How does diet affect hormones?
Ensuring hormonal balance will limit negative effects on overall health as well as other related problems such as: Dry skin, day itching, mood swings, fatigue, boredom... This article will give more information about food choices as well as diet to minimize the effects on the body's hormonal balance
1. Diet and Hormones Related to Hormonal Balance
Hormones your body's chemical messengers. Hormones help control practically every physiological process in your body, including: Metabolism, Immune System, Menstrual Cycle, Reproduction.
Correct hormonal balance is very important for the body to function properly. Certain foods selected in your diet can restore or upset your hormonal balance.
Therefore, eating a healthy and balanced diet will be essential for hormonal balance, especially if you are going through menopause. Because during this transitional period of a woman's life, a hormonal imbalance can cause unpleasant symptoms.
2. Certain hormones involved in hormonal balance
2.1. Estrogen Estrogen, the main female sex hormone. Estrogen regulates your menstrual cycle and prepares your uterus for pregnancy. During perimenopause, the period before menopause, your estrogen levels can change and fluctuate with intensity. When you reach menopause, your estrogen levels drop dramatically. The fluctuations and subsequent drop in estrogen levels lead to the typical symptoms of menopause, including: hot flashes, night sweats, frequent mood swings, and missed periods. even.
You cannot absorb estrogen from your diet. However, different plant foods that contain phytoestrogens will help the body absorb estrogen better. These phytoestrogens belong to a class of chemicals that act as weakly as estrogen in your body.
What to eat to balance hormones? Eating foods rich in phytoestrogens may help relieve some of your menopausal symptoms and may also help reduce your risk of certain conditions associated with menopause.
Soybeans are the richest food source of phytoestrogens. Not only that, the compound composition of soybeans is especially rich in a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones. The isoflavones in soy function by binding to the estrogen receptors in your body. To date, there have been hundreds of studies on isoflavones and soy, with conflicting results. However, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is substantial evidence that soy foods can help you with some conditions associated with menopause. For example, choosing soy in the diet may help reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease, improve blood cholesterol levels, and reduce hot flashes.
Flaxseeds are another significant source of phytoestrogens and contain a particular type of phytoestrogen known as lignans. Like soy isoflavones, lignans have both estrogenic and antiallergic effects, although to a much lesser extent.
2.2. Insulin and Glucagon Insulin is probably best known as one of the most well-known hormones affected by your diet. When you eat carbohydrates, the glucose from these carbohydrates enters your bloodstream which in turn triggers your pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin attaches to glucose molecules and carries them to your cells, where they are used for energy.
Glucagon, another hormone of the pancreas that has the opposite effect of insulin. When you fast for a long time, your pancreas secretes glucagon. This condition then signals your liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. The sugar is then secreted into your bloodstream, where it acts as an energy source until your body receives more food. Your body's physiological feedback system is designed to keep your blood sugar stable.
If you have insulin resistance, your pancreas produces insulin normally, but your muscles, fat and liver cells do not respond to it normally. To compensate for this, your pancreas produces more insulin to help glucose get into your cells. If your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, excess sugar builds up in your blood. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes or diabetes.
As you go through menopause, your body changes from a gynoid shape, or a pear shape, or an apple shape. Some experts believe that the accumulation of excess fat in the abdomen increases the risk of insulin resistance, as well as diabetes.
Above all, you should remember it is important to maintain a balanced and controlled diet. Eating too many calories will make you gain weight and increase your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
You only eat as many calories as you burn in a day. Choose complex carbohydrates, such as oats, bran, whole grain bread, beans, lentils, and vegetables instead of refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, crackers, cookies, and white sugar.
2.3. Cortisol Your adrenal glands secrete cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone. This process is known as part of your body's fight-or-flight response, a physiological response that is triggered during times of stress or perceived danger. Cortisol is very important to your survival. However, having high levels of cortisol in your body on a regular basis can increase stress levels, blood pressure and visceral fat. Fat surrounds the midsection of the body and contributes to the apple-shaped body shape.
High levels of cortisol during menopause are especially frustrating, as menopause has caused a change in the composition of your body's fat.
Caffeine and alcohol have been shown to slightly increase cortisol secretion. If you're going through menopause, you should limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, as these can be beverages that can help control your cortisol levels.
3. Importance of a well-balanced diet
At any stage in life, eating a nutritious diet is important for good health. You should avoid eating more foods with more calories than you burn, leading to weight gain. Therefore, you should enjoy a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein sources. Limit “junk foods” that are low in nutrients and high in calories, processed sugars, saturated and trans fats, and sodium.
If you are going through menopause, choosing soy or flaxseed products can also help manage symptoms and reduce your risk of certain conditions that can negatively affect your health. It is important that you limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. When you make a few adjustments to your eating habits, it can make a big difference to your health.
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Reference source: healthline.com