20 Aug How To Improve Hormones with Diet
Hormonal health is a huge issue, and it is growing in the amount of problems out there today. I believe along side many others that this is due to the type of foods we are consuming and it affects it has on your body. There are a number of steps you can take to get your hormones back on track and you can do this all with your food choices.
Soy is a goitrogen, which blocks iodine uptake in your body, iodine deficiencies cause thyroid disorders such as goiter, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism. You may not think you are consuming much soy if any, but the truth is soy is in everything!! Take a look at the back of your packaged foods, you will see soy many processed foods containing soybean oil and/or soy lecithin. In New Zealand we are lucky that our red meat is grass fed, but you will find chickens and pigs are all fed soy based products. Not to mention so many restaurants will be using soybean oil to cook. Unless you are getting your hands on good quality fermented soy, soy products should be avoided. Soy products are also high in estrogen mimicking properties, so this opens up even more problems for your hormones if you are consuming them. You can read up more on Soy here.
2. Omega 6
Avoid Over Consuming Omega-6. Polyunsaturated Fats. Put simply we are consuming to much! The body needs a balance of omega 3 and omega 6’s the problem is we eat far to much omega 6 and our body isn’t set up to handle it. The body needs fats for the rebuilding of cells and for hormone production. However these polyunsaturated fats available to us today are very unstable and oxidize easily in the body. Meaning you age faster! Avoid vegetable oils, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine and rice bran oil and the like. All these oil are high omega 6’s to much causes inflammation and oxidation in the body when over consumed. This is going to wreck havoc with hormone production, given that your hormones require good quality fats to be produced. Instead eat coconut oil, real butter, olive oil, avocado oil and eat good quality high omega 3 oily fish like salmon 2-3 times per week. You can read up more on vegetable oils here. Whats Wrong With Vegetable Oils.
This can wreck havoc with your adrenaline system, so if this is stress or out of balance this is going to affect other hormones. If you are someone suffering from any adrenal issues caffeine should be cut out completely.
3. Remove the toxic load
Eat as organic and as local as you can. The pesticides and chemicals in and on your food your body has to deal with, this is the job of the liver. You need your liver healthy and not working over time. So remove chemicals from your food, household products and from your skin care. These chemicals contain substances which disrupt and mimic hormones in your body, they fool the body from producing its own real hormones. Avoid packaged foods containing ingredients you can’t pronounce and eat real good quality clean food.
4. Remove Gluten
For someone who has a reaction to gluten it causes inflammation. This inflammation can show up in the gut which is obvious, but the not-so-obvious is the reaction it has on your joints, skin, endocrine and nervous system. You see it seems obvious when someone gets a gut ache that it must be what they just ate. For some reason people don’t link the aches in the joints, mood swings, and the skin reactions to food they eat, hormones. Food builds every cell in your body. You are what you eat, so if you are eating a food that is inflaming your digestive system this is going to send a sign or symptom out to the rest of your body. It could be a migraine, it could be dry skin, it could be dizziness, or it could be cramps. It could be tired but wired, exhausted or fatigued. If you have an intolerance to gluten which ALOT of people do, this could be playing havoc with your hormones. You can read more on this here. Why is Gluten So Bad For You?
5. Eat right for your metabolic type
Understanding your body and the foods that work for it is very important. No one diet works for everyone. Each person has different metabolic rates. Some may convert calories quickly into energy while others may store them. When you know about metabolism, you will be aware that as a youngster you could have properly eaten more than you can do, you could eat anything and your body could handle it. Your metabolism can change! It changes according to your history, genetics, workload, stress levels, exercise, and even your age. One mans food can be another mans poison. Taking control of your hormones means you need to ensure you are eating the right foods. For some one suffering from adrenal fatigue the last thing they need is a restriction in a macro nutrient. You need to find what foods make you function optimally. You can read more on this here. Whats Your Metabolic Type?
We need sleep soooo much. Don’t think your are invincible and can handle little sleep. Your body fixes and repairs while you sleep, you cannot produce and repair your adrenal or reproductive system on lack of good quality sleep.
7. Use real food as supplements
We don’t live in ideal situations, we don’t always get our sleep and we do our best with our food. We live in a modern world, and the soil in which our food is grown in is different. So we do need to first always make sure we are eating good quality real food. Then supplements can then help balance out any gaps. Don’t think you can take supplements to mask over bad food choices, it doesn’t work that way. Good quality diet has to be in place first, then you try out some additional foods and supplements to support a already great diet. Here are some additional foods you could add into your current clean diet. I will go into supplements in a later post.
Raw cacao is rich in magnesium. Magnesium is incredibly deficient in a lot of the populations around the world. The more stressed we are the more we use up our magnesium levels and therefore the more we need it. When there is an abundance of magnesium in the body the brain works with clarity and focus. When we lack magnesium our sleep can be affected, our mood, our skin, our bones and our hormonal system. A stressed body uses more magnesium, so ensuring you are eating nutrient dense real food you are helping to keep you magnesium levels up. You can find out more about this here. Raw Organic Cacao
Good quality bacteria are essential for the healthy functioning of our digestive system, whether it is in the form of fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee or in the form of probiotics both can play a huge role in restoring healthy gut flora. Probiotics maximize the benefits of a healthy diet and support the normal absorption of nutrients in the gut. For those with poor digestive health getting good quality probiotics can speed up the recovery and restoring of the gut flora. You can find out more about this here and here.
- Vitamin D
Sunlight! Our bodies need the contrast of light and dark to be able to function optimally. To often we spend long hours inside and never get the body exposed to the brightness of the sun. This is incredibly important for the production of hormones within the body. Our body need light to wake up and peak light to stimulate cortisol, it then needs the opposite to happen. Sleeping in darkness to contrast brings those cortisol levels down and allows the body to recover. By getting outdoors you are allowing the body to also soak up sunlight and hit that natural peak, when skin gets exposed to the sun it produces vitamin D. Vitamin D is required for optimal hormonal health. If you aren’t able to get sun on your skin and get outdoors due to where you live, then supplementing with vitamin D could be an option.
These steps are a great place for you to start. Above all it comes down to learning to listen to your body and provide your body with the right fuel so that it can function at it best. This is why I created the BR30 program. Giving you the tools to find out what foods work for your body, to sort out your digestive health and to get you off on the right track for real health. Happy hormones and ideal weight.