Foods To Avoid If You Have Hormonal Imbalance
If you are having hormonal problems, it is important to focus on your diet. Here are some foods to avoid for hormonal imbalance.
Hormones play an important role in our body. They help in maintaining the healthy functioning of our body as they are also known as the chemical messengers of the body. Even a minor imbalance in your hormones will not just leave an impact on the working of the different organ systems but will also lead to chronic issues such as PCOD, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. There are several causes behind hormonal imbalances but a major factor is our lifestyle.
One of the most important factors of our lifestyle is the food we eat and avoid in our daily diet. There can be certain foods that can disturb your bodys hormone balance. Hormonal imbalances are mainly responsible for various unwanted symptoms occurring in the body, ranging from unusual weight gain to skin issues, skin or even mood swings. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Anjali Phatak, Director Nutripulse and Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Nutripulse, Jaipur, to know about the foods to avoid if you have hormonal imbalance.
When To See Your Gp
Some hormone imbalances need medical intervention. Always tell your GP if you experience any symptom thats not normal for you.
If you suspect an imbalance and your symptoms dont respond to diet and lifestyle changes, see your GP to rule out other causes.
5 October 2021
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Lower Your Sugar Intake
Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
The simple sugar fructose is present in many types of sugar, comprising up to 43% of honey, 50% of refined table sugar, 55% of high fructose corn syrup, and 90% of agave .
In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugars in the Western diet, and fructose is commonly used commercially in soft drinks, fruit juice, and sport and energy drinks .
Fructose intake has increased exponentially in the United States since around 1980, and studies consistently show that eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance regardless of total calorie intake or weight gain .
Long-term fructose intake has been linked to disruptions of the gut microbiome, which may lead to other hormonal imbalances .
Whats more, fructose may fail to stimulate the production of the fullness hormone leptin, leading to decreased calorie burning and increased weight gain .
Therefore, reducing your intake of sugary drinks and other sources of added sugar may improve hormone health.
Diets high in sugar have been shown to promote insulin resistance, disrupt your gut microbiome, and reduce leptin production. Thus, lowering your sugar intake may aid hormonal health.
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Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Weight Gain
Yes, certain hormone imbalances can cause weight gain, including:
- Hypothyroidism: This condition happens when you have low levels of thyroid hormone, which causes your metabolism to slow down. This can cause weight gain.
- Cushings syndrome: This is a rare condition that happens when your body has too much of a hormone called cortisol. It results in rapid weight gain in your face , belly, back of your neck and chest.
- Menopause: During menopause, many people assigned female at birth gain weight due to hormonal changes that cause their metabolism to slow down. Its important to remember that this type of hormonal imbalance is natural and an expected part of life.
Several other factors contribute to weight gain. If youre experiencing unexpected weight gain or are concerned about your weight, talk to your healthcare provider.
Hormone Balancing Cooking Tips
Now that you know literally, ALL of the foods you can begin incorporating into your diet for natural hormone balance, its important that you understand how to use them.
At the end of the day, you can eat a ton of plants, but if youre preparing them in a way where your body cant properly digest and absorb the nutrients, youre missing out on all of their health and hormone-optimizing benefits.
These are my key tips for maximum efficiency, bioavailability and taste when cooking for natural hormone balance.
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Nutrition Response Testing Can Help You Determine What Foods To Eat For Hormonal Imbalance
While eating foods that help with hormonal imbalance can be beneficial, no two people are alike and the cause of a hormonal imbalance will vary from person to person.
Most patients that come to us want to know about foods that balance hormones in females, but a hormonal imbalance can happen anytime, they are not exclusive to pregnancy, PMS, or menopause.
At HealthierU in Brooklyn, NY, Dr. Donna Sergi, Nutrition Response Practitioner, and Holistic Chiropractor, uses a technique called Nutrition Response Testingto determine the underlying cause of your hormonal imbalanceand evaluate how your body is functioning and responding to hormonal imbalance.
With the results of your Nutrition Response Test, Dr. Sergi will develop a plan, based on your bodys specific needs, that will help return your body to a balanced state while restoring full and proper function to all of your organs.
As a result, the symptoms youve been experiencing will improve as your hormones become balanced again.
Level Of Effort: Medium To High
First, you’ll quit caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten, and most oils for 2 weeks.
Also, Turner recommends using pH strips and ketone strips to test your bodyâs pH balance getting a series of blood, urine, or saliva tests to check hormone levels and taking supplements including multivitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and calcium–magnesium–vitamin D3.
Limitations: If youâre used to eating prepared meals and snacks, The Hormone Diet might be a big adjustment, since it focuses on whole foods that you cook yourself. If you love coffee or soda, you may find it hard to give up these beverages in favor of green tea and other drinks on Turner’s list.
