You Are What You Eat…
What Foods to Avoid, What Foods to Enjoy to Maintain Hormonal Balance
You are what you eat. But are you eating the right foods to maintain a healthy hormonal balance?
Your body relies on you to provide the correct fuel and if you don’t, your hormones can become unbalanced, causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
Hormone fluctuations can contribute to weight gain, stubborn belly fat, sugar cravings, sluggishness, stress, and numerous other health problems. But by focusing on the right foods, and avoiding the wrong ones, you can create a healthy lifestyle and increase your natural energy.
Foods to Avoid
Cutting down your caffeine intake is high priority if you want to keep your hormones balanced and your energy levels up. Caffeine can trigger a host of unpleasant symptoms – from flagging energy and fatigue, to night sweats and hot flashes.
As with everything, moderation is key. But when it comes to hormones, even moderate alcohol intake has an effect; it limits your body’s natural ability to regulate hormone production. Too much alcohol can directly impair fertility, resulting in poor sperm production and sperm quality in the male, and menstrual disorders, lack of ovulation and early menopause in the female.
Sugar and other refined carbohydrates (think white – white bread, white rice, white flour) can intensify hormonal symptoms, particularly fatigue and weight gain. Limiting your intake of added sugars will help keep your hormones at their optimal level.
Fatty foods affect the body in numerous ways and have a significant influence on hormonal activity. High-fat foods raise the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. For women going through perimenopause or menopause, high-fat foods raise the levels of estrogen, which will bring on adverse symptoms such as hot flashes. So… no French fries
In addition, it’s wise to avoid pre-packaged and convenience foods (like microwave meals) and foods heavy with preservatives. To be safe, always read the labels and put back those foods with excessive preservatives and additives.
What’s Left to Eat?
Fresh Is Best
This all may seem intimidating at first. You’re thinking, “what else is there left to eat?!” Fruits and veggies are always a great go-to – but keep in mind if it’s in a can, it’s processed and preserved. Fresh is best.
To lose weight and help balance those unruly hormones, consider changing your diet to one with a mix of foods that are low on the Glycemic Index and are common to the traditional Mediterranean diet.
Foods to Enjoy
Fatty fish such as salmon, tilapia, tuna, Mahi Mahi, and lean protein (think chicken, eggs). These proteins help keep fatigue at bay. They also help you maintain lean tissue, lose weight and protect against blue moods
Cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli are all good choices to keep your energy up and your hormones in balance
Switch out the white breads, cookies and crackers for whole grain breads, beans, lentils, and oats
B Vitamin Foods
Besides fatigue, a lack of foods rich in Vitamin B can contribute to feelings of depression. Lean beef and whole grains are beneficial additions to your hormone balancing diet
Melons, Berries, Asparagus
Most fruits can help maintain a healthy hormonal balance, but melons and berries also have the added benefit of combatting bloating, a frequent complaint in mid-life
Above all, it’s important to maintain a controlled and balanced diet because what you eat regulates many aspects of your body’s functions, including the secretion of certain hormones.
Start by cutting a few things out here and there. Soon you’ll be noticing an increase in energy as your body finds its balance. Then nothing will stop you from becoming the healthy, active person you want to be.