Nutrition and how it relates to hormonal function
Hormones are referred to as the body’s chemical messengers. There are around 200 different hormones in the human body.
Almost every physiological function in the body is because of hormones (i.e., metabolism, menstrual cycle, reproduction, moods/emotions, immune system).
Hormonal changes influence all of us at every stage of life, and the effect can vary between individuals. Eating certain foods can provide the nutrients that we need in order to facilitate the production of hormones.
Clinical studies and hormonal research have now associated plant-based diets (especially those rich in Polyphenols) with various beneficial health and biological activities.
Functional foods have been found to reduce risk of chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders, and some cancers.
Functional foods are minimally processed, whole foods along with fortified, enriched, or enhanced foods and include foods that contain specific minerals, vitamins, fatty acids or dietary fibre, foods with added biologically active substances such as phytochemicals or other antioxidants and probiotics that have live beneficial cultures.
A well-balanced diet has a huge influence on many hormonal systems and aspects of our health.
VITAMIN C - is the most important vitamin when it comes to hormone production. It stimulates hormone production and supports progesterone production (calming hormone). Vitamin C supports our body to balance our stress hormone cortisol and is very important for our adrenal gland health. Foods with vitamin C are oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit, bell peppers, strawberries, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
OMEGA-3 - the balance of our omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is very important for hormone balance. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and modulate hormone receptor site sensitivity. We need both Omega-3 and Omega-6 for optimal health but too much omega-6 within the body can increase inflammation and lead to altered hormone receptor function.
Vitamin D - is an important vitamin that becomes a hormone itself in order to exert its' action. Vitamin D has many roles in the body and one of them is in the production of sex hormones. It can stimulate the production of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone which not only contribute to libido but also to mood. Few foods naturally contain vitamin D, though some foods are fortified with the vitamin. For most people, the best way to get enough vitamin D is taking a supplement because it is hard to eat enough through food. Mushrooms and spinach are both high in Vitamin D as well as salmon and tuna and organ meat like beef liver.
Magnesium - has many roles in the body, such as supporting PMS symptoms, anxiety and water retention. Foods high in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and fish.
Iodine and selenium - are vital minerals for our thyroid gland to make hormones. Thyroid hormones are responsible for our body’s metabolism and our ability to break down energy. The best source of iodine is from seaweed - using a kelp mineral salt is a great idea to increase the iodine of all your meals. Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium and a tasty snack!
If you are concerned that you are not getting enough nutrients in your food plan talk to your health care provider.
The Buff Muff App, available on both Android and iPhone, has a ton of free content available to anyone who downloads the app including a 7-day pelvic floor fitness challenge to introduce you to the concept of a whole-body fitness approach to pelvic health. As a member, you have access to several meal plans. There is a 7-day Hormone Balancing Meal Plan.
For More Information on the Buff Muff App click on the picture below --