How does a western diet cause hormonal imbalance and 3 hormone-balancing foods

How does a western diet cause hormonal imbalance and 3 hormone-balancing foods


Hormones play a large role in regulating the majority of bodily and mental functions. They affect your appetite, sleep patterns, and how you respond to stress, libido, and anxiety, to name a few. Hormonal imbalances occur when there is too much or too little of a hormone in the bloodstream.

Because of the essential role hormones play in the body, even the smallest hormonal imbalance can lead to side effects throughout the body. Fortunately, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to help restore healthy hormone levels.

What role do hormones play?

Hormones travel through the bloodstream and organs to regulate important functions. these Jobs include Growth and development, fertility, metabolism, mood and stress, and body temperature. The hormones that usually get out of balance are cortisol and insulin. Hormonal imbalances in insulin, steroids, growth hormones, and adrenaline can affect both males and females. However, females may notice Estrogen imbalance and progesterone levels, while males may notice ITestosterone imbalance.

Negative Effects of a Western Diet

A Western diet full of processed and starchy carbs, sugar, trans fats, and artificial colors and flavors is a major trigger for early hormonal imbalance. An unhealthy diet usually consists of foods with a high calorie content and very little nutritional value. Regularly eating these processed foods and fast food can lead to obesity and alter the body’s hormone levels. High body fat affects many important processes in the body, especially insulin, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone. When these hormones are flushed out, symptoms such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, numbness in the hands, constipation, and tachycardia may occur.

How to balance your hormones

Fortunately, it is possible to re-harmonize our hormones and alleviate symptoms by doing one simple thing: adjusting our diet. A diet generally low in cholesterol, sugar, salt, and caffeine is associated with a lower incidence of hormonal imbalance. On the flip side, a typical Western diet has been shown to increase your hormone levels.

Although it is important to consult a doctor first about balancing your hormones and finding out what changes are best for you, proper nutrition plays a huge role. A nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle habits may improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform better. If dietary changes do not help your symptoms, you should see your primary care provider to discuss your thyroid, hormone, and cortisol levels.

3 foods that balance hormones

1. Raspberry

Berry Parfait with Coconut Yogurt and Granola

Source: Berry Parfait with Coconut Yogurt & Granola

Not only are berries packed with antioxidants that benefit your brain and immune system, they are a powerful ally to combat PMS symptoms as they help our bodies get rid of excess harmful estrogen. As a bonus, phytochemicals in berries like quercetin, ellagic acid, and resveratrol also protect you from estrogen-induced breast cancer due to their ability to balance hormones.

2. Lentils

Mediterranean lentil salad

Source: Mediterranean lentil salad

Lentils are one of the cheapest and most nutritious foods out there, and they have also been shown to be beneficial in preventing PMS symptoms. How? Well, legumes like lentils contain a high amount of vitamin B6, which is a cofactor in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and appetite. Lentils are also a good source of iron whose consumption is linked to a lower risk of premenstrual syndrome due to its theoretical effect on serotonin and GABA in the brain.

3. Sunflower seeds

sunflower cheddar spread

Source: The spread of sunflower “cheddar”

Sunflower seeds are good to keep on hand whenever you feel a craving for salt. These tiny seeds are delicious and contain a lot of nutritional benefits that will help you relieve PMS symptoms. It is rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin B, Copper, Selenium and Magnesium. Their content of B vitamins, copper and magnesium is of particular importance when it comes to combating PMS, as a high intake of these micronutrients has been linked to a lower risk of PMS. This is likely due to its effect on the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and GABA that are included in our hormonal cycles.

In short, you see, fast food is not the best choice for your health, your animals, or the planet. So, instead, choose a home-cooked meal of locally grown foods for maximum resources and best health benefits!

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