The word “hormone” comes from the Greek and means to “spur on,” which is the perfect explanation of what they do. At Live Well Holistic Health, we cannot overemphasize the importance of regulating your hormones with a safe and healthy diet, as they are an essential factor in maintaining overall health.
Responsible for Regulating Many Processes
Hormones affect your mood, bowel health, sleep habits, skin condition, abdominal fat, PMS, fertility, and so much more. As the body’s chemical messengers, they travel throughout bloodstream to the tissues and organs and are responsible for regulating many processes such as:
- Sexual function
- Growth and development
The Job of the Endocrine Glands
It is the job of the endocrine glands to make our hormones. The pituitary, pineal, thymus, adrenal, and thyroid glands, along with the pancreas, are the primary targets of a poor diet, compromising hormone balance and thus the overall wellbeing of our bodies. With men producing hormones in the testes, and women in the ovaries, sexual function can be severely compromised if we are not conscious of the right food choices needed to support a healthy endocrine system.
Speaking of a healthy diet, let’s start with fats. Eating good fats will help to rebuild cells and boost hormone health. Using coconut oil, which can be heated, is extremely flavorful for almost any type of cuisine. Extra virgin cold pressed and preferably organic olive oil is also an excellent selection and can be used liberally on salads, over steamed vegetables and other dishes.
Taking Omega 3 oil is a powerful way to boost endocrine function. You can take a supplement of fish oil, or eat plenty of fresh non-farmed salmon, sardines, eggs, flax seeds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.
Iodine-rich foods such as seaweed, and especially kelp, are excellent for thyroid gland health. It is easy to add powdered kelp to any recipe, as it produces a salty flavor, cook up some hijiki, or add some flaked nori to a soup or a salad.
Liver breakdown is often the cause of having excess hormones in the body. To cleanse away the debris, eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Bok Choy, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, daikon radish, radish, maca, turnips, rutabaga, and watercress. Additionally, garlic and onions added to your diet will help to support a healthy hormonal and immune system.
Avoid Refined Sugar and Grains
Avoid refined sugar and grains, which compromises immune resistance and affects the hormone leptin, making it harder for your body to tell you when you’ve had enough to eat. When leptin is blocked, this causes cravings. Focus on whole grains like brown rice, millet, and quinoa for fiber that will also prevent the body from absorbing toxins.
Avoid caffeine to prevent the production of cortisol, a substance that prevents fat burning and adversely affects progesterone, which, in turn, will affect symptoms of PMS, painful periods, and more. Drink green or dandelion tea instead. Choose herbs that also help with digestion, such as aloe vera, marshmallow root, golden seal, Black or blue cohosh, licorice, Dong Quai, sage, and wild yam.
Word to the Wise
When it comes to getting the most out of your vegetables, make sure you eat them raw and chew well, or lightly steam them. Most of the nutritious value will be lost through boiling or over cooking. Choose organic produce whenever possible, and you will be on your way to establishing a beautifully balanced hormonal system that will help you look and feel your best.
For more information on healthy practices, please contact us via our online form or scheduling tool at www.livewellholistichealth.com, or call: 610 896 1554.