Balance your hormones naturally with these foods and herbs
We have 100s of hormones in your body and they are involved in most bodily processes and are therefore essential to health because they keep your body functioning optimally.
Hormones are chemicals that are produced by glands (pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid glands, the pancreas, and the gonads) in your endocrine system, which is a chemical messenger system made up of feedback loops between hormone-secreting glands and your organs and circulatory system. The endocrine system is the information superhighway of your body, which allows the different systems, organs, tissues, and cells to work together in a healthy way.
Hormonal imbalance means you could have too much or too little of a hormone circulating throughout your body. When this happens, you may experience various symptoms that could result in diseases. If one hormone is out of balance, it impacts all your hormones. For example, hormones work like an orchestra, if one instrument is off, then the entire orchestra sounds off. Another example is the thermostat in your home, if it stopped working, it would not send a message to turn the heat off when the temperature reaches the preset temperature. The thermostat would not respond as the heating unit continues to release more and more heat into your home. Soon, you will begin to sweat all because the message was not received and acted upon.
Since hormones are intertwined with your bodily processes, they can affect metabolism and appetite, heart rate, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles and sexual function, general growth and development, mood and stress levels, and body temperature.
While you may not be able to control the multitude of hormonal changes that are happening in your body, research shows that diet and lifestyle can influence how these hormonal changes impact your body. Here are a few suggestions to start.
Foods and suggested herbal teas and adaptogenic herbs
An abundance of organic fruits and vegetables. They contain lots of nutrients that protect our cells and promote overall good health including hormonal balance. I am stressing organic because conventional produce is often grown using different chemicals that can disrupt your endocrine system and as mentioned above, is the information superhighway of your body. If organic is not always possible, see the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to buy organic where it matters most.
Consuming fiber from plant foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Fiber can improve digestion and lower the risk for diseases.
Plant-based protein is anti-inflammatory,beneficial to the endocrine system and reduces the “hunger hormone” ghrelin, and stimulates hormones that make you feel full. This includes beans, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds.
Herbal teas. Some herbs may be beneficial in supporting a variety of hormonal imbalances such as estrogen and progesterone. For example, include teas made with raspberry leaf, black cohosh, fenugreek, dandelion root, and ginger rhizome. See the link from composednutrition.com (herbal teas) for a list o
f herbal teas and more details for hormonal support.
Adaptogenic herbs and roots. These are non-toxic plants that some believe can help your body naturally resist stressors. While many sources indicate that more research is needed, many people have indicated that using these adaptogenic herbs have reduced pain, digestive problems, and insomnia. Examples of adaptogenic herbs include medicinal mushrooms, ginseng, tulsi tea, ashwagandha, and holy basil. Since stress is often the root cause of many hormonal balances, adaptogens can be used to support your body.
In Good Health,
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide medical advice. The purpose is to provide education and broader understanding to my readers. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. I do not recommend or prescribe, or recommend changing dosage or discontinuing, any prescription medications or pharmaceutical drugs.
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