How You Eat Matters

The more you learn about the way our bodies work, the more you realize that each part of your life is intertwined. For today, we’re going to talk about how that applies to your diet.

Your hormone balance can affect what you crave and how much you eat. But how you handle your diet, the types of food, how and when you eat and more all play a part in controlling the release and absorption of your hormones.

Don’t Skip Meals

It’s best to eat when you’re hungry for a meal, but whatever you do, don’t skip meals. When you do, you’re setting your insulin up for a rollercoaster ride. This makes your blood sugar drop, then soar, then drop rapidly again. It also makes you moody, jittery, anxious, and even tired in the meantime. It can also set you up for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and possibly weight gain or overeating. Choose a smart, simple healthy breakfast and eat at least every 4-5 hours throughout the day.

Eat a Balance of Cooked and Raw Foods

Most of us need both cooked and raw foods to maintain a balance. Raw foods energize the body and cooked foods tend to calm the body. This is especially true for root vegetables and grains, which have an incredibly balancing effect on the body in cooked form. This helps lower cortisol (the stress hormone), improves serotonin levels which lifts your mood, and will nourish your whole endocrine system. If you don’t tolerate grains or gluten, emphasize beets, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, and carrots instead.

Skip the Dairy (and Refined Grains)

It’s also good to skip foods that raise blood sugar directly and have been linked to diabetes and blood sugar problems. Aside from refined sugar (and even excess added natural sugars), dairy and refined grains are two foods to give up. Dairy contributes to extensive hormonal problems and can also lead to acne and diabetes as a result. The growth hormones (even in dairy without added hormones) contribute to the problem, along with the lactose and/or cholesterol-raising fats they contain. You’ll also want to skip refined grains since they don’t take very long to digest and raise blood sugar quickly as the result of being an empty source of whole food carbohydrates. They may also affect your estrogen and testosterone levels, which will also affect your mood, weight and energy.
– via One Green Planet

What You Eat Matters, Too

Now we’ll move from HOW to eat and into WHAT to eat – or avoid. Soon we’ll dive into endocrine disruptors and how to keep them from wreaking havoc on your hormonal balance, but for today there are a couple key things to point out – namely caffeine and coconut oil. One of these can be a huge help in maintaining a healthy internal balance. Can you guess which?

Endocrine glands, which are special groups of cells, make hormones. The major endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands and pancreas. In addition, men produce hormones in their testes and women produce them in their ovaries.

Hormones are produced using good fats and cholesterol, so lack of these important dietary factors can cause hormone problems simply because the body doesn’t have the building blocks to make them. Toxins containing chemicals that mimic these building blocks or that mimic the hormones themselves are also problematic because the body can attempt to create hormones using the wrong building blocks… mutant estrogen anyone?

The endocrine system is a complex system that we will probably never completely understand, but there are some basic things you can do to boost your  body’s ability to create and balance hormones:

Limit the Caffeine

I love coffee, a lot, but the truth is that too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system, especially if there are other hormone stressors involved too like pregnancy, presence of toxins, beneficial fat imbalance or stress.

Cut down the coffee if you can, or replace with beneficial herbal teas. If you can’t or won’t cut the coffee, use it as a way to sneak in your beneficial fats by adding 1 tablespoon coconut oil to each cup and blending in the blender to emulsify. It is like a latte but with healthy fats!

Eat Some Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, reduce inflammation, and even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

If you really need hormone help, aim to consume 1/4 cup of added coconut oil a day. My favorite way is to blend into coffee or tea.
– via Wellness Mama

Are you ready to take back control of your hormones through a few small changes to your diet? It’s not hard and can make a huge difference!