Our bodies get hormones through foods. There are many different ways in which hormones enter the foods. Nowadays farms often use hormones that make animals to grow faster and get a bigger weight. Also, hormones happen in a natural way in dairies and plant foods.
So, the reason we talk about hormones is that they have a huge impact on our bodies. They have control over our lives and feelings. The food we decide to consume affects each of these hormones: cortisol, dopamine, serotonin, insulin, even testosterone, and estrogen.
Hormones are produced in plants just like in animals. They contribute to the plants’ growth, whether they need sun or darkness in the soil, whether they ripen their crops or die. Anyway, this may help the lives of plants, but they have an impact on the bacteria in our guts, which affects our health.
Plants produce ABA (abscisic acid) which is a hormone and is a result of dryness. Also, mammals are producing the same hormone which is believed that it regulates glucose levels and is anti-inflammatory.
Therefore, there is a chance that meals rich in ABA would treat diabetes. But, there is still to be learned about the relationship between plant hormones, bacteria, and people.
How Do Hormones Influence Our Health?
Pesticides and Herbicides
As you know, pesticides and herbicides are used to spray the plants in order to protect them. But, they stay on the plants, and we actually consume them. Animals that eat sprayed plants have more chemicals than the crops because the chemicals stay kept in the fat and muscle tissue. The chemicals, named xenoestrogens have effects like hormones and are connected with an immune disorder and some types of cancer. Farmers that utilize these particular chemicals inclined to develop leukemia, and cancer of the brain, stomach, and prostate.
According to the Extension Service, there are 1.85ng of growth hormone in a 3oz serving of beef supplemented with hormones. And 1.3nf of the growth hormone is found in beef that has no added hormones. This is an increase of 42% which was the reason for the EU to stop the imports of beef from the USA, in order to protect people’s health.
Health of Women
According to Gale Maleskey, a dietician, hormones are molecules that can be dissolved in fat and be saved in the fat tissue, and they can gather in high amounts which can be damaging. So, women are in danger because they have higher body fat than men. Imbalanced hormone levels and consuming foods high in hormones, cause breast lumps which may develop in cancer.
According to Linus Paulin Institute in Oregon, phytoestrogens contained in soy, have an estrogenic effect on your body parts such as the heart and the bones, and it may be protective. In the same time, they block the estrogenic effect on reproductive organs, that may cause cancer. This increases the advantageous effects of the estrogen and lowers the damaging effects.
As reported by research published in 2011, November, a compound which affects growth in cattle has an impact on the growth of girls. The compound, zeranol, it is an endocrine disruptor which causes a blockage of estrogen. This results in abnormal growth. The research showed that 78.5% of the girls had high levels of zeranol, and they were shorter than girls who did not consume this kind of food, and their breasts were not normally developed. Scientists asked for further studies in this case.
So, here are some tips that will help you keep your hormones in balance.
1. Do Not Skip Your Meals
Eat whenever you are hungry, and never skip a meal. Skipping meals causes lowering of the blood sugar levels that result in nervousness, anxiety, moodiness. To avoid health issues, choose a healthy breakfast, and eat every 4-5h during the day.
2. Sleep Enough
While you are sleeping the hormones, leptin and ghrelin get restored, and they have a control of your appetite during the next day. Take time to sleep 7-8 hours, so you would feel fresh.
3. Be careful How Much Sugar You Consume
Sugar affects your insulin which has an impact on the blood sugar levels. Make a good choice and pick natural sugars like sweet veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
4. Make a Balance of Cooked and Fresh Food
It is important to make a good balance between your meals, since the cooked food calms your organism, and the raw food gives it energy. It helps in balancing the cortisol, betters the serotonin, and feeds the endocrine system. If your organism is intolerable to grains or gluten, consume squash, beets, carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.
5. Stay Away from Dairy Products
Dairies cause hormonal issues and lead to diabetes and blemishes. The growth hormones, lactose, and bad cholesterol make the problem much bigger. Also, refined grains are an empty source of carbs and raise the blood sugar very quickly. And, they affect the testosterone and estrogen levels which have an impact on your energy, mood, and weight.
6. Include Proteins, Carbs and Healthy Fats in Your Meals
These affect the function of your hormones, even their formation. Choose proteins such as flax, almonds, chia, beans, quinoa, oats, and teff. Choose carbohydrates like squash, fruits, sweet potatoes. Decide for a healthy fat intake from seeds, olives, avocados, nuts, and coconut. And eat a lot of veggies. The best way is to include a little bit of every important nutrient in every meal.
7. Choose Whole Food Instead of Processed
These foods have phytochemicals like minerals and vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and carbs your body needs. They are beneficial to your overall health.
After all, if you notice any hormonal changes, you should always consult your doctor.
Sources: One Green Planet, IFL Science, Healthy Eating