22 Apr Taking Care Of Our Hormones
Hormones are amazing. They are the communicators throughout our body to tell each cell and organ what to do. Taking care of hormones should be your number one priority because keeping the communication in your body on the right track is ESSENTIAL for optimal health. Many chronic diseases stem from the communication gone wrong in our body. We have a lot of hormones in our body, but let’s start learning what some of our major hormones are and what they do.
What Are Some Important Hormones?
Ghrelin: Responsible for making us hungry. It lets the body know that fuel is needed for cells.
Leptin: The accountability partner of ghrelin. This hormone is produced when the body consumes food and lets us know when it’s time to stop eating. This is the satiety hormone. Communication with this hormone is essential for keeping a good weight. If you have lots of sugar in your diet, you can become leptin resistant and your body won’t know when to stop eating.
Testosterone: Responsible for our bone & muscle growth, sex drive, fat distribution, red blood cell production, and more. It’s higher in men, but women do produce small amounts. If men don’t have enough, it can cause infertility, fatigue, depression, extra abdominal fat, and more. If women have TOO much, it can cause infertility and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).
Estrogen: This hormone helps regulate menstrual cycles, pregnancy, bone health, and more. If a female has too much, there is an increase of female cancers and neurological problems like dementia. This hormone is in both men and women, but women have a higher amount.
Progesterone: This hormone is needed for pregnancy and regulates our monthly cycle.
Prolactin: Responsible for lactation, ovulation and menstrual cycle in women. If a woman produces too much during their cycle and has an imbalance, there can be severe PMS.
Thyroid: Controls your metabolism, hair/skin/nails, energy, weight, bone health, brain development, and more.
Insulin: Released by the pancreas to take sugar out of blood to deliver to tissues in the body.
Glucagon: Works with insulin & is like an accountability partner. Glucagon makes sure that blood sugar doesn’t drop too low. This hormone helps the stored glucose in your body become readily available.
Serotonin: Hormone that affects sleep, behavior, appetite, memory, mood, and more. This hormone is mainly found in your gut. (Leaky gut can disrupt the process of making serotonin, since serotonin is found in the gut.)
Melatonin: Responsible for your sleep patterns.
Cortisol: This hormone helps the body adapt to stress and helps use sugar and fat for energy. This hormone also produces the ‘fight or flight’ feeling like adrenaline does.
Do you think you have an imbalance of any of those hormones?
There are many symptoms behind hormonal imbalances. Some are weight gain, depression, mood swings, acne, fatigue, hot flashes, PMS, bloating, low sex drive, infertility, irritability, and more. Those don’t sound like fun, but it happens when something in your body isn’t right.
What Disrupts Our Hormones?
The number one factor that disrupts hormones is our diet. If you don’t feed your body the nutrition it needs, the hormones WILL become imbalanced and cause health issues. If you tried to give a car some water and not gas, it won’t run properly (if at all). Round-Up, which is an herbicide, that is sprayed on our food is studied to cause hormonal disruptions. This is another reason why buying organic when you can is important. Another factor that can disrupt our hormones are plastic bottles/containers. Plastics have chemicals in them that are known endocrine disruptors and when plastics are heated, they can leach into the beverages and/or food. If you don’t get enough sleep, this can affect hormones as well. Most of the beauty products on the market have chemicals that mess up the hormone balance. This can be from shampoo, conditioner, make-up, lotions, body scrubs, powders, etc. If you ever looked on a beauty product container, do you understand any of it? If you are using any synthetic hormones (even if it’s a low dose), you are at risk for a hormonal imbalance. These extra hormones that are found in birth control are NOT natural. There is an increased risk for female cancers when you take birth control. If you look at the overall picture of what disrupts your hormones, there is a huge compound effect – from what we put on our skin to what we put in our bodies. Hormone disorders are growing fast.
How Real Food Takes Care Of Hormones
Real food is full of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and all things good to support your body’s communication. Remember that food is fuel. The right fuel will help your body communicate what it needs to. Getting rid of vegetable oils and unhealthy fats will aid in the balancing of your hormones. We get too much omega-6, there can be whole body inflammation, which affects hormones. Read my blog here if you are interested in learning the importance of a balanced ratio of omega’s. Omega-3’s can help with cortisol hormone by helping your body deal with stress better. Healthy fats, like coconut oil, helps support your metabolism and thyroid. Make sure you are getting enough healthy fats and QUALITY proteins. Citrus fruits are full of vitamin C and vitamin C can help balance the progesterone hormone. Calcium and magnesium are huge for giving all hormones support. Some real food sources that deliver this are raw dairy and leafy greens. Vitamin D is technically a hormone itself and this vitamin is great for supporting your thyroid. Whole food sources are eggs, raw dairy, fish, etc. Another real food that helps balance hormones is bone broth. Bone broth is full of essential amino acids that will support hormone production and regulation. It also will help support a healthy gut. Having an unhealthy gut, such as leaky gut, can disrupt hormones.
See how real food is full of these essential nutrients for healthy hormone production and regulation? Processed foods lack these important nutrients (or are filled with lab-made “nutrients” that aren’t even bioavailable to our body).
Just eat real food to support those communication lines that you need to live optimally!