A Healthy Diet Can Regulate Your Hormones

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers, which affect our moods, energy, growth and the ability to reproduce – they are a vital part of a number of the body’s natural processes. When they are unbalanced, it can seriously affect our wellbeing as well as the risk of developing heart disease, depression, infertility and even cancer. Much has been said on the importance of a healthy diet but very little has ever been publicised on the effect it has on the hormonal balance. Balancing your hormones can significantly affect your health, improving your energy levels and leaving your feeling better overall. What you eat and the quality of the food you’re using as fuel for your body can either throw this off track or help to maintain a good hormonal balance. According to experts, people overlook the importance of their diet where hormones are concerned. However, the kind of diet you choose plays a vital role – in order to be hormone happy, you need to mimic the plant-based, low fat and high fibre diet prescribed by GPs in order to keep your heart healthy and fight off disease. For example, if you’re loading up on fatty foods and sugar through your diet, it will throw your bodily functions off track, and you’ll feel sluggish and low on energy. This is because your hormones are imbalanced which leads to many of your organs running on a lower quality fuel.

Organic foods, leafy greens and removing sugar, flour and processed foods from your diet can do wonders for your overall health, as well as reducing your risk of developing health problems. Some women have even reported an improvement in their fertility levels thanks to their improved diet. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant, battle mood swings and pre-menstrual syndrome, or combat fatigue, a hormone-healthy diet can make a massive difference. This includes loading up on vegetables and fruits, aiming for at least five portions every day. You also need to top this up with vital nutrients, plant fibres and legumes. These contain isoflavins which stabilise the symptoms of PMS, menopause and perimenopause. Soybeans are fantastic sources of these, but you can also opt for chickpeas and lentils as well. Whole grains are high in fibre and B vitamins which are essential for hormonal balance. Smart fats are also important, such as olive and canola oils – you should avoid saturated and trans fats as these are extremely bad for your health. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best form of fats, as they’re great for improving your brain function and regulating your body’s health – these can be sourced from oily fish such as salmon or tuna, walnuts and flax seeds.

For women especially, soy is a fantastic addition to your diet – it helps to block the negative effects of the body’s oestrogen receptors, as well as reducing vaginal dryness, hot flushes and other symptoms of the menopause. Your weight will make a different to your health and hormone production – for example, people who are overweight tend to be oestrogen dominant which increases the risk of PMS, ovarian cysts and fibroids. As with any diet, exercise is significant and offers a wealth of health benefits, from strengthening the body and improving flexibility to regulating the release of endorphins which are referred to as ‘happy hormones’. It’s advised that you do three to four, half hour sessions each week to stay healthy but this can be any exercise, including brisk walks or dancing. It will also assist you in maintaining a healthy weight, which goes towards your hormonal health.

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