Hormones have a big influence on our mental, physical, and emotional health. Hormones affect our mood, sleep cycle, sex drive, hunger, and other bodily functions. Hence, having balanced hormones is critical.
Harpreet Pasricha, a renowned nutritionist, is here to share her views on hormonal imbalance.
Hormones are chemical substances that act like messenger molecules in the body. They travel from one part to other parts of our body to ensure that our cells and organs do their work. In short, hormones make sure that our bodily functions like growth, development, metabolism, appetite remain in balance and in control.
When our hormones are imbalanced, it means we either have too much or too little of a certain hormone. Even tiny changes can have serious effects throughout your whole body which manifests as weight gain, sudden/unexplained weight loss, infertility, diabetes, PCOS among others.
The main hormones in our body include cortisol, adrenaline, thyroid, insulin, oxytocin, and reproductive hormones like estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.
Nutritionist Harpreet Pasricha suggests that making certain lifestyle changes can lead to a better and more balanced hormonal health. Following are some tips which she swears by:
- A well-balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups is essential for maintaining good health. Harpreet suggests refraining from crash diets or eliminating major food groups completely from the diet.
- Consuming processed foods can mess up the hormones in your body because of the additives, preservatives, trans fats which it is loaded with. Avoid ready-made dips, ketchup, frozen snacks, instant noodles etc
- Avoid foods containing refined carbohydrates and refined sugars such as candy, table sugar, ice creams, cakes, cookies ,biscuits, and soft drinks. Instead, include foods rich in Complex carbs like whole grains, pulses, vegetables like green peas, carrots, beans etc.
- Regular physical activity can have a positive impact on your hormonal health. Sitting has become the new smoking. Make an effort to stay active throughout the day and avoid continuous sitting for long hours.
- Essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fats, are required by the body to perform a variety of tasks, including those of the brain and nervous system. So include foods like walnuts,flaxseeds,yogurt,salmon, etc.
- Get consistent restorative sleep. With too little sleep, the body is also more likely to produce the stress-response hormone cortisol. Human growth hormone is released during deep sleep hours, which is vital to cell growth and repair.
- Eat an adequate amount of protein in every meal. Smaller, more frequent protein-rich meals will normalize insulin secretion and minimize fat storage.
● Prebiotics like bananas and whole grains, as well as probiotics like yogurt, work wonders for gut health and hormone balance.
Hormones are a miraculous chemical that can do wonders for the body, provided, we live a healthy lifestyle and practice clean eating to get the most out of these hormones and also to maintain a balance within the body.