Hormone imbalances can cause a number of issues that you may not even be aware of.
For example, when setting weight loss and training goals many people don’t take into account the important role Hormones play in helping us to achieve them. The truth is you can do as many ‘drop 10 kilos in 10 week diet’s’ and ‘get six pack abs in six day’s’ regimes as you want but if your Hormones are out of balance you’re not going to get the long-term results you’re hoping for.
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Functional wellness practitioner, Darren Cox, shares 8 key areas where you can improve your hormone health through your diet.
1. Skip Processed Foods And Swap Them For Real ‘Alive’ Foods
I define processed foods as anything in a packet, especially anything with unpronounceable ingredients.
These types of food are challenging for our Hormones because in order to process and detoxify them our body burns through and shifts hormones as a stress response, which can affect overall Hormone balance.
I know this is easier said than done. These types of food were invented for convenience and the busier we’ve gotten the more we’ve turned to them to make life easier, but there’s the motivator right there, they make life easier, not better, in fact they’re one of the worst things to have happened to our nutrition.
I won’t lie there is no solution that doesn’t require a bit of time, but when it feels like a chore just remember the reward, you’ll feel better everyday.
Set aside a few hours every week for good food prep, which equals good nutrition. It is easier than we think to find the time when we make food a priority, find what works best for you, there’s plenty of ways to make food prep more efficient and improve our health.
2. Be Mindful Of The Rise In GMOs
Genetically Modified Food is becoming more prevalent and it’s happening in a lot of foods that you may not even know about, such as Soy and Corn.
Like processed foods, our bodies have to work really hard to get what little nutrients they can out of GMO foods. All this hard work for little nutritional return produces abnormalities in hormone ratios.
Eating real ‘Alive’ foods is a great start, but it also takes some awareness when it comes to things like Soy and Corn.
3. Eat Organic Only And Local As Much As Possible
Anything that is not organic will have remnants of Herbicides, Pesticides and Fungicides, which build up in your system and become toxic.
These are just more toxins our body has to work really hard to eliminate. It does whatever it needs to cope with this extra stress and our Hormones become unbalanced in the process.
I recommend organic local food wherever possible. Local food is swarming in the bacteria that you’re living in rather than foreign bacteria that your body is not used to dealing with, which also equals stress. So head to your farmers market, meet your local organic farmers and kill two birds with one stone.
4. Mind The Added Hormones In Meat
As demand for meat has increased the practice of adding hormones to speed up the growth of the animals has become commonplace.
If you’re eating farmed meat that has added hormones then they go into your system and wreak havoc with your natural Estrogen and Testosterone levels.
Avoiding this is best achieved by opting for organic and free range.
5. Food Sensitivities & Allergies
When we consume foods that we are sensitive or allergic to the digestive system becomes compromised which generates an immune reaction and can throw our hormones into chaos because extra Cortisol is needed to fight the inflammation.
If you’re suffering from some sort of digestive issue or you get rashes or headaches after eating then I recommend you undergo some Functional Lab Tests to find out the cause.
6. Understand That You Are Unique
I’m talking about a practice called Metabolic Typing®, which draws on your body’s responses to food to effectively tell you what foods and in what ratio you need them to fuel your body optimally and we’re all different!
Much like eating foods you may be sensitive too, eating foods that aren’t right for your Metabolic Type® can cause cellular stress resulting in a similar chain of events.
Finding out your Metabolic Type® is a fantastic journey that can lead to some amazing improvements in your overall health so I encourage you to explore it further.
7. Kick Your Coffee Habit
Hear me out…Coffee stimulates our sympathetic nervous system, but for efficient digestion and assimilation we need our parasympathetic nervous system. If you’re in a sympathetic state then digestion of food becomes much harder and that comes back to your Hormones down the line.
So instead of having your morning coffee with breakfast try having it an hour or more before or after and the same goes for other meals.
8. What are you cooking with?
Forget your microwave, it kills food’s nutrient content. Instead it’s important to cook your food slowly.
My second commandment for food prep and storage is avoid plastic, it contaminates food with disruptive chemicals. I always recommend you use glass or ceramic.
These eight steps are a fantastic start to improving your Hormone health and your overall wellbeing. Watch the video below for even more detail but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take it one step at a time and enjoy the improvements of each choice.
Watch below Darren Cox talk about how your diet can affect your hormones.