The endocrine system is made up of glands that are responsible of regulating metabolism, growth, development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep & mood, among others. For example, people who have hypothyroidism, diabetes and adrenal fatigue are all considered to have adrenal disorders because their bodies are not functioning well.
Often, when we have a hormonal disorder the first thing that is given to us is medicine. I’m not saying this is a must in some cases, but there are other ways in which you could help your body restore its balance. Not all answers relating hormonal disorders lay in a set of pills or medicine, nutrition & lifestyle play a huge role. Stress, contamination, bad habits and nutrition can all affect the equilibrium your body needs to function properly.
I will give you a few tips for you to start introducing into your daily life:
1. Breath deeply and relax: When we are under stress our bodies start to produce adrenaline to help us cope with situations. This is a mechanism of defence our ancestors used in order scape from predators and dangerous situations. We no longer face those threats, and instead we have a very sedentary life. And still, we are constantly tense which gets our adrenaline pumping. Furthermore, stress is constant the body will also begin to produce cortisol. This bodily functions contribute largely to adding fat into your body, especially your belly area. Deep breathing exercises will help the body and the adrenal glands relax.
2. Eat foods with a low Glycemic Load: GL refers to how foods affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. The lower the number, the less it affects your sugar levels.
When we feel tired and hungry it usually relates to a blood sugar imbalance, which in response triggers cortisol to be released. Maintaining it under control helps to stabilise hormones, helping with weight loss. The most common foods to avoid are simple carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pastries, pasta and sweets. Fruits such as blueberries and strawberries are great choices because they have a very low GL, and they are filled with atioxidants!
3. Eat protein dense foods: Protein will help to balance your blood sugar levels and your hormonal system. Furthermore, protein gives the body the amino acids that are used to produce certain hormones. Eggs, peas, seeds (sunflower, sesame & pumpkin) and beans can all be good choices to include in your diet.
4. Eat foods with zinc: This mineral can help with hormonal issues, specially regulating women’s cycles, blocking excess of testosterone, clearing skin, maintaining collagen, supporting thyroid, and much more. Foods such as lean beef, pork, venison, tofu, oatmeal and sea vegetables are all great sources.
5. Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, watercress, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are all great ways of getting zinc, vitamins A, B, C, D and E into your diet to help with hormonal disorders. Steam them lightly so you ensure you are getting the most of its nutrients. Remember: Overcooking vegetables leads to a great loss of vitamins and minerals.
Food is a powerful way of supporting your hormones, and in fact your whole body. We are under constant stress, exposed to pollution and probably eating foods that deplete us from essential vitamins and minerals. This is why integrating this few ideas into your diet and lifestyle might benefit you and give you a real boost for a healthier life.