Food With Hormones

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There are many things that can affect our health and happiness. Food With Hormones , weather and even the way we spend our time with friends can all have a big impact on how we feel both physically and mentally. But today we’re going to be talking about hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that help your body work properly. There are many different types of hormones in your body, some of which play roles in how food affects you. Today we’ll be looking at two main hormones called insulin and leptin, which can both be affected by eating certain foods.

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Food With Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that have profound effects on your mental, physical, and emotional health. For instance, they play a major role in controlling your appetite, weight, and mood.

Typically, your body produces the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes to keep you healthy.

However, sedentary lifestyles and Western dietary patterns may affect your hormonal environment. In addition, levels of certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.

However, a nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle habits may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best.

Here are natural ways to balance your hormones.

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1. Eat enough protein at every meal

Consuming adequate amounts of protein is extremely important.

Not only does protein provide essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own, but your body also needs it to produce protein-derived hormones — also known as peptide hormones .2. Engage in regular exercise

Physical activity strongly influences hormonal health. Aside from improving blood flow to your muscles, exercise increases hormone receptor sensitivity, meaning that it enhances the delivery of nutrients and hormone signals.3. Maintain a moderate weight

Weight gain is directly associated with hormonal imbalances that may lead to complications in insulin sensitivity and reproductive health.4. Take care of your gut health

Your gut contains more than 100 trillion friendly bacteria, which produce numerous metabolites that may affect hormone health both positively and negatively.5. Lower your sugar intake

Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.6. Try stress reduction techniques

Stress harms your hormones in several ways.

The hormone cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it helps your body cope with long-term stress.7. Consume healthy fats

Including high quality natural fats in your diet may help reduce insulin resistance and appetite.

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are unique fats that are less likely to be stored in fat tissue and more likely to be taken up directly by your liver for immediate use as energy, promoting increased calorie burning.8. Get consistent, high quality sleep

No matter how nutritious your diet or how consistent your exercise routine, getting enough restorative sleep is crucial for optimal health.9. Follow a high fiber diet

Fiber is essential to a healthy diet.

Studies have found that it increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel full.10. Consider following the Mediterranean diet

Estrogen is a hormone involved in both female and male reproductive health, as well as blood sugar balance, bone and heart health, and immune and brain function.

However, estrogen levels that are either too low or too high have been linked to acute and chronic health conditions, including obesity, metabolic disorders, and various cancers.

Top Foods To Restore Hormone Balance

  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Eat good fats daily
  • Eat a rainbow of vegetables.
  • Eat quality protein at every meal.
  • Eat two table spoons flaxseeds daily.
  • Eat whole food in moderation.
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Foods like dairy, nuts and seeds, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables are said to have high phytoestrogen levels.
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Foods like dairy, nuts and seeds, legumes, and some fruits and vegetables are said to have high phytoestrogen levels.

The food you eat can impact the way your body produces hormones or even contain hormones. Different vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, animal products, and even herbs have chemicals in them that contain, engage with, or imitate hormones. 

Phytoestrogen is a common compound that imitates estrogen in foods. This is because phytoestrogens are essentially the plant version of estrogen. Human bodies will process them the same way as regular estrogen, but it is weaker than synthetic or natural estrogen.  

Another source of estrogen in foods is animal estrogen. Products like eggs or milk contain high estrogen levels because they are produced in parts of the animal’s body that regulate its hormones.   

Eating high estrogen foods can help people who suffer from various conditions related to low estrogen levels. Conversely, there are some health scenarios in which eating foods high in estrogen can be harmful. Knowing what foods are high in estrogen helps either situation limit or increase your intake of those foods intentionally. 

Foods high in estrogen  

Generally, a plant-based diet is said to have more estrogen than other diets. However, much of the research on foods associated with high estrogen levels is hotly debated. Some scientists even believe that factors like ethnicity and location change the way our bodies receive estrogen. 

While most of the foods listed below are confirmed to contain estrogen or phytoestrogen, remember that there are many opinions out there. There are also different ways your body receives either phytoestrogens, animal estrogen, a synthetic estrogen, or compounds that can trigger your body to produce more estrogen.

