Hormones: Achieving Balance Through Nutrition
Our body is our home, our temple. In our homes we have a foundation, framework, walls, doorways, an electrical system, heating and cooling systems etc. It is the same with our bodies; we have an intricate array of microbes, enzymes and organ systems that we need to support with regular maintenance to secure balanced health. We spend a lot of time up keeping, cleaning and rearranging our homes. We need to put as much care into addressing each of our bodily systems. And we rarely consider our Endocrine System.
The endocrine system is responsible for regulating bodily functions through the release of hormones. Hormones are intimately tied with nutrition and lifestyle, sleep, stress levels, circadian rhythm, and environmental hormone disruptors.
Our network of glands secretes hormones that become the chemical messengers coordinating every bodily function. Hormones are important for regulating appetite, metabolism, sleep cycles, reproductive cycles, sexual function, body temperature and mood. Managing our endocrine system is like managing our heating and cooling systems, literally.
When the endocrine system is out of balance, we don’t feel “well”, symptoms as simple as fatigue can be an indicator of a possible hormone imbalance. Other symptoms of hormonal imbalance include depression, thinning hair, sleep disturbances, infertility, low libido, heavy and painful periods, skin problems, and unexplained weight gain. These are all signaling us that something is wrong within our home; our temple, our body and our hormones are out of balance.
In today’s world menstruators at every stage of life are experiencing hormonal imbalance. Not only is stress a major hormone disrupter we are inundated by endocrine or hormone disruptors throughout our daily lives. They are in conventional household cleaning products, make-up, skin care and in our food. Hormone imbalance can also be affected by lifestyle and certain medical conditions so it is of the upmost importance, when we experience any of these symptoms that we consult our trusted health care provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
Our body’s hormone producing glands use cholesterol to make hormones such estrogen, testosterone and cortisol. Another great reason to include good fats like, hemp hearts, nuts and seeds, avocado and coconut oil in our meal plan. These fats are the building blocks for our hormones. The healthy fat in extra virgin olive oil, for example is important for hormone balance, as hormones are formed from fat and cholesterol. An added bonus is that these healthy fats will help with the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K and increase brain health.
Tahini is a wonderful fat to include in your meal plans. It is made of hulled ground and roasted sesame seeds. Tahini boosts hormone levels as it contains high amounts of a compound called Lignans. Lignans are phytoestrogens found in plant sources that convert bacteria in our gut into metabolites that produce an estrogenic effect. Sesamin and sesamol lignans can bind estrogen receptors to protect again hormone related cancers.
Zucchini is loaded with nutrients that aid digestion, ease constipation, balance blood sugar and hormones. They are stacked with fiber, vitamin C, A, folate and B6. Zucchini’s also contain magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper, essential in hormone production.
B6 is the star vitamin in the zucchini show as it will balance hormones and strengthen the immune system. It works together with enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in the cells. This combination creates the amino acids and neurotransmitters, like serotonin, the key hormone in stabilizing our mood, feeling of well being, happiness, sleeping, eating and digestion. A B6 deficiency can be the root of PMS, yeast infections and water retention.
Using organic ingredients, take some time for self care, deep breaths to calm the parasympathetic nervous system and enjoy this hormone balancing recipe for Zucchini Ganoush as a snack or along side any meal.
Joanne Gerrard Young
Founder / The Healing Cuisine
@thehealingcuisine https://www.thehealingcuisine.com/ https://culinaryschool.thehealingcuisine.com/
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