high-quality natural fats into your diet can help curb not only your appetite, but also insulin resistance. Several studies show that consuming healthy fat at meals can trigger the release of hormones that can help you feel satisfied.
Foods to eat to help restore hormone balance
- Leafy Greens
- Cruciferous Vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lentils and beans
- Fruits like Pomegranates, Cherries, apple, avocado and blueberries
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive and coconut oil
- Prebiotic foods and probiotic yoghurts
Consuming nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and engaging in other health-promoting behaviors such as meditating and getting enough sleep may go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.