The Good News First :-
We can help to naturally balance and support our interwoven Endocrine System by including high quality healthy fats into our diets. Remember Hormones are actually created from fats and cholesterol! When it comes to supporting your Hormones, think of Nourishing yourself and your Endocrine System with healthy fats like Omega 9 found in avocados, almonds & olive oil. These foods help to re-set our hormone levels. Omega 9 fats are monounsaturated fats, assisting to raise the levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad. Avocados are loaded with Vitamin E and this prevents free radical damage, boosts immunity & acts as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin. Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce inflammation & they are also effective in balancing and supporting hormone levels. The body isn’t capable of producing Omega 3 Fatty Acids on its own. Therefore, we must draw from Omega 3 foods in our diet to supply these extremely beneficial compounds. Wild caught fish such as salmon, chia seeds, flax seeds, flax seed oil, walnuts and walnut oil are all examples of Omega 3 foods. Some vegetables such as brussels sprouts, kale, spinach & watercress contain Omega 3 fats as well. Medium Chain Fatty Acids found in coconut products are fabulous for nourishing your hormones and are an excellent source of healthy fat for your body to burn as fuel for much needed energy. Even Short Chain Fatty Acids found in grass fed organic dairy like butter, fermented kefir and ghee can help to bring balance to your hormone levels.
The Bad News :-
There are specific foods that we really need to avoid so that our naturally functioning hormonal system is not disrupted. Xenoestrogens, pronounced “zeno estrogens” are endocrine disrupters that increase peoples oestrogen levels and adversely decrease their progesterone levels. The natural occurring Oestrogen hormone in our bodies create the female shape, enhance a happy positive mood, and really notably help to keep our joints well lubricated and our skin smooth and supple. The bad news is that there are particular foods and household items such as plastic storage containers, ingredients in some skin care & household cleaning products that are now known to contain these very Xenoestrogens! Xenoestrogens mimic our natural oestrogen hormone within the body, causing people to have unwanted high levels of oestrogen in their bodies! Men definitely need some oestrogen because without it they can become infertile. The problem arises when men, woman and children regularly eat foods with Xenoestrogens present in them, causing oestrogen to increase and sore to unhealthy levels within their bodies. This can lead to impotence in men and give them more female characteristics. Young teenage girls generally are beginning their menstrual cycles earlier than decades ago, due to the affects of Xenoestrogens found in certain foods & household items. When Xenoestrogens enter the body they increase the total amount of estrogen resulting in estrogen dominance! Xenoestrogens do not naturally break down and are stored in the fat cells of the body. We don’t want our loved ones battling with thyroid imbalances, fatigue, ovarian breast or cervical cancers, obesity or auto immune diseases. Unfortunately, over time a build up of Xenoestrogens can be a contributing factor to some of these terrible ailments.
So Here’s the Foods to Avoid….
Conventional Dairy and Meat are the greatest offenders and disrupters to our oestrogen levels. All those unwanted added chemicals, medications, hormones and steroids added to conventional dairy and meat can cause our oestrogen levels to sky rocket! If you can’t afford to buy organic then please at least start with switching to buying Organic Meat & Dairy initially. You can read Angela’s article about Eating Organic Food On A Budget for more information when you click on this link http://inspired4health.com.au/eating-organic-food-budget/. Other foods containing Soy derivatives have oestrogen mimickers in them as well. Now a days Soy is well known to be genetically modified and unfortunately comprises of those extra Xenoestrogens. A diet high in Sugar and Carbohydrates can increase oestrogen levels significantly too.
The Action Plan :-
We can decrease extra re-occuring estrogens by consuming beautiful Healthy Nourishing Fats. Please try to avoid foods such as Soy, Refined Sugar, Conventional Meats and Conventional Diary as these have Xenoestrogens present in them. Look for alternatives to household products containing parabens such as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben – all of which are commonly used as a preservative in skin care ranges and can potentially boost estrogens levels too high. Be aware that using Benzophenone found in sunscreen lotions contains Xenoestrogens so find sunscreens without this ingredient and of course stay away from BPA – Bisphenol A, an industrial product placed in a number of household plastic storage items. BPA is definitely toxic to our bodies and can cause hormonal disturbances. Make some small lifestyle changes. Start to store your leftovers in only glass or paper and break the habit of using convenient plastics! Stop eating and drinking out of plastic. Choose good old fashioned crockery or earthen wear to serve your food on. Heat up your food on a stove or oven and please don’t opt to use a microwave. A little extra time in the kitchen can give you the rewards of beautiful health and wellbeing down the track. Use high quality pots and pans made out of stainless steel or iron. Glyphosate sprayed foods can increase oestrogen levels as well so please annually check the Environmental Working Group’s two lists to see which produce you should buy Organically because they are still heavily sprayed (known as the Dirty Dozen) and which produce you can buy in more conventional stores that won’t be as expensive and are least likely to be contaminated (known as the Clean 15).
What Foods Will Support All My Hormones?
Generally, a helpful outline is to eat high protein foods, lovely healthy fats moderately & lots of fresh plant based foods. When your body gets accustomed to only eating the highest quality, the desire for unhealthy foods diminishes. There is an exception to the rule though, the hormone Melatonin functions more optimally with carbohydrates being included in our diets. You may choose this in the form of starchy vegetables though, like pumpkins or sweet potato and also grains that do not have “alpha gliadin gluten” in them, such as properly prepared brown rice. Specific hormones flourish when you give them the foods they need to thrive. For example, without enough healthy fats in your intake, your body won’t make enough of the Anti-Stress Hormones & Gender Hormones. The dominant hormone Cortisol (part of the Anti-Stress Hormone Family) is wonderfully supported when we eat animal proteins such as organic meat, poultry, fish & eggs. This hormone finds healthy fats useful as well. If you have suffered from adrenal overdrive or want to prevent it, then definitely consider avoiding sugar in your diet. When we are under stress for lengthy periods of time, the once high levels of Cortisol drop & begin to become depleted. Sugar lowers Cortisol levels even more! And this is not desirable when you are aiming to restore balance to this over-worked adrenal glands. Inspired 4 Health Community please continue to Nourish & Support Your amazing Endocrine System and reap the rewards of Well Balanced Hormone Levels.
Lots of love Inspired 4 Health Community!
Images by Lucy Cuneo & Quinn Luu