Hormones are special chemical messengers located in the body that are created in the endocrine glands. These messengers control most major bodily functions, from basic needs like hunger to more complex systems like reproduction, and even the emotions and mood. Understanding the major hormones and what they do will help you take control of your health.
When it comes to losing weight or improving health, what do you focus on? Calories... or micronutrients... or diets. Those who have symptoms such as fatigue, skin issues, weight gain, weight around the middle, trouble sleeping, always sleeping, PMS, endometriosis, infertility, PCOS or other issues may find that addressing hormones is vital for recovery.
Symptoms of having a hormone imbalance are
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Muscle loss
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy
The endocrine system is a complex system that we will probably never completely understand, but there are 4 basic tips you can do to boost your body's ability to create and balance hormones:
1. Eat Healthy Fats
3% Of the body is made up of polyunsaturated fats contains both Omega-3 fats and Omega-6 fats in about a 50:50 balance. This ratio is extremely important for health, and it is often ignored. Seed based vegetable oils (like canola oil, soybean oil, etc.) are very high in Omega-6 fats and low in Omega-3 fats. Since the 1950s, these seed based oils have replaced many sources of saturated fats and Omega-3s in the diet. This is one of the reasons that most people are not getting enough vital Omega-3 fatty acids from their diet.
Coconut Oil is great for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, reduce inflammation, and even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Coconut oil has also been shown to help prevent heart disease and reduce high blood sugar.
2. Limit your Caffeine
Caffeine can stimulate the central nervous system and can lead to a faster heart rate, excessive urination, vomiting, restlessness, depression and tremors in some extreme cases. Too much caffeine can have heavy effects to your endocrine system, especially if there are other hormone stressors involved, like pregnancy, presence of toxins, beneficial fat imbalance or stress. Caffeine may also hinder your body's ability to absorb calcium, and a prolonged intake of large amounts of caffeine may cause osteoporosis later in life.
3. Avoid Harmful Chemicals
Harmful chemicals that are found in pesticides, plastics, household cleaners, and even mattresses can contain hormone disrupting chemicals that mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones. Things like hormonal birth control can do the same thing. To be able to avoid harmful chemicals tips I suggest are to cook in glass or non-coated metal pans (no non-stick or teflon) and avoid heating or storing foods in plastic. Find organic produce and meat whenever possible and don't use chemical pesticides or cleaners.
Beauty products are another source of chemical exposure for many people. There are thousands of chemicals in the personal care products we come across everyday, and most of these chemicals have not been tested for long-term safety. Avoiding these products can make a tremendous difference in achieving hormone balance. Start by making simple switches like natural deodorant, and homemade lotion and even DIY makeup if you're feeling up to a challenge.