Have you recently noticed that those favorite jeans are a bit snug? Have you been breaking out more now than you did when you were a teenager? Are you having trouble falling asleep even after a long day at work? Chances are, you have a hormone imbalance. But never fear! I’m here to walk you through the basics of hormones and how your diet affects hormonal health training.
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers. When it comes to your health, your hormones play a very important role in keeping you healthy and happy. They pretty much have control over every physiological process in your body – from the regulation of your metabolism to the activation of your immune system.
So, it’s pretty apparent that having balanced hormonal health is crucial to having a healthy, functional body. However, many people don’t realize that what they eat may be directly contributing to a hormonal imbalance. Certain foods in your diet can either restore or throw off the balance of your hormones.
Here are my top three tips for making sure you stay on a balanced hormonal track:
#1: Cut back on the caffeine.
Believe me, I know how hard this one is for some of you. However, studies have shown that caffeine causes mild increases in cortisol secretion. For those of you who don’t know, having high levels of cortisol in your body can increase blood pressure, stress levels and visceral fat (the nasty, stubborn fat that collects around your midsection).
I highly recommend you replace your coffee intake with herbal teas. They are natural and give you the boost you need, and many of them aid in weight loss! If you simply cannot give up your java obsession, consider a healthier additive. Try adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your cup of coffee. You might need to blend it first, but your end result tastes like a latte and has lots of healthy fats!
#2: Avoid polyunsaturated fats.
This may be dieting 101 for some of you but, simply put, our body is not made to digest these pesky fats that are found in vegetable oils. Some evidence suggests that when these oils are absorbed into the cells in reproductive tissue, it can cause disorders such as endometriosis and PCOS. Definitely stay away from any chemically altered fats like vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, margarine or shortening. Instead, opt for healthy fats such as coconut oil, olive oil and grass fed organic real butter for your cooking needs.
#3: Understand soy and it’s connection to estrogen.
Soy products, such as soy milk, tofu and tempeh, can also have an effect on a woman’s hormonal health. This is because soybeans have high levels isoflavones, which are similar to human hormones. Soy products are able to imitate estrogen in the body, so the tissues within the body think that there is more estrogen in the blood than there actually is. This perceived increase of estrogen can then have an effect on the levels of other hormones in the body, such as progesterone.
Subtle changes in your diet can have a huge impact on your hormonal health. You’ll start thinking better, looking better, and – most importantly – feeling better. It’s my job to help you along this journey of a healthy, balanced life, and I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your diet and how it connects to your hormonal health training.
Until then: Be Strong, Be Active, Be Mindful and Be in the Moment wherever you are in your life!