Certain lifestyle practices, including exercising regularly, and eating a nutritious diet rich is protein and fiber can help naturally balance your hormones.
Hormones are chemical messengers that have profound effects on your mental, physical, and emotional health. For instance, they play a major role in controlling your appetite, weight, and mood.
Your body typically produces the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes to keep you healthy.
However, sedentary lifestyles and Western dietary patterns may affect your hormonal environment. In addition, levels of certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.
A nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle habits may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best.
Consuming adequate amounts of protein is extremely important.
Not only does protein
Your endocrine glands make these hormones from amino acids. Peptide hormones play a crucial role in regulating many physiological processes, such as growth, energy metabolism, appetite, stress, and reproduction.
For example, protein intake
Research has shown that eating protein
Experts recommend eating a minimum of 15–30 grams of protein per meal. You can do this by including high protein foods such as eggs, chicken breast, lentils, or fish at each meal.
Physical activity strongly influences hormonal health. Aside from improving blood flow to your muscles, exercise increases hormone receptor sensitivity, meaning that it enhances the delivery of nutrients and hormone signals.
Insulin is a hormone that allows cells to take up sugar from your bloodstream to use for energy. However, if you have a condition called insulin resistance, your cells may not effectively react to insulin. This condition is a risk factor for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
However, while some researchers still debate whether the improvements come from exercise itself or from losing weight or fat,
For people who cannot perform vigorous exercise, even regular walking
Weight gain is directly associated with hormonal imbalances that may lead to complications in insulin sensitivity and reproductive health.
Obesity is also
This means obesity is strongly related to lower levels of the reproductive hormone testosterone in people assigned male at birth and
Your gut contains
For example, when your
Acetate and butyrate
Acetate and butyrate
In addition, lipopolysaccharides (LPS) — components of certain bacteria in your gut microbiome — may increase your risk of insulin resistance. People with obesity
Here are some tips to maintain healthy gut bacteria which may also help you maintain a healthy hormone balance.
Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugars in the Western diet, and fructose is commonly used commercially in soft drinks, fruit juice, and sport and energy drinks.
Fructose intake has increased exponentially in the United States since around 1980, and
Long-term fructose intake has been
What’s more, fructose may fail to stimulate the production of the fullness hormone leptin, leading to decreased calorie burning and increased weight gain.
Therefore, reducing your intake of sugary drinks — and other sources of added sugar — may improve hormone health.
Stress harms your hormones in several ways.
The hormone cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it helps your body cope with long-term stress.
Your body’s response to stress activates a cascade of events that leads to cortisol production. Once the stressor has passed, the response typically ends.
However, chronic stress
Therefore, chronic stress causes cortisol levels to
In addition, high cortisol levels stimulate gluconeogenesis — the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources — which may cause insulin resistance.
Try to devote at least 5 minutes per day to these activities.
Including high quality natural fats in your diet may help reduce insulin resistance and appetite.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are unique fats that are less likely to be stored in fat tissue and more likely to be taken up directly by your liver for immediate use as energy, promoting increased calorie burning.
MCTs are also
These healthy fats are found in pure MCT oil, avocados, almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, fatty fish, and olive and coconut oils.
No matter how nutritious your diet or how consistent your exercise routine, getting enough restorative sleep is crucial for optimal health.
In fact, one
Plus, your brain needs uninterrupted sleep to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle. This is especially important for the
To maintain optimal hormonal balance, aim for at least 7 hours of high quality sleep per night.
Fiber is essential to a healthy diet.
Although soluble fiber
Your gut microbiome ferments soluble fiber in your colon, producing SCFAs that stimulate the release of the fullness hormones PYY and GLP-1.
As such, try to eat several high fiber foods each day.
Estrogen is a hormone
Like other homrones, estrogen levels that are either too low or too high have been linked to acute and chronic health conditions, including obesity, metabolic disorders, and various cancers.
However, dietary choices may contribute to changes in your estrogen levels.
On the contrary, following a Mediterranean-style diet rich in whole grains, seeds, fish, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower may help reduce estrogen levels and, thus, cancer risk.
Researchers believe that this diet increases your intake of protective plant compounds such as polyphenols and lignans.
Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in very specific amounts for your body to function optimally.
Hormone imbalances may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions.
Although aging and other factors that affect hormones are beyond your control, you can take several steps to help manage your hormone levels.
Consuming nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and engaging in other health-promoting behaviors such as meditating and getting enough sleep may go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.