Your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing depend heavily on the complex sets of hormones within your body. Acting as chemical messengers, hormones regulate numerous bodily processes and functions – including appetite, mood, and sleep, among numerous others.
In order for everything to function smoothly and for you to feel your best, your hormones need to be properly balanced, and this is where nutrition plays a vital role. Here’s what you need to pay attention to in your diet so you can improve and maintain your hormonal health.
Eat healthy fats
Because fatty acids are the building blocks of hormones, fat consumption plays a crucial role in hormone regulation. Healthy fats will help stabilize the production of cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones), stimulate the production of appetite-controlling hormones, and help ensure you don’t develop insulin resistance. They also promote a healthy metabolism and help fight inflammation, which in turn has a positive effect on hormonal health.
Here are some high-quality sources of fat you can include in your diet:
- Fatty fish
- Egg yolks
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
Spread your protein intake throughout the entire day
Along with numerous other crucial roles in maintaining your overall health, protein also helps regulate the appetite hormones. Protein consumption leads to decreasing levels of ghrelin (the hormone which signals hunger) and increasing levels of hormones such as leptin, which signal to your brain that you’re full. That’s pretty much the science behind why we feel more full when we consume a high-protein meal, even though it might be a light one (fish, for example).
The best thing to do would be to get some protein with each meal and snack so that it positively influences your hunger hormones throughout the entire day. Some of the best sources are:
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans and legumes
Maintain a healthy gut to avoid estrogen build-up
A healthy body starts with a healthy gut.
Digestive health is especially important for regulating estrogen levels because estrogen is excreted through the bowels, so in the case of constipation, excess estrogen builds up in the body and starts wreaking havoc.
Estrogen dominance is something that a lot of women suffer from, but lately men as well, as a result of the modern lifestyle. Natural, plant-based supplements designed to help maintain healthy estrogen metabolism can help you “detoxify” from excess estrogen. Regarding your diet, make sure to eat plenty of fiber and probiotic-rich foods to promote a healthy gut.
Raw carrots, seeds, nuts, and leafy greens are great sources of fiber. As for probiotics, you can take them as supplements or get them from foods such as:
- Bone broth
- Yogurt and kefir
Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies
A diet abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables will benefit your wellbeing in numerous ways, and this includes promoting a healthy digestive system and balanced hormones.
Make sure you get plenty of antioxidants in your diet. They help maintain a clean liver, which is crucial to hormonal balance because the liver is sort of like the “powerhouse” of hormone production and metabolism. Go for those bright colors and dark green veggies and you can be sure you’re eating your best.
Your body is a unique system where all the processes are deeply intertwined and dependent of each other. That’s why a diverse and balanced diet which includes all food groups is synonymous with a diet optimized for hormonal balance. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, get your fat and protein with every meal from high-quality sources, and make sure you maintain a healthy gut with probiotic-rich foods or supplements. Take care of yourself and track how the foods you eat affect your mood and overall wellbeing – it’s all about finding that balance.
Caitlin is a bookworm and a medical student. She is particularly interested in topics related to science, nutrition, and well-being. When she is not trying to find the meaning of life and Universe, Caitlin is researching and writing about various health-related topics. She is happily addicted to art in all its forms, blogging, and grilled tofu. To see what Caitlin is up to next, check out her Twitter dashboard.
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