There are some cases where eating certain foods can result in a lower estrogen level in your body. Please make sure to consult with your doctor about your specific medical situation to learn about which types of estrogen or food is best for you to eat. 

Foods that are said to increase estrogen in the body are: 

Dairy 

There is a direct correlation between higher estrogen levels in eggs because eggs are produced in the animal’s ovaries. Ovaries are glands that process hormones. Similarly, full-fat milk can also contain more or less estrogen in it depending on where the animal is in the lactation cycle.   

Nuts and seeds

It’s almost indisputable to say that nuts and seeds are high in phytoestrogen. Which nuts and seeds are the highest, however, can be disputed. Some proven nuts and seeds with higher levels of phytoestrogen are: 

  • Brazil nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Roasted salted peanuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds 

Legumes

Legumes are some of the most studied sources of phytoestrogens. They are also debated for the benefits and risks of how these phytoestrogens interact with our bodies. Some legumes that contain high counts of phytoestrogens are:

  • Peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Soybeans 
  • Lima beans
  • Carob
  • Kidney beans
  • Mung beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Lentils

Fruits and vegetables

Generally, berries and cruciferous vegetables are said to have high phytoestrogen levels. Some examples of these are:

  • Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Garlic 
  • Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Celeriac
  • Cauliflower
  • Strawberry
  • Cranberry
  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Dates

Grains

There has been a strong correlation between people who eat cereal and higher rates of phytoestrogens. It has been found that many of the grains typically used in cereals have higher rates of phytoestrogens. Some examples of these grains are:

  • Whole wheat
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley

Benefits of eating foods high in estrogen

Estrogen is a hormone that helps develop female sexual and reproductive organs. Estrogen plays an important role in the menstrual cycle, the urinary tract, bones, breasts, blood, and the brain. It can also affect pubic and armpit hair growth. 

While estrogen is produced in the ovaries and is more present in females than in males, men still produce estrogen through their testes and are also deeply affected by it. 

Because estrogen is such a key player in so many bodily functions, having estrogen irregularities can be very harmful. Some reasons why you might want to seek out foods that are high in estrogen are: 

Menopause

Menopause is the medical term for women’s natural decline in estrogen production through age. Because the systems of menopause are caused by a lack of estrogen, eating estrogen rich foods can help to ease the symptoms.

Bone health

As previously mentioned, estrogen helps to regulate bone health. It has been proven that increased levels of phytoestrogen also mean increased levels of minerals in bones. This helps to prevent osteoporosis in both men and women. This is especially true in postmenopausal women. 

Breast and prostate cancer prevention

There is a proven link between eating more estrogen and a lower risk of breast cancer. This is also true with prostate cancer. Again, certain types of foods, phytoestrogens, and estrogens are debated in their benefits in this regard. 

Risks and outlook

A lot of the studies that people use to cite estrogen’s benefits or dangers are flawed. They might prove that estrogen or a hormone that acts like estrogen does or does not affect the body in a particular situation. However, these studies rarely prove that every situation with every person and every food item will hormonally affect you in the same way. 

However, please exercise caution when using your diet to supplement or avoid hormones. If you are in a situation where you are at risk, please consult with your doctor. 

What does growth hormone do in adults?

Human growth hormone (HGH) is produced by the pituitary gland, which is a pea-sized organ located at the base of the brain. In addition to spurring childhood growth, it also helps regulate:

  • Fat metabolism
  • Bone growth
  • Muscle growth
  • Brain function
  • Blood sugar
  • Sleep
  • Memory

As we age, however, the amount of HGH produced by the pituitary gland decreases. This has prompted an interest in producing the hormone synthetically to treat aging or age-related health issues.

But not only is there little evidence to support the claim that synthetic HGH can counteract the effects of aging, experts recommend against using human growth hormone treatments because of its associated risks.

What is human growth hormone treatment used for?

Growth hormone treatment involves administering injections of synthetic HGH to adults who have a growth hormone deficiency. HGH may be caused by a benign growth (tumor) on the pituitary gland or treatments such as radiation or surgery.

