Healthy hormone function is not merely a matter of supplementation, although bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can relieve many issues due to low hormone levels in women and men. Like it does in so many other ways with regard to health and wellness, food and diet play a key role in healthy hormone function.
Plenty of Protein
Adequate protein intake is critical to proper hormone function. For best results, try to consume some protein at every meal. Protein affects the hormones used to control appetite, so insufficient protein consumption not only lessens the number of amino acids needed by the body to maintain health—but it can also trigger hunger hormones, leading to obesity and other health problems.
Eating healthy fats releases hormones making the body feel full and reduces the odds of developing insulin resistance. Such high-quality fats include medium-chain triglycerides, found in palm and coconut oils, which the liver can use immediately for energy. Other sources of healthy fats include:
- Egg yolks
- Raw butter/ghee
There are plenty of healthy reasons to eat lots of fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. These fish contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for heart health.
Fatty fish can also reduce inflammation, as well as the presence of so-called “stress” hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. For women, fish oil can help estrogen balance, lessening the side effects of menopause and menstruation.
Lots of Fiber
Everyone should include lots of high-quality fiber in their daily diet. Again, fiber consumption releases hormones making people feel full. Examples of high-fiber foods include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
Foods to Avoid
It is likely no surprise that avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates can aid in boosting hormone function. Keeping the consumption of these foods to a minimum helps hormone function and may help a person avoid hormone-related diseases such as diabetes. Those who are already overweight are at increased risk of developing diabetes.
It is also important to avoid trans fats, which increase the potential for insulin resistance and add to belly fat. Dairy products can also increase insulin sensitivity, as can foods containing gluten.
In addition, it is wise to keep caffeine consumption to a minimum and either stay away from alcohol or drink it sparingly. Finally, alcohol can raise estrogen levels, disrupting female hormonal balance.
Sleep and Exercise
While eating the right diet can help hormone levels, a diet does not exist in a vacuum. It is also essential to exercise regularly for optimal hormonal health and to get a good night’s sleep. Good hormonal health and good health overall always requires a holistic approach.