At The Worx in Alexandria, VA, we focus on getting and staying in shape. It’s particularly important the older you get and particularly for women during perimenopause and menopause, but sex hormones aren’t the only hormones that get out of balance. Exercise helps lower stress levels that can disrupt hormonal balance. In fact, it’s one of the biggest factors that affect hormonal balances. Besides exercise, you can help balance hormones with certain foods.
There are two primary hormones that may be out of balance, progesterone and estrogen.
Hormones are the body’s messengers. When everything is functioning correctly, you’re happy, fit and energized. That’s not always the case. Many things can cause hormonal imbalances. Lack of exercise, stress and a poor diet are just three. Too much of one hormone and too little of another can disrupt your health, both mentally and physically. We normally think of hormone imbalance in terms of sex hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, which can cause weight gain and problems like hot flashes, but there are other types of imbalance, such as ghrelin—the hunger hormone—and leptin—the satiety hormone—that can get out of balance and cause you to eat too much.
Your body needs healthy fat to keep hormones in balance.
Food that contains healthy fat, such as avocados, egg yolks, nuts and seeds are important for hormonal support. It’s the raw material for the production of hormones and to maintain hormonal functioning. Hormones are created from cholesterol and specific fatty acids. A hormone imbalance can occur if the body doesn’t have the raw materials to make them. Included in the group of healthy fats are also ghee, coconut oil and raw butter.
Getting high quality protein and plenty of nutritious vegetables can help produce many hormones.
To balance sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone eating foods that mimic hormones can help, such as flax seeds, which contain phytoestrogens. Wild salmon not only contains omega-3 fatty acids, but also vitamin D, which is necessary to make hormones. Miso, lentils, sweet potatoes and broccoli are also important. To balance thyroid hormones, add food that provide a source of iodine, such as sea vegetables. Brazil nuts, sardines, spinach, and quinoa are also good. If your adrenal hormones are out of whack, it can affect your sex hormones. Balance those hormones by eating bell peppers, kale, almonds, avocado, pumpkin seeds and eggs.
- The best way to find out if your hormones are out of balance is to get a blood test and discuss the results with your doctor. However, eating a healthy well balanced diet can help both your hormones and your overall health.
- You can keep your hunger hormones and satiety hormone in balance by getting adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can curb the production of the hormone that makes you feel full and increase the production of the hormone that makes you hungry.
- A little bit of dark chocolate, blueberries, strawberries, papaya and avocados can help control inflammation and too much cortisol. So can turmeric, salmon and green leafy vegetables. Regulating cortisol can help you lose weight, especially around your middle.
- Foods high in zinc, vitamins C, E and B6, magnesium, beneficial cholesterol, sulfur, L-arginine and fiber can help regulate sex hormones. Eating more fiber and fermented foods and less sugar also helps balance all hormones.
For more information, contact us today at The Worx Fitness