Cooking and shopping: The plan calls for eating organic foods as much as possible. The recipes and 1-week sample menu are fairly basic, so if youâre not comfortable cooking the foods in the diet plan, your options may be limited.
Packaged foods or meals: Not required, though Turner recommends certain brands of supplements.
In-person meetings: No.
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Foods To Avoid For Hormonal Imbalance
The hormonal levels can fluctuate naturally in various life phases, most noticeable when puberty hits and in women during their periods, pregnancy and menopause. Your hormones can easily get affected by a sedentary lifestyle and also result in many health conditions. According to Dr. Anjali, here are the foods to avoid if you have hormonal imbalance:
/7here Are Some Foods You Must Avoid
For the same reason, even minute changes in your hormones can have serious effects throughout your whole body. Both men and women are equally prone to be affected by the hormonal imbalance. Hormonal imbalance is mostly treated by meditation and making some necessary lifestyle changes. You have to eat healthy and exercise daily. But at times even healthy food can make your symptoms worse. Here are 5 healthy foods that must consume in moderation when dealing with hormonal issues
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Hormonal Imbalance And Weight Gain
People with Cushing syndrome have high levels of cortisol in their blood. This leads to an increase in appetite and fat storage.
Hypothyroidism, if the condition is severe, can also lead to weight gain.
Slight hormone imbalances can happen during menopause. During this transition, many people gain weight because their metabolisms slow down. You may find that even though youre eating and exercising like you usually do, you still gain weight.
The only way to treat weight gain from a hormone disorder is to treat the underlying condition.
During a typical pregnancy, your body goes through major hormonal changes. This is different from a hormonal imbalance.
How Do You Fix Hormonal Imbalance
Many health conditions that involve hormonal imbalances, such as diabetes and thyroid disease, require medical treatment.
Many nutritional supplements in stores claim to treat different hormonal imbalances, but few of them have been scientifically proven to have a beneficial effect. Its important to always talk to your healthcare provider first about taking supplements.
Aside from medical treatment, your provider may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help manage a hormonal imbalance, such as managing your stress levels and getting routine exercise.
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What You Can Eat
Foods you can eat include lean protein vegetables and most fruit chia seeds, flaxseeds, and most nuts olive oil and some other unsaturated oils and fats, like canola oil and whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and quinoa.
You’ll eat often — every 3-4 hours — making healthy food choices at least 80% of the time. But you do get one to two âcheat mealsâ a week.
Try Stress Reduction Techniques
Stress harms your hormones in several ways.
The hormone cortisol is known as the stress hormone because it helps your body cope with long-term stress.
Your bodys response to stress activates a cascade of events that leads to cortisol production. Once the stressor has passed, the response ends. However, chronic stress impairs the feedback mechanisms that return your hormonal systems to normal .
Therefore, chronic stress causes cortisol levels to remain elevated, which stimulates appetite and increases your intake of sugary and high fat foods. In turn, this may lead to excessive calorie intake and obesity (
In a review of 21 studies in 2,250 people, those assigned to a short sleep group showed higher ghrelin levels than those who got the recommended amount of sleep .
Plus, your brain needs uninterrupted sleep to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle. This is especially important for the release of growth hormone, which occurs mainly at night during deep sleep .
To maintain optimal hormonal balance, aim for at least 7 hours of high quality sleep per night.
Poor sleep has been shown to decrease fullness hormones, increase hunger and stress hormones, and increase insulin resistance.
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+ Eat In A Calm Environment
Perhaps the most easily forgotten , its not just a matter of WHAT you eat but HOW you eat it.
When you eat in a relaxed state, you allow your body to transition into your parasympathetic nervous system, aka the rest and digest mode. In this state, your body sends blood and resources to your center, where all of your digestive organs are located. This allows them to function optimally, shuttling food through the steps of digestion at the proper rate and consistency, and ensuring you actually absorb the foods nutrients.
Eating with relaxed awareness also prevents uncomfortable and painful physical symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. Mindful eating also soothes anxiety and helps you more easily experience your hunger and satiety cues, so you dont overeat.
Hormones And Your Health
Hormones are chemical messengers that help your cells communicate and trigger various actions. Theyre the bedrock of your bodys endocrine system, which regulates growth, reproduction, metabolism, temperature, and even your mood.
Hormones and the endocrine system keep your body in a balanced state of homeostasis. Therefore, having a hormonal imbalance too little or too much of a certain hormone can have harmful side effects.
Oxidative stress, infertility, and endocrine disorders like thyroid disease are just a few conditions that can result from hormonal imbalances (
Whats more, Nigella sativa extract exhibits estrogenic activity, meaning it acts similarly to the hormone estrogen in your body .
