There’s no denying that our food choices have a direct effect on our hormones. Especially when it comes to estrogen and testosterone, which are essential for both men and women to maintain good health. But still, many people are unaware of the actual effects different foods may have on our hormonal balance and how many foods can actually throw it out of whack. Let’s take a look at some of the good, bad, and evil of food and hormone health. We’ll also look at a few ways we can correct hormonal imbalance through proper dietary choices.
American Dietary Guidelines Do Not Support Hormonal Health
The ugly truth about governmental dietary guidelines is that they’re much more about satisfying certain lobbies than the well being of the people. Many powerful lobbies are affecting what ends up on our plates everyday, and little of it has to do with hormonal or overall health.
For instance, a former lobbyist working with the Corn Refiners Association has been granted a conflict of interest waiver to allow them to directly advise the USDA about its dietary guidelines. In Canada, the powerful milk lobby has been known to tamper with the dietary guidelines as well.
This is especially concerning when knowing the possible effect of dairy products and sugar on our hormonal health.
American Eating Habits Aren’t Much Better
Even without the dietary guidelines, our everyday food choices do not encourage good hormonal health at all. The classic American diet, with its heavy reliance on starchy carbohydrates, processed sugars and fast food are all bad news for our hormonal balance.
Overconsumption of low nutrient carbohydrates is one of the main causes for insulin resistance among Americans, and the high rates of diabetes as well. In addition to that, our diet raises the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body too. This can not only have an effect on hormonal health, but could wreak havoc on our immune system as well.
Excess levels of cortisol can lower important down regulating hormones such as progesterone and testosterone, which can then lead to excess fat; fat that will in turn increase our estrogen production and make matters even worse.
How Proper Dietary Choices Can Correct Hormonal Imbalances
The good news however is that as much as food choices can have a disastrous effect on our hormonal health, much can be done to correct it as well. In addition to making good dietary decisions, adopting an active lifestyle with a mix of resistance and cardio training is a great way to promote hormonal health. Reducing the amount of stress in our everyday lives can also help reduce cortisol and the effects it can have on hormonal health.
Many foods can be introduced into our daily diet to promote good hormonal health. But how you eat is just as important. For instance, did you know that adding protein to every meal could help you optimize hormonal health? Protein has been shown to regulate the production of ghrelin, which is the hormone responsible for controlling appetite. This means that protein will make you feel full for longer and will reduce the effects of excess weight or your hormonal profile.
There are many supplements as well that could help maintain your hormonal health. Fenugreek seed for instance has been shown to increase the level of testosterone level in men. In an article by Vitamonk named “Does Fenugreek ACTUALLY Boost Testosterone Levels? (The Truth)”, one particular study showed that men aged between the age of 43 – 70 were able to increase their testosterone levels by taking a 600mg dose of fenugreek extract. This had a direct effect on their libido and sexual function. But what was more interesting is that the effects weren’t limited to men only. Fenugreek was also shown to restore sexual function and arousal in women as well. More studiesare being performed on the effects of fenugreek extract, but the results have been encouraging so far.
Maintaining hormonal health demands a lot of effort and determination. It’s also important that you as an individual do your own research on how to improve hormonal health since dietary guidelines are not enough. Make sure that you learn everything there is to know about hormonal health and commit to making actual changes today to recover it.