Hormones, or the chemical messengers in the body, play various functions that support your overall health. Hormones such as insulin, testosterone, estrogen, and adrenaline carry messages between your organs and cells.
Keeping a hormonal balance helps sustain thriving health, but unfortunately, in some instances, hormone levels can either get too low or too high.
When this happens, a hormonal imbalance occurs, which could cause various health complications.
This article will talk about what hormonal imbalance is, its symptoms, and the top 10 foods that promote hormonal balance. We’ve also included additional tips on how to maintain hormonal balance, so read on!
What is Hormonal Imbalance?
A hormonal imbalance happens when your body has too little or too high of a hormone.
Since hormones play a significant part in bodily functions, including reproduction and metabolism, even small hormonal changes can lead to serious health complications.
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These hormonal imbalances are said to be caused by lifestyle habits, certain medical conditions, and even environmental factors.
Some common causes include poor eating habits, birth control pills, medication abuse, excessive weight, and chronic stress.
Several health problems such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, Cushing syndrome, pituitary tumors, endocrine gland injuries, iodine deficiency, and anemia can also cause hormonal imbalances.
Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal imbalance can adversely affect your health. And depending on which hormones are concerned, the symptoms vary, too.
Some of the common symptoms that are associated with hormonal imbalance include skin rashes, puffy face, breast tenderness, unexplained weight changes, blurry vision, and bone weakness.
Others who are suffering from hormonal imbalance also experience headaches, bloating, increased thirst, reduced libido, sleeping difficulty, appetite changes, irritability, anxiety, depression, and infertility.
So, how can you deal with these?
The treatment for hormonal imbalance and its symptoms likewise depends on the root cause. Some can be treated by certain medications, while others need the use of assisted reproductive technology.
In other cases, natural remedies can be used to reduce the symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
Best Foods for Hormonal Balance
Since hormonal imbalance may lead to severe health complications, you need to exert an effort to avoid it from occurring.
One of the best ways to promote hormonal balance is through a hormone balancing diet.
Fortunately, there are certain foods that promote hormonal balance, and they’re easy to add to your diet, too! Here are the top 10 foods for hormonal balance:
Apples are rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that is contained in various grains, fruits, and vegetables. Quercetin is used to treat a number of illnesses such as hay fever and certain heart conditions.
Eating an apple each day proves to keep the doctor away as the fruit improves and prevent the risk of health complications such as diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, heart diseases, and even cancer.
Avocados contain high amounts of vitamins B and E, folic acid, magnesium, fiber, and potassium, which are essential in sustaining a hormonal balance.
They are also beneficial in balancing certain hormones such as Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) or the steroid hormone, and cortisol or the stress hormone.
These essential vitamins and minerals also help boost your body’s absorption power.
3. Flax and Chia Seeds
Flax and chia seeds are rich sources of phytoestrogens and omega fatty acids that help reduce inflammation.
When the risk of inflammation is lessened, you are more likely to have hormonal production and balance.
Omega 3s also have linolenic acid, a fatty acid essential in prostaglandins formation. These seeds are also beneficial in improving blood pressure, blood glucose, and insulin sensitivity.
Cinnamon can help balance the insulin levels in your body. It also helps in liver stimulation and muscle cell response to insulin, which in turn improve blood sugar levels.
You can incorporate cinnamon into your diet by adding them to your hot drinks or putting some in your dishes.
5. Dark Chocolate
Research revealed that dark chocolate consumption can reduce cortisol in the body.
Researchers discovered that the study participants who ate 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for a two-week period reduced the release of stress hormones such as catecholamines and cortisol.
The results indicated that the production of these stress hormones was lessened.
Another study published in 2010 showed that simply smelling dark chocolates altered ghrelin or the “hunger hormone”.
The study concluded that by eating or merely smelling dark chocolate, your appetite can be suppressed. The results were attributed to ghrelin, possibly interceding vagal tone.
6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is considered a “healthy fat”. It contains monounsaturated fat, which is said to aid in balancing hormones.
Food sources that are rich in healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil help develop healthy cell membranes. When this happens, hormones are able to comply with cells better.
7. Green Tea
Green tea helps enhance your fat burning process and metabolism. It also contains theanine, an amino acid that is used to prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and treats high blood pressure and anxiety.
Theanine also has a protective effect on your brain, guarding it against the harmful effects of cortisol or the stress hormone.
Green tea is also said to be a great fat burner, especially within the tummy area. Drinking four cups of tea daily will help you shed pounds even without dietary changes and exercise.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that help align hormones and support the appropriate functioning of progesterone and estrogen, promoting a hormonal balance.
The significant amounts of lauric acid contained in coconut oil also guard your body against bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and yeast.
This long-chain fatty acid also eliminates toxic microbes from your gut that can cause hormonal imbalance.
Including probiotic-rich foods in your diet such as yogurt can help balance your gut, which balances your hormones. It’s ideal to consume one to two servings of probiotic foods daily.
10. Whey Protein
Protein consumption helps your body gain essential amino acids that are used to produce certain hormones such as growth hormone and insulin.
Whey protein also contains significant amounts of tryptophan, which helps boost immunity, enhance serotonin levels, and promote weight loss.
How Can You Maintain Hormonal Balance?
Eating hormone balancing food is just one way of keeping your hormones healthy. Below are the other natural ways that promote hormonal balance.
Optimum health cannot be achieved by a nutritious diet alone. You also need to do some form of physical activity such as walking, jogging, aerobics or strength training.
Getting yourself physically active can change your hormone levels in a positive way, preventing your risk of developing diseases and protecting your muscle mass.
Get quality sleep
To obtain optimal health, you need to accomplish three things: a well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and quality sleep.
Inadequate sleep has been linked to increased stress hormones, hunger, and insulin resistance, and decreased growth hormone and hormonal production.
Consume appropriate portions of food
Neither undereating nor overeating can help balance your hormones. The best thing you can do? Eat in appropriate amounts. The ideal calorie intake per day is 1,200. Goal to achieve this daily.
Manage your stress well
Meditative activities such as yoga, massage, listening to relaxing music, and other meditation activities can help place your cortisol at normal levels.
Be fully aware of your medications
It’s important to be aware of the side effects of your medications.
Some medications can have side effects such as altered sleeping patterns, decreased libido, exhaustion, appetite changes, and even depression.
It’s best to talk to your physician first about the side effects of your medications and ask if there are natural remedies if possible.
Avoid sugar-filled drinks
Sugary drinks have been shown to increase insulin resistance and insulin levels in overweight people. To keep your insulin levels at bay, it’s best to stay away from sugar-filled beverages.
This will also help in preventing the risk of other diseases such as diabetes.
Try natural supplements
Some natural supplements help address symptoms commonly associated with hormonal imbalance. These include dong quai, ginseng, black cohosh, and primrose oil for hot flashes.
Your hormones play an essential role in all aspects of your health. And you need to keep them well-balanced to allow your body to function perfectly.
Hormonal imbalances may raise your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other heart complications.
Following a hormone balancing diet plan and making some lifestyle changes can go a long way in promoting your hormonal health.
Also, don’t leave out your physician in the equation. Always seek your doctor’s advice especially if you are uncertain about your medications.