How The Fats You Eat Affect Your Hormones
For several years there have been widespread discussions of the importance of eating healthy fats. We hear about healthy fats related to heart health, brain health, and arthritis. Did you know that the fats you eat can also help balance your hormones?
Take a look at which healthy fats you want to eat to bring your hormones into balance!
Eat Healthy Fats (Including Coconut Oil and Avocados)
Eating a variety of foods high in short, medium and long-chain fatty acids is key to keeping your hormones in check. Your body needs various types of fats to create hormones, including saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only are these essential fats fundamental building blocks for hormone production, but they keep inflammation levels low, boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
My four favorite sources of anti-inflammatory, healthy fats include: coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter and wild-caught salmon. Coconut oil uses are plentiful− for example coconut oil (or cream/milk) has natural anti-bacterial and fat-burning effects. Avocado benefits include improving heart health, lowering inflammation, controlling your appetite and contributing to your daily intake of fiber and nutrients such as potassum. Salmon nutrition is also impressive: it’s one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower inflammation and help with cognitive functions.
Balance Your Intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 Fats
Since the early 20th century, the use of refined vegetable oils and intake of omega-6 fatty acids in our diets have skyrocketed. Because people didn’t also boost their intake of omega-3 foods during this time period, the result has been drastically elevated omega-6 levels. I’ve seen an onslaught of chronic diseases caused by inflammatoryprocesses literally take over our society, and a major reason why is because of very disproportionate fatty acids in the Western modern diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a large component of brain-cell membranes and are important for cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids help protect against hippocampal neuronal loss and reduce pro-inflammatory responses. (7) Research from Pennsylvania State University suggests that jumping from a ratio of 1:1 omega-3/omega-6s (the ratio our hunter-gather ancestors mostly enjoyed) to the astronomical ratio between 10:1 and 20:1 (omega-3/omega-6s) is one of the primary dietary factors causing many diseases in America. (8)
Here’s a rule of thumb: Be sure to steer clear from oils high in omega-6 fats (safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and load up on rich sources of natural omega-3s instead (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products). I want to also mention, there is a type of omega-6 fat you want to try and get in your diet called GLA. GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) can be taken in supplement form by using evening primrose oil or borage oil, and it’s also found in hemp seeds. Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels. – Dr Axe
Herbs, Gut Health and Other Considerations To Balance Hormones
Your gut health is a powerful mechanism built into your body to protect your overall health and keep your system in balance. It’s easier to improve your gut health than you may think.
As you read the list below of things that contribute to an unhealthy gut, remember adding a high-quality probiotic to your diet can go a long way toward improving your gut health while you overcome anything contributing to an unhealthy gut.
Adding a probiotic to your diet and working to improve your gut health may be a new idea but it could just be one of the best things you have ever done for your health!
Here’s a look at other foods, herbs or supplements that can help or hurt your hormone balance. This is important so that as you plan your nutrition you can make the best decisions possible.
Incorporate Healing Herbs
Adaptogen herbs are a class of healing plants that work to promote hormone balance and fight off various diseases. Research has found that various adapotogens can improve thyroid function, reduce anxiety and depression, support adrenal gland functions, and more.
Improve Your Gut Health
Taking care of the gut is becoming of increasing concern, especially since it’s been found to cause autoimmune reactions, including arthritis and thyroid disorders. Many things contribute to an unhealthy gut, including:
Antibiotics and medications like birth control
Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods
Diets low in fermentable fibers
Dietary toxins such as industrial seed oils
Limit Your Caffeine And Alcohol Consumption
Caffeine can stay in your system for up to six hours, and the chemical can affect the central nervous system, raising your heart rate, increasing alertness, and altering the way your brain produces hormones.
We’ve come to accept synthetic treatments as our first step toward bettering our health, but what’s even more important is understanding your condition, what causes it, and taking holistic approaches before succumbing to anything else. -Collective Evolution
Are you getting omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics in your diet now?