Generally, HGH treatment is used to treat:

  • Muscle wasting associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)-related growth hormone deficiency
  • Short bowel syndrome (inability of the intestine to absorb nutrients)
  • Genetic disorders, including:
    • Turner’s syndrome (a genetic disorder that affects a girl’s development)
    • Prader-Willi syndrome (a genetic disorder that affects muscle tone, sex hormones, and hunger)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Babies born with low birth weight

For adults with a growth hormone deficiency, growth hormone treatment is used to:

  • Improve endurance or exercise capacity
  • Increase bone mass or density
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Decrease body fat

However, there are limited studies on the benefits of growth hormone treatment in healthy adults. Though some studies have shown that the treatment helps increase muscle mass in older adults, there is no improvement in their strength.

What are the risks of taking growth hormones?

Approved forms of human growth hormone are available only as injections. HGH is also sold in pill form, but there is no evidence that these supplements are effective. Excess use of injections or ingestion of these pills can cause:

  • Swelling in the limbs
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition in which the pressure on the median nerve in your wrist causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the hand)
  • Type II diabetes
  • Gynecomastia (breast enlargement in men)
  • Increased risk of certain cancers

To avoid these side effects, growth hormones should be used with caution. Do not use injections without getting a prescription from your doctor, and you should check in regularly with your doctor while you are taking it.

If you do not have growth hormone deficiency and want to improve your health, it’s best to find other ways to do this, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly.

11 OF THE BEST FOODS FOR HORMONE BALANCE

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Carrie Gabriel, MS, RDN, clues us in on the best foods to eat for hormone balance.

When we think about hormones, we often immediately think of reproductive health. But they’re not just heavily involved in keeping the reproductive system functioning: Hormones can affect your mood, stress levels, appetite, and overall health. If our hormones are off balance, we might feel more fatigued than usual. Even further, we might experience irregular bowel movements to irregular menstrual cycles, heightened stress, and general irritability. Yikes!

Many of us don’t think about turning to food first as a remedy for hormonal issues; too often, we tend to steer toward medication. And unfortunately, hormone production isn’t something we can directly control.

Diet is integral to hormone health, especially by regulating your gut health (which can have an effect on your mental health). Thankfully, there are certain foods that can help you balance your hormones,  so we can select the best foods that regulate hormones and fuel our bodies with those. Here’s everything you need to know about treating hormonal imbalance with a hormone-balancing diet and other positive health habits.

FOOD GROUPS THAT HELP PROMOTE HORMONE BALANCE

Consider adding some of these hormone-friendly foods into your daily diet to keep your mind and body functioning at optimal levels.

PROTEIN

Protein is extremely important for hormone balance since it influences the release of leptin and ghrelin, the hormones that control your appetite and food intake.

CARBOHYDRATES

Nutrient-rich complex and high-fiber carbohydrates are ideal foods for hormone balance because they help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cortisol levels. Fiber doesn’t break down in the body, and since it doesn’t convert to sugar, fiber can’t raise blood sugar levels like other carbs can.

FATS

Including high-quality natural fats into your diet can help curb not only your appetite, but also insulin resistance. Several studies show that consuming healthy fat at meals can trigger the release of hormones that can help you feel satisfied.

11 BEST FOODS FOR HORMONE BALANCE

1. EGGS

There are some myths out there about eggs and hormonal imbalance, but in actuality, eggs are one of the best foods for balancing hormones, as they have a positive impact on insulin and ghrelin hormones in the body. Specifically, insulin controls blood sugar while ghrelin controls appetite.

Your insulin and ghrelin levels are lower after you eat eggs for breakfast (compared to a carb-based meal). Similar to other proteins, eggs are one of those hormone-friendly foods that keep you full for longer, so you can end up consuming fewer calories. This aspect is particularly advantageous if you have trouble losing weight.

2. FATTY FISH

According to the American Heart Association, fatty fish—such as wild-caught salmon, herring, mackerel, lake trout, and sardines—help stabilize your hunger hormones, thus helping you feel fuller for longer.

On top of that, fatty fish are considered to be one of the foods that balance hormones in females. They are rich in vitamin D, which helps improve female testosterone levels. Getting these hormonal levels under control can positively address concerns including weight gain, fatigue, and depression. A 3.5-ounce serving of such fish twice weekly can also keep your heart healthy and your skin and hair glowing.

