For people of all ages, sexes, and genders, it’s important to keep your hormones well-balanced, and it’s not just for reproductive and sexual health! In fact, your hormones help to control and regulate a lot of our body’s functions, including mood, energy, sleep, metabolism, social behavior, immune system, and pain.
When hormones get out of balance, problems like diabetes, unwanted weight changes, weak bones, and other problems can be the result. Luckily, there are many different ways to keep your hormones in check.
One of the biggest factors in healthy hormone production and balance is your diet. Courtesy of Renewed Vitality, here are five eating and dieting tips that can help keep yourself happy hormonally.
Don’t Be Afraid of Carbs
In the world of dieting, there is quite a bit of stigma surrounding the consumption of carbohydrates. Many say that foods high in carbs are not ideal in any form. In reality, it’s the processed carbs, such as those found in junk food, that should be avoided.
“Good” carbs, like unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans are actually quite important to keep as part of your regular diet.
According to Heather Bartos, MD, a board-certified OBGYN and the founder of Be. Women’s Health and Wellness, “Humans need carbohydrates to make sex steroid hormones, so if you’re at a normal weight, you need that because that’s going to keep your hormones balanced.”
Eat Organic if Possible
Did you know that recent professional studies have shown that pesticides and growth hormones found in non-organic food can correlate to hormone disruption in human females? It’s true!
For this reason, Bartos recommends eating all organic meats, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products that are growth hormone-free. If possible, you can even show your support for local organic farmers in the Berks County area!
Eat Leafy Greens and Root Veggies
According to Alisa Vitti, a functional nutritionist, author, and founder of FLO Living, leafy greens and root vegetables can check the box for the complex carbs your body craves.
“Women often don’t get enough complex carbohydrates, and as a result, because they’re trying to diet all the time, it actually messes with their hormone levels, says Vitti. “Increase leafy green vegetables and root vegetables.”
The naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in many root vegetables and leafy greens can go a long way toward keeping your vital hormones in perfect balance. That said, not all leafy greens are created equal…
Take It Easy on the Kale
While it may sound surprising, medical professionals like Dr. Bartos recommends eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables in moderation.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, kale and other cruciferous veggies like it contain goitrogens, which can block iodine from entering your thyroid gland. The human body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones and promote healthy metabolism.
In many cases, you can keep your body’s iodine levels up by eating foods like fish and dairy, thus avoiding the effects of goitrogens. However, if you suffer from an Iodine deficiency or a condition such as hyperthyroidism, then you may be at risk of developing a goiter (an enlarged thyroid).
Harvard’s School of Public Health recommends cooking cruciferous vegetables, which deactivates the enzyme that can cause the goitrogenic effect, and also consuming a wider variety of vegetables.
If you just can’t give up the kale though, you don’t have to skip out on your kale salads, but that doesn’t mean you have to have 17 cups of kale a day, Bartos says. You can discuss with your doctor about any concerns with your cruciferous vegetable intake.
Consume Healthy Fats
Over the years, fad diets and general misinformation have contributed to the common belief that all fats found in food are bad for you. This is simply untrue.
While processed fats, like trans and saturated fats, can have negative long-term effects on your health, there are many foods that include naturally occurring fats that can help keep estrogen levels balanced. According to the AARP, these “healthy” fats can be found in foods like coconut oil, olive oil, sweet potatoes, and avocados.
Sometimes, no matter how well balanced you are with your diet, it can be a challenge to keep your hormones properly in check. At Renewed Vitality, we offer safe, effective hormone imbalance treatment options for men and women at all stages of life.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to contact Renewed Vitality in Wyomissing, PA today!