Hormones play a vital role in keeping us healthy. At times you need to get your hormones on track, to make sure your body is functioning correctly. Among many other important functions, hormones function to properly metabolize and digest the food we intake, control our brain function and mood, and control our body’s temperature. However, our body’s hormones do not always stay balanced. Below are five common signs that your hormones might be imbalanced:
- You experience constant weight gain (often times this includes sugar cravings too)
- You experience fatigue (this occurs even if you are still sleeping well at night)
- Your mood has decreased (among other moods, anxiety and depression are the most common)
- You experience restless nights/insomnia
- You experience digestive problems
As women, hormonal fluctuations throughout our life cycles are natural and important for our health and well-being. Hormonal fluctuations that cause pain and illness, however, are not. A widespread misconception among women and traditional medical practitioners alike is that common “female problems” are simply to be endured as a normal part of being a woman. In extreme cases, symptoms are treated with pharmaceuticals—including hormones—but the underlying cause often is not addressed.
Food: Information for the Body
For better or worse, when it comes to hormonal health or imbalance, food is an absolute game-changer. Food is information to the body and is what helps or hinders its ability to keep its hormones in balance. Eating for hormonal health isn’t difficult to do once you have the knowledge—and it’s as much about what to eat as what not to eat.
#1 Eat more often. Eat real food with as much color as possible. This helps maintain consistent blood sugar levels, which in turn leads to appropriate and consistent hormone levels.
#2 Include protein at every meal. Protein is a key component for so many hormones. Among many other functions, protein helps maintain a constant blood glucose level.
#3 Eat more variety. The more colorful, the better. At least half of your plate at every meal should consist of colorful vegetables.
#4 Include cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower. They are among the foods and nutrients that help encourage your body to send estrogen metabolites down the pathway that helps prevent female cancers.
#5 Add healthy fats. Sources of healthy fats include flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds, and avocado. Fat is a key component to the production of sex hormones and brain hormones.
#6 Beware of undiagnosed food sensitivities. Many more people are realizing later in life that they may have sensitivities to foods like gluten, dairy, and others.
#7 Limit carbohydrate intake as much as possible. This has a powerful and rapidly noticeable effect on health and well-being.
No one ever found themselves in a state of hormonal imbalance overnight. So, while you may find a difference in how you feel pretty quickly, it can take some time to return to perfect hormonal balance. There are also many other factors that can slide your hormones out of wack. In addition to diet, stress, relationships, and toxins can also cause hormone issues. Trying to do it all at once can set you up for failure. The most important thing to remember is to shoot for progress, not perfection.