Ready to deep dive into hormonal health and why YOU should care?
Here is your quick guide about how hormones work, why they are necessary, what hormonal imbalance is and 2 hormonal conditions that I see happen mostly with my clients.
As a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and hormone specialist, I’ve been working for several years on educating my clients about this topic. It is extremely important to know about these little guys and be able to acknowledge when something is wrong with them.
Hormones are special chemical messengers that travel throughout our body to our organs and tissues and are created in our endocrine glands. They are in charge of regulating our behaviour and internal functioning such as digestion, respiration, metabolism, stress, growth, sleep, among others.
As you can see, these tiny messengers have a HUGE purpose. Some of the main hormone producing glands are: pancreas, parathyroid, pituitary, adrenal, hypothalamus, ovaries, thyroid, testes, pineal and thymus.
There are different kinds of hormones, each one of them have a particular task in our body. It is very common to see article headlines such as “the perfect formula to regulate hormones” or “how to improve your hormones”.
I personally believe that people should be careful while following those kinds of articles. Most people ignore the fact that there are different hormones and when it comes to hormonal imbalance, there are predefined protocols to address each issue in a different way.
Today I want to go a little bit further with two of the most common hormonal issues that affect most of my clients. These are metabolic syndrome and menopause.
Starting with the first one, let’s see which hormones are responsible for metabolic syndrome, where do they come from, how to notice imbalance and what foods are best to overcome these issues.
As said above, endocrine glands are responsible of producing hormones within our body. Now let’s take a closer look to the hormones that regulate our metabolism. These hormones are produced by the thyroid, adrenals, pituitary glands.
A hormonal imbalance of hormones like thyroxine, triiodothyronine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and growth hormone may lead to an increase of the adipose tissue, which is commonly known as body fat.
The adipose tissue can be found under our skin and plays a key role in the storage and release of energy thanks to the fat cells, also called adipocytes.
Too much adipose tissue may lead to health issues such as obesity, which in turn increases the risk of metabolic syndrome, developing type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol levels and high blood sugar levels. If these aren’t treated properly, there is a huge possibility of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
How To Detect Metabolic Syndrome?
Many of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms. A large waist circumference, however, is a visible sign that together with elevated triglycerides, low HDL levels, high blood pressure and elevated fasting blood glucose may lead to a positive diagnosis.
Some factors may increase the chance of developing this syndrome, such as age, race, obesity, insulin resistance, medications but often it is related to lifestyle and nutrition.
As with most hormone imbalances, a personalized lifestyle and nutrition protocol may address metabolic syndrome.
What Foods You Should EAT:
According to the Institute of Transformational Nutrition (ITN), the obesity/metabolic syndrome protocol suggests a diet that contains:
1.Fiber: Vegetables, Fruits and pulses help to balance blood sugar and stay full longer. You can find a lot of fiber in raspberries, apples, split peas, lentils, black beans, besides others.
2.Wild-Caught Fish: Omega 3s is a great source to help reduce inflammation.
3.Vegetables: Besides fiber, vegetables provide many other beneficial micronutrients
4.Protein: Organic, grass-fed meats, pastured poultry and eggs.
What Should You AVOID:
1.Inflammatory Foods: These are trans fats, caffeine, alcohol, simple sugars, processed foods, additives, chemicals, and dairy products.
2.High Carbohydrate Foods: If your goal is to stabilize blood sugar levels, choose lower carbohydrate sources like vegetables and berries.
Additionally, to eating the right foods, supplements, herbs and lifestyle may help with balancing your hormones to benefit metabolic syndrome. A holistic practitioner can help to improve your health naturally.
You May Also Want To Read – 12 Hormone Balancing Foods That Are All-Natural And Healthy
Now let’s talk about the other main health issue that affects most of my clients, menopause.
More a life stage than an illness, this natural process occurs in women around their 50’s and 60’s and it consists in the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. However, more and more younger women have an early onset of menopause.
Menopause symptoms may be different for each woman, but these usually are mood changes, weight gain, vaginal dryness, a loss of libido and hot flashes. The main cause of these symptoms is hormonal imbalance, more specifically, of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone.
These two are in charge of controlling the reproductive system, fertility and menstrual cycle. Your ovaries play a key role in this.
This hormonal imbalance and decline of estrogen levels are the main cause of adverse symptoms during menopause.
Although menopause is a completely natural process, the idea is to keep symptoms at bay and learn to support your wellbeing with natural hormone supporting food, herbs supplements and lifestyle.
To avoid these annoying symptoms, the Institute of Transformational Nutrition supports a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Besides including healthy protein, fiber and wild caught fish, these are the foods you should include into your shopping list to support hormonal health during menopause:
1. Organic Or Fermented Soy
Tofu, edamame, miso, and tempeh.
2. Flax Seeds
Freshly ground flax seeds provide fiber and phytoestrogen benefits.
According to this particular protocol, it is recommended to avoid inflammatory foods and also Caffeine, due to its negative impact on our hormones.
Additionally, Evening Primrose Oil, Chasteberry and Black Cohosh may be beneficial herbs to support menopause.
Now with all this knowledge, you are ready to support your hormones, remember to always ask your healthcare provider for professional health advice. My goal as Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach is to help you live a healthier lifestyle, provide the best guidelines to nourish your life and maintain a balanced diet according to your needs.
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