How Should I Eat to Influence My Hormones?
Hormones are the messengers of the body, communicating between organs and tissues controlling bodily functions such as growth, metabolism, appetite, fertility and behaviour.
What causes imbalances?
- Imbalances can be caused by a number of factors namely;
- Body weight
- And Environment
Hormones are constantly working to create balance and eating a well-balanced diet can help with energy levels and nutrients needed for healthy hormone production.
So what is a well-balanced diet?
Our diet is made up from 3 macronutrients, often abbreviated to macros; carbohydrate, protein and fats.
We need all three for healthy hormone production. A great way to understand how that translates to food portions, the palm of your hand ( and its depth) should equate to the amount of protein you should eat at each meal, a clenched fist to the carbohydrates, and the fats and oils should roughly be the size of your thumb.
Increase your fibre intake
Fibre helps with maintaining blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as feeding our gut bacteria. We should be aiming for about 30g per day. To achieve that, try having at least two servings of vegetables with each meal. Fruit, should be your dessert or snack, or as a natural sweetener in a smoothie or porridge for example. Smoothies are popular for breakfast, just make sure, they are predominantly made from vegetables, with fruit as a natural sweetener.
Eat friendly fats
Friendly Fats are really important for hormone production and include foods such as omega 3 rich food such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, as well as those from non-fish source, such as nuts, chia seed and flaxseeds. This is important both in female and male hormone production.
Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol
Alcohol is calorie-dense and high alcohol consumption has also been linked with high levels of oestrogen in males and a decline in circulating oestrogen in females as well as lower testosterone and over time, increased levels of cortisol. This increase in cortisol levels is also seen with high caffeine consumption, which can affect appetite, sleep quality and energy levels. Limiting alcohol to 14 units a week and caffeine to two cups a day is a sensible place to start for overall health.
Cut out Processed Food.
We all love a good pizza from time to time, but processed foods contain hydrogenated oils, sometimes trans-fats, and added sugar as well as preservatives. Eating food that is close to the whole food you find in nature is best. Ultimately processed food can cause inflammation, and reducing inflammation can assist in hormone balancing.
Diet alone may not fix your hormones, but combined with exercise, sleep and taking rest, not to mention getting adequate vitamin D from sunshine are a great place to start.
If you’re concerned about your hormones, or looking to check if changes you’ve made in the above have made a difference, take our hormone check.
Link to well man, well man plus, well-woman, well woman plus, and tiredness check