Hormones are involved in controlling almost every aspect of your bodily functions. These important chemicals play important roles in regulating your mood, appetite, weight, and desire for sex, among other things. And hormones need to perform these roles in very specific amounts.
When your hormone levels are not balanced, it can lead to higher risks of various medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and sexual dysfunction. To avoid hormonal imbalance, you can take certain measures, such as eating the right types of food, so that your hormones are produced in the right amounts.
To achieve the right balance of hormones in your body, you need to eat sufficient amounts of protein. The protein that you get from your diet provides you with essential amino acids. These are amino acids that your body can’t synthesize, so you need to get them from the food you eat.
These essential amino acids play an important part in helping your body maintain healthy skin, bones, and muscles. In addition, essential amino acids derived from dietary protein influence the body’s secretion of hormones that help control your food intake and appetite.
When you eat dietary protein, this causes a reduction in your ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is also called the hunger hormone because it stimulates feelings of hunger. Aside from reducing your ghrelin levels, when you eat proteins, your body gets stimulated to produce the hormones that make you feel full.
Because of the actions of these hormones, a high-protein meal can lessen feelings of hunger. It can also help increase your body’s metabolism and fat burning. For better hormone health, try eating twenty to thirty grams of protein during each meal.
#2 Healthy Fats
When you eat healthy natural fats, it can reduce your appetite and help improve your insulin sensitivity. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are found in coconut and palm oil are examples of healthy fats that your liver absorbs for immediate conversion to energy.
Because MCTs help improve insulin sensitivity, they help obese and diabetic people to reduce their insulin resistance. Other healthy fats that also improve insulin sensitivity include monounsaturated fats found in nuts and olive oil.
When you eat these healthy fats, just like dietary proteins, it also stimulates the body to release hormones that help in regulating your appetite and make you feel full. In contrast, when you eat unhealthy fats like trans fats, these increase your insulin resistance. Moreover, trans fats can cause your belly fat to increase.
#3 Fatty Fish
Numerous scientific studies have attested to the various health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids derived from fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are most popular for their cardiovascular-protective health benefits. However, omega-3 fatty acids can also help improve your mental health by helping your body fight anxiety and depression.
In addition, DHA, which is one type of omega-3 fatty acid, is important for maintaining your eye health because it’s necessary for the structural component of your retina. If you regularly eat fatty fish that are rich in DHA, you can prevent macular degeneration, a type of eye disease that can cause permanent eye damage and even blindness.
More importantly, for your hormonal health, omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce your cortisol and adrenaline levels. These two hormones are produced by the body when you’re under stress, which is why they’re often referred to as stress hormones.
However, chronic exposure to high stress hormone levels can have damaging effects on your body. Eating fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent the deleterious effects of high cortisol and adrenaline levels.
Moreover, your body’s resistance to insulin can be lessened when you consume omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, it can help prevent obesity and diabetes. So you can maximize the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, try eating at least two servings of fatty fish such as herring and salmon every week.
#4 Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber not only contributes to better gut health, it can also help improve your insulin sensitivity. Insulin, a peptide hormone, is important in regulating your blood sugar levels. Insulin enables you to absorb glucose from the carbohydrates that you eat so that your body can use it for energy.
When your insulin resistance is high, it means that your cells do not respond properly to the actions of insulin. When this happens, your cells are unable to absorb the glucose in your blood. Glucose then stays in your blood, causing high blood sugar levels.
When your blood sugar levels continue being elevated, it can lead to diabetes and obesity. When you consume a high-fiber diet, you help improve your cell’s sensitivity to insulin so that your cells can efficiently absorb the glucose from your blood.
In addition to improving insulin sensitivity, consuming soluble fiber can also stimulate your body to produce more of the hormones that trigger feelings of fullness. Hence, the effects of soluble fiber on your appetite and food intake are very significant, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
There’s a reason why people who are determined to lose weight eat eggs all the time. Eating eggs can reduce your ghrelin levels while increasing the levels of the hormones that control your appetite and food intake.
If you were given the choice between eggs and bagels for breakfast, reach for the eggs because they’re much better at reducing your ghrelin and insulin levels. Consuming whole eggs can also boost your insulin sensitivity, especially if you eat them as part of a low-carb diet.
Steer Clear Of Refined Carbs And Sugar
If you really need a sugar boost, try aiming for fructose, which is the type of sugar that’s found in fruits. If you eat sweet fruits instead of processed high-sugar foods, you get to take advantage of the various nutrients found in fruits.
But the truth is that even fructose can increase your insulin levels and even contribute to insulin resistance. Although you also need to eat fruits to balance your diet, make sure you avoid foods that are high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread. Refined carbs can cause your insulin resistance to further increase.