Updated: October 12, 2019
Hormones are chemical messengers of your body that are produced in the endocrine glands and travel around your bloodstream to control the function of tissues and organs. They plays an important role in maintaining your mental, physical and emotional health. They help control many major processes of your body, including metabolism and appetite, heart rate, sleep cycles, general growth and development, mood and stress levels, sexual function and reproduction, and body temperature.
Normally, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body. When you have a hormonal imbalance, you have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Even a small change in any of the hormone can have serious effects throughout your whole body.
Hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common with today's fast-paced modern lifestyle. Stress, sleep deprivation, and caffeine consumption can all affect your hormone levels and result in symptoms like mood swings, weight gain, and fatigue. In addition, hormone levels tend to fluctuate as you get older, and your hormone needs can vary based on your age group.
One of the easiest ways to balance your hormones is to incorporate a few hormone friendly foods into your diet. They can help boost your energy levels, alleviate stress, and lower your risk of conditions caused by hormonal imbalance. These include:
It is highly effective when it comes to boosting insulin sensitivity. The flavonoids found in cinnamon can mimic the effects of insulin, thus lowering fasting blood glucose levels. Adding cinnamon to your diet is both a preventative measure and a treatment for many hormone related symptoms.
Cinnamon can reduce insulin resistance significantly which is the main cause for both diabetes and PCOD. Cinnamon can decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal by interfering with numerous digestive enzymes, which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. In addition, cinnamon can also reduces the occurrence of Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH,) which also contributes to the occurrence of PCOD. It also helps in regulating the frequency of menstrual cycles among women with PCOD.
Dark chocolate has been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone released by the adrenal glands during times of stress. So, it will be helpful in reducing the stress level after a long day at work. But it should be consume in moderation.
The healthy omega-3 fatty acids in salmon could help promote insulin sensitivity, leading to less insulin production and a decrease in androgen synthesis. Androgens are a type of hormone that stimulate sebum production in the skin and elevated levels are linked to acne.
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and help stabilize moods. Healthy fats support brain health and allow us to make important hormones. Apart from salmon, you can also include other sea food such as sardines. Nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil and coconut oil can also be included in your diet regularly to get several health benefits.
Green tea help raise levels of epinephrine, a hormone that can help provide extra energy during times of intense stress. Drinking green tea has many health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants. The flavonoids and tannins in green tea are known to help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Acne is one of the problem associated with hormonal imbalance. The antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) found in green tea has been shown to reduce sebum production, fight inflammation and inhibit the growth of P. acnes in individuals with acne-prone skin.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods which beneficially affect hormones that regulate food intake, including lowering levels of insulin and ghrelin. It suppress your appetite and make you feel full.
Eating whole eggs as part of a low carb diet increases insulin sensitivity and improve several heart health markers more than a low-carb diet that included only egg whites. These also rich in vitamin D which is essential for bone health.
It can also improve immunity and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
The minerals present in this fruit helps lowering blood pressure. Avocados also contain health-promoting carotenoids along with monounsaturated fats. This can also avocados can help you maintain normal cholesterol levels, which is essential for the production of many important hormones in the body.
Kale is low in calories and contains a big dose of cell-protecting antioxidants as well as alpha-linolenic acid.This is a plant-based good fat that cools inflammation. Including kale in your diet may help improve insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Brazil nuts are one of the best sources of selenium, a mineral that plays an essential role in the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid dyfunction can lead to fatigue, weakness, weight gain and many more health issues.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that is high in phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens is a plant compound that imitates the effects of estrogen in the body. Because estrogen levels begin to decline with age, eating foods like tempeh could help balance hormone levels as you get older.
Ground flaxseed is another good source of phytoestrogens and has been shown to be as effective as hormone replacement therapy in reducing some symptoms of menopause. Flax seeds are a great source of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and essential amino acids with anti-androgen effects. It can reduce total as well as free testosterone naturally.
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring are rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce testosterone level. These are good source of proteins, healthy fats and a variety of vitamins and minerals. So adding them in your diet will bring about the same testosterone-lowering benefits.
Yougurt is high in calcium, which is an important mineral for bone health. It may help by regulating levels of parathyroid hormone, a hormone that controls the amount of calcium in your bones and blood. You can also control the fat and nutrient content by making your own yogurt at home for your high blood pressure diet.
Ghrelin is known as the hunger hormone, which is responsible for stimulating hunger. As you get older, your metabolism can start to slow down and your hunger levels are out of control. This happens when the level of ghrelin increses. Quinoa is high in both fiber and protein, two important nutrients that have been shown to reduce levels of ghrelin and decrease hunger. This high-protein whole grain contains a variety of health-protecting phytonutrients. Quinoa is gluten free and cooks in less than half the time it takes to make brown rice. Hence it is a good option to include in your diet if you have high blood pressure and high sugar.