Whether you are a women in their child baring years or beyond…. hormones basically are the key to how well we feel in our lives. They affect how our bodies react and how we behave at that crucial time of the month.

4b1538aa0d3ffee4605cde8e5490c302

Like many health issues.. What you feed your body will directly affect how your bodies function and without knowing it we are fuelling unease and distress in our bodies.

A diet high in unhealthy fats, sugar and salt can lead to an unstable hormonal imbalance and being overweight, which as well as being detrimental to health, can result in decreased self esteem, poor mental performance, mood swings and depression.

It is not made easy for us to fathom how to look after ourselves best with the constant bombardment of confusing information we are presented with, including the low fat myth which led to an increased consumption of trans-fats, which we now know increased our risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Using artificial sweeteners have been found to be worse than sugar for diabetics.

Yo-yo dieting unstabalises our delicate hormonal balance and every time we head into yet another deprivation diet all we loose is bone density.

Confused? Here are my top food types, which are your hormones worst enemy in food terms.

  • Avoid Soy, even if you are not drinking soymilk or eating tofu, it is in almost everything. The problem with soy is that it block’s the iodine uptake in the body. With women, iodine is stored in the thyroid gland, the breasts and the ovaries. Iodine deficiency causes thyroid disorders, cysts in the breasts and ovaries, and breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
  • Avoid the fast track to happiness.. Carbohydrates.. they give you an instant lift because they trigger the release of serotonin. Carbs are a quick fix, but they do nothing to stimulate ongoing production of serotonin, they interfere with your metabolism and brain health. So avoid white flour,  cut out sugar and sweetened chocolate all together.

C1386EC3-28

  • Cut out the coffee and tea .. Drink Green Tea or Rosehip tea instead. Many of us get trapped in the stimulant cycle, caffeine temporarily gives you a lift, but actually blunts valuable hormones in the long run. It elevates the stress hormone like adrenaline which can cause increased heart rate, blood pressure and suppression of the immune system. It also hinders the absorption of minerals in the kidneys including calcium and magnesium. Lower density bones are also related to caffeine.
  • Avoid soft fizzy drinks. Drink lots of water at least 8 glasses a day. Fizzy drinks are high-acid and low or zero calcium or nutritional content. Causing tooth decay and enamel erosion, osteoporosis and malnutrition. They contain empty calories and high caffeine content. Pregnant women can pass the stimulant onto their babies. Avoid at all costs! Make your own fruit water!
  • Avoid processed foods, anything that is canned and preserved..  meats such as ham, hot dogs, deli meats, pepperoni and bacon are a no-no. Ideally purchase sausages and organic meats from a local farmer who can tell you exactly what’s in their products. Avoid non-organic meats that might contain, bovine growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics. They wreak havoc with a women’s system. Look for organic where possible.
  • Cut back on alcohol..  Trends suggest that women are drinking greater amounts of alcohol with greater frequency. Changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle may also affect how a woman metabolises alcohol. Also women’s bodies process alcohol more slowly and can become addicted to alcohol more easily than men, drinking even moderately can be a slippery slope. This is especially true for older women. In fact about half of all cases of alcoholism in women begin after the age of 59. One drink for women has about twice the effect of one for a man.

 

For happy hormones and for body balance make these food choices.. SEARED TUNA SALAD copy

  • Eat protein.. turkey, fish, cottage cheese, nuts, cheese, eggs, and beans all contain generous levels tryptophan which is a large amino that converts to serotonin in the brain. But eating soley protein can cause problems in the brain, so consume with a bit of carbohydrate such as a scoop of brown rice, a handful of nuts or a few tablespoons of legumes. These complex carbs are essential to helping the brain process tryptophan in protein. Vegetables are also great and my preference.
  • Get plenty of eggs and dairy in your diet, and eat fish a few times a week. Good sources are wild salmon, mackerel and tuna. Vegheads can also nosh on avocadoes, nuts, flaxseed, vegetable oils (walnut, avocado, almond, flax and olive) and seeds.
  • Bin the biscuit tin, snack on raw nuts, add almonds and seeds. Soaking Almonds in water will make them more nutritious and brings out the natural sweet flavor. They become live foods as 30% of the oil content is removed, making them easier on the liver and digestion, with less calories.
  • Eat plenty of good fats. Low fat diets are probably the number one reason young and old women are having problems with their hormones. Hormones are made out of cholesterol. Good fats are butter, cream, egg yolks, fish, avocadoes, whole milk, coconut milk, coconut oil, avocado, palm oil and olive oil.
  • Take a good vitamin, mineral and fish oil supplement. I use Isagenix Essential Vitamin for Women and Product B which support telomeres which promote youthful ageing. Plus I take