Eating for Hormone Health pt. 2
Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are essential building blocks for hormones. There are three types of hormones: lipid-derived, peptide-derived, and amino-acid derived. Fats are a subgroup of lipids and are the main component in the formation of lipid-derived hormones, a category that includes reproductive hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. Healthy fats also play a vital role in the absorption of Vitamins A, D, E, and K, which help in the balancing of hormones. Consider healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, fatty fish, and raw seeds.
Get Enough Protein
As was earlier mentioned, there are three types of hormones. One of these types is amino-acid derived hormones. Melatonin, thyroid and some adrenal hormones are examples of amino-acid derived hormones. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
Besides playing a vital role in the synthesis of hormones, they also aid in several other important processes throughout the body. It's essential to consume enough quality proteins if you want to meet your body's amino-acid requirements and to achieve optimal hormonal health. There should be a healthy balance of omnivore and plant-based proteins in the diet. Plant-based proteins are adaptogenic, while overconsuming omnivore proteins (high in pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid) can lead to inflammation.
Up Your Fiber
Fiber is essential for hormone health for one central reason - estrogen removal. Estrogen is a reproductive hormone primarily produced in the ovaries. As estrogen accumulates in the body, the liver processes any excesses, and it's eliminated through the stools. If you're constipated, estrogen will not be removed from the body, and it's reabsorbed. This can lead to excess estrogen that causes a whole list of issues, including bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness, lumps in the breasts, headaches, irregular periods, weight gain, increased PMS symptoms, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.
This is why eating plenty of fiber is so important. Fiber helps prevent constipation and will also help you empty your bowels more efficiently. Keeping your bowels moving can do wonders for your hormone health. To boost your fiber intake, eat plenty of plant-based foods such as quinoa, oats, buckwheat, chia, flax seeds and vegetables.
I can see just mentioning the word coffee you're starting to get a little protective of your daily coffee ritual, and I get it. Here's the thing, coffee as an occasional indulgence might be just fine, but excessive (or even regular) consumption of coffee and other caffeinated drinks can be a huge problem when it comes to hormone balance, especially if adrenal fatigue is involved. I'm not saying you have to ditch coffee altogether right now. Just be mindful of how much you're consuming and try to reduce it to a few cups per week. Drinking half-calf is an excellent way to start slowly adjusting to life with less caffeine.
Sugar, including both refined carbs and the white stuff, is a disaster for hormone health. It can lead to rapid weight gain, blood sugar problems, and an increased risk of heart disease. It also adversely affects the body’s endocrine system, which is responsible for creating and regulating hormones. Sugar does this by disrupting the production of the hormone insulin. When your insulin production is out of whack, everything else falls apart, especially estrogen and testosterone levels.
You can see that your hormone health goes hand in hand with your diet. The saying “you are what you eat” couldn’t hold truer here. This is why it is so important to eat real whole foods. Your body needs the nutrients these foods contain to stay healthy, heal, and to ensure that your hormones are kept in balance.