Which foods get the highest grade for keeping your hormones functioning properly? A recent post on MindBodyGreen.com covers just how your diet can impact your hormone health—and we want to share our perspective on the subject with you here. This is not only good information for overall well-being; it’s important knowledge for addressing an endocrine system that’s out of balance.
You may have heard of hormones such as progesterone, cortisol, and estrogen, but how do they work? Our endocrine glands (including the pituitary, pancreas, ovaries, hypothalamus, and more) secrete tiny amounts of hormones into our bloodstream. These in turn regulate a wide range of body functions, including reproductive health, metabolism, brain function, mood, body temperature, and thirst, keeping our bodies in a state of overall balance.
“You are made up of a complex symphony of hormones—insulin, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, cortisol, and more—and these chemical messengers must play in united harmony for you to experience optimally functioning, harmonious health.“ —Taz Bahtia, MD, Integrative Family Medicine doctor
When things are amiss, your body will produce symptoms that indicate a hormonal abnormality. An endocrine system that is out of balance wreaks havoc on mood, energy level, and weight—and it can sometimes lead to disease.
If you want to learn more about hormones and their role in the body, TED-Ed has an engaging animated video about the amazing human endocrine system.
How does what I eat affect my hormones?
Hormones need certain nutrients to do their job effectively and efficiently—meaning what you put in your mouth directly impacts hormonal health. The good news is that there is an abundance of foods that can help support your endocrine system and boost your overall health.
Start with a food inventory
Your first step is to take an honest inventory of your diet, looking inside your fridge and pantry.
Food to avoid. Certain foods are more likely to foil your efforts to achieve and maintain balanced hormones, so it’s best to limit them. Well-known culprits to avoid when working to balance hormones include refined sugars, alcohol, saturated animal fats, caffeine, and processed foods.
Foods to favor. Good fats, high-quality proteins, nutrient-rich vegetables, and even dark chocolate are helpful foods to include in your repertoire. Among proteins, nuts are known to support the thyroid, in addition to making a great snack. It’s also helpful to include probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and kombucha in your diet. On the veggie front, make friends with dark green, leafy, and brightly colored varieties: asparagus, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots are all great choices.
For a more comprehensive list of helpful foods and supplements—and to learn more about how to craft a meal from hormone fueling foods—take a look at the entire MindBodyGreen article here.
When should I consider hormone replacement therapy?
For people who eat a healthy diet yet still suffer from symptoms like PMS, mood swings, acne, and irritability, we recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Hormone replacement therapy can also be the panacea for persistent hot flashes and disrupted sleep due to menopause.
Here at Basu Aesthetics + Plastic Surgery in Houston, we offer BioTE®, a bio-identical hormone replacement therapy derived from all-natural plant resources. BioTE® is designed to deliver a continuous dose of hormones into your bloodstream through a pellet (the size of a grain of rice) inserted just underneath the skin. The procedure only requires local anesthesia, is quick and painless, and can be done in our office.
If you’re interested in exploring HRT options, we encourage you to meet with Dr. Basu to determine if you’re a good candidate for treatment. Contact our Cypress or Houston office to schedule your personal consultation.