Finally, the good fats in fish improve overall hormonal communication, which solidifies it as one of the best foods to eat for hormonal balance. The endocrine system uses hormones to communicate with the brain, which in turn boosts our mood and gives us better cognition skills.

3. CHICKEN BREAST

Chicken breast is high in protein and low in fat. Research indicates that high-protein diets promote the secretion of hormones such as leptin, which provides feelings of satiety. Chicken also has purported positive effects on anabolic hormones (such as insulin and estrogen) by helping build muscles after workouts, making it one of the key foods to balance female hormones.

4. LEAFY GREENS

Greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard are loaded with antioxidants and can help prevent inflammation. Leafy greens are also considered to be hormone-balancing foods in that they can reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels and helping balance estrogen.

Additionally, greens are high in fiber. A high-fiber diet can aid in lowering estrogen levels, particularly for people with history or risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer, according to 2020 research by Harvard University. In general, try to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber daily to support hormonal balance.

5. CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts are all part of the cruciferous vegetable family and are potential foods that regulate hormones. Like leafy greens, these vegetables also help process and remove excess estrogen from the body. It’s also worth noting that the high calcium content in broccoli can aid PMS relief by reducing cramps and bloating, as well as regulating mood swings.

6. QUINOA

Quinoa is a gluten-free carbohydrate as well as a whole protein. (While quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain, it cooks and is eaten in a way that resembles whole grains.) It can be counted as one of the best foods to balance hormones by keeping female testosterone levels even. Quinoa yields this power due to its higher levels of protein that enable blood sugar stabilization. It also packs phosphorus and magnesium, which can alleviate PMS symptoms and promote sleep.

7. POMEGRANATES

Not only are pomegranates full of antioxidants, but they’re also known to help block excess estrogen production. That makes it an important antioxidant-filled food that could be beneficial in the treatment of hormone-sensitive cancers, including breast cancer.

8. CHERRIES

This tangy little fruit is rich in melatonin, which aids in restful sleep and itself is important for hormone balance. Cherries are also high in magnesium, which is known for its positive effects on our sleep regimens. Additionally, magnesium can help reduce cortisol and regulate adrenaline in our bodies.

9. FLAXSEEDS

Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based estrogens, especially lignans, which promote hormone balance and provide menstrual support. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. Fiber is an excellent probiotic, and the insoluble fiber in flaxseeds encourage bowel movements that help detox your body of excess hormones. To reap benefits from this top food for hormone balance, toss a few handfuls of flaxseeds into a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal.

10. AVOCADOS

Avocados are loaded with beta-sitosterol, which can positively affect blood cholesterol levels and help balance cortisol. The plant sterols in avocados also influence estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones responsible for regulating ovulation and menstrual cycles.

11. NUTS

Nuts are rich in poly and monounsaturated fats, which are responsible for aiding in blood vessel health and hormone production. They positively impact your endocrine system and help lower cholesterol and insulin levels while maintaining blood sugar.

Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium, a nutrient crucial to hormone balance as it supports overall thyroid health. Next, walnuts are anti-inflammatory and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote good brain health. Both walnuts and almonds are healthy sources of protein and antioxidants. They also improve your metabolism and promote naturally glowing skin. They’re great as a snack with a piece of fruit or added to a salad.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO PROMOTE HORMONE BALANCE? 

There are some other ways to treat hormonal imbalance outside of diet. Here’s how to balance hormones with your overall health: 

  • Take care of your gut health by eating a variety of high-fiber plant foods that don’t cause you inflammation (in the form of bloating or constipation).
  • Exercise regularly by moving your body in accordance with the fluctuations in your menstrual cycle—for example, doing light movement like yoga during your period and saving more high-intensity cardio workouts for other higher energy parts of your cycle, like ovulation. 
  • Prioritize good quality sleep by going to bed and waking up at regular hours (getting sunlight first thing in the morning and using blue light filter glasses can help with regulating your circadian rhythms).
  • Manage stress as best you can, by using mindfulness practices like meditation and journaling when you do feel stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, and seeking out mental health help where possible if you need more tools to cope with anxiety or depression.

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