In fact, some studies in rats are exploring whether nigella seed extracts could be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy during menopause, a time when the body typically produces less estrogen than it used to .
Concentrated Nigella sativa supplements are becoming increasingly popular and sometimes marketed as black seed or black cumin seed. Whole nigella seeds have an herby aroma and are easy to add to bread, salads, and other dishes .
Still, keep in mind that most studies on nigella seeds and hormones were conducted in animals and used concentrated extracts or isolated thymoquinone. Thus, while using whole seeds in cooking can be healthy and delicious, it may not confer the same benefits.
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Eat Mushrooms For Healthy Hormones
Mushrooms help to regulate the amount of oestrogen in the body. Studies have found that consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. In one study, women who ate 10g of mushroom daily had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer.
This number is increased to 89% during perimenopause and 82% post-menopause if these women also included the compounds included in green tea in their daily diet.
Make Eating Into A Mindful Practice
What you eat is just as important as when and how you eat.
In order to maintain whats known as balanced blood sugar which means youre keeping your blood sugar in a rather straight line versus having big spikes and dips throughout the day you should be eating every three to four hours.
Please dont wait until youre starving, have the shakes, feel like youll throw up, or faint. In addition, follow these rules at mealtime. Slooowww it down, girlfriend.
Sit down while eating , chew your food 20 to 30 times , and focus on something positive while eating. When youre stressed out, your gut cant easily absorb the nutrients youre consuming, so it doesnt matter how much broccoli you eat!
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What Causes Hormonal Imbalances
Throughout your life and even throughout the day your hormone levels naturally rise and fall.
Certain periods of life cause more dramatic changes and fluctuations in hormones, including:
However, there are several other reasons why your hormone levels may be irregular at unexpected times. Some of the most common causes of fluctuating or imbalanced hormone levels include:
- Certain medications.
These hormonal imbalances are more likely to be temporary or fixable with a change in medication or properly managing stress.
Chronic hormone-related conditions can have several different possible causes. In general, the main conditions or situations that cause medically significant hormone imbalances include:
Tumors, adenomas and growths
Any kind of growth on a gland or organ that produces hormones, such as a tumor, adenoma or nodule, could affect its ability to do so.
Rare endocrine tumors form in glands or in cells that produce hormones and can cause hormone imbalances. Some of the rare endocrine tumors include:
An adenoma is a benign tumor. Many adenomas are nonfunctioning, meaning they dont produce hormones. But some can produce excess hormones. These are called functioning adenomas. Adenomas that affect your endocrine system and cause hormone imbalances include:
Damage or injury to an endocrine gland
Can Hormone Imbalance Cause Anxiety
Yes, certain hormonal imbalances can cause anxiety, including:
- Hyperthyroidism: If you have hyperthyroidism, it means your body has too much thyroid hormone. Excess thyroid hormone speeds up your metabolism. This can cause anxiety, in addition to unusual nervousness, restlessness and irritability.
- Cushings syndrome: While its not as common of a symptom, Cushings syndrome can cause anxiety, as well as depression and irritability.
- Adult-onset growth hormone deficiency: Adults with growth hormone deficiency often report having anxiety and/or depression.
Several other conditions and factors can cause anxiety. Its important to talk to your healthcare provider if youre experiencing anxiety.
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Top Diet Tips To Balance Hormones Naturally
Food as medicine is the foundation of balancing hormones naturally. Hence, consuming a nutrient dense diet which is a perfect combination of carbohydrates, proteins and good fats becomes essential. So, let’s look at 5 food categories that you can find in your kitchen which will help you regulate hormone imbalances.
Warning Signs You May Have A Hormonal Imbalance
No-one wants to be a slave to their hormones but how do you know if they are out of sync and what can you do to restore the balance?
Hormonal imbalances may be to blame for a range of unwanted symptoms from fatigue or weight gain to itchy skin or low mood.
Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system and released into the bloodstream. An imbalance occurs when there is too much or too little of a hormone.
Your hormones are important for regulating many different processes in the body including appetite and metabolism, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles and sexual function, body temperature and mood.
No surprise then that even the slightest imbalance may have a noticeable effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
Levels of hormones naturally fluctuate at various life stages, most noticeably during puberty and in women during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the menopause. They can also be affected by lifestyle and certain medical conditions.
What is important is to notice any symptoms and get them checked out by a qualified health professional so that you receive appropriate treatment, whether that involves using medication or complementary therapies, or making lifestyle changes, to restore the balance and your good health.
Here are 10 signs of hormonal imbalance to look out for and what you can do about them:
8. Headaches: Many women suffer headaches due to hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause.
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