Published: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

HOLISTIC NUTRITION

To help balance your hormones

Page 1401It is a catch 22! When it comes to good health there are many factors that can have a negative impact, such as stress, diet, environmental toxins, chemical induced cleaning products and cosmetics. However, hormones and digestion have a much greater effect than many people realise.

Do not have any doubt that hormones have the power to affect everything from mood, weight, sleep, PMS symptoms, infertility, endometriosis, infertility, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), fatigue, acne and so on.

What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals released by one or more cells that affect cells in other parts of the body. It is essentially a chemical messenger that transports a signal from one cell to another. They travel through the bloodstream to tissues or organs. A hormone may also regulate the production and release of other hormones. Their signals control the internal environment of the body through homeostasis. Hormones work slowly, over time and effect many different processes in our body.

Effects of hormones
Hormones are involved in various processes in the body. Such as:
Stimulation and inhibition of growth and development
Regulation of metabolism
Preparing the body for sex
Preparing the body for different stages of changes such as puberty, parenting and menopause
Control of reproductive cycle
Control of hunger craving
Activating or inhibiting the immune system
The endocrine glands make hormones in our body. Major endocrine glands are thyroid, adrenal, thymus, pineal, pituitary and pancreas.

Balancing hormones
In today’s world there are many factors that can disrupt our hormonal balances. This may be the reason there is such a rise in infertility, breast/prostate/ovarian cancer, PCOS, early menstruation in girls, fibroids, cysts, menstrual irregularities, miscarriages, cramps and painful menstruation.

Let’s talk about balancing our hormones by focusing on diet, self care and choosing the right source for everyday products.

Eliminate caffeine to bring back balance
If you are experiencing anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, exhaustion, weight gain, indigestion, allergies, etc. please avoid drinking coffee, black tea and chocolate. They all contain caffeine. If you are pregnant, or are stressed you also should avoid caffeine.

Replace caffeine with spring water. Make your own lemon water by squeezing lemon juice, adding a pinch of sea salt and little bit of honey to your glass of water. There is also a coffee alternative in the natural food market called Dandyblend that you can try.

Stress/sleep focus
If you are stressed or not sleeping well your hormones are bound to get imbalanced. Lack of sleep causes stress in the body, which in turn will affect your weight, induce premature aging, hair loss and disrupt immune functions.

To improve sleep, stop eating two hours before going to bed, install EJux in your computer (easier on the eyes and it is free), take a salt bath, pray or meditate and most importantly don’t stick to your problems, find solutions.

Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight each day or supplement with Vitamin D. The exposure to the wide-spectrum light during the day (10am-2pm) boosts serotonin levels, which will help improve melatonin levels at night.

Food for the right mood
Add greens to your diet everyday including: cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, watercress, Arugula, and spinach.

Add unsalted and raw nuts and seeds (always pre-soak nuts and seeds before eating).

Add pigmented fruits and vegetables such as butternut squash, pumpkin and papayas.

Add coconut oil and fish oil to your diet. Or alternatively, avocado, to your diet.

Reduce sugar, flour, grains and “diet” foods (diet coke, low fat ice cream)

Sourcing goodies
Add organic fruits and vegetables to your diet. Source free range chicken, grass fed beef for home cooking. Reduce eggs and dairy to maximum 3 days a week.

Read labels for any house hold cleaning products, cosmetics and toiletries. I recommend if you cannot identify the ingredient look it up in Google. Lose the perfume for good. They are made from industrial by products.

Try to see if you can make some homemade toothpaste, cleanser and toners. They are super easy to make and keeps for a while. I use baking soda and vinegar to clean my oven, bathtub, and counter top.

Supplement
The following supplements are just recommended for informational use only. Contact your primary health care practitioner for adding them to your health regimen.

Vitamin D
The sunshine Vitamin is now known as a hormone rather than just a Vitamin. This Vitamin is a major support for your hormonal functions. Usually nature provides us Vitamin D for free through proper exposure to sunshine.

Magnesium
It is the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies. It supports hundreds of reactions in the body including sleep, immune system, heart health, blood pressure, energy, protein synthesis and bone health. It also activates enzymes that metabolise and use Vitamin D. Low magnesium has been shown to decrease the body’s production of vitamin D’s active form. Spinach, squashes, beans and nuts are high in magnesium too.

Reference–
www.news-medical.net/health/ Physiology-of-Hormones.aspx
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/hormones.html#cat64
www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-cofactors/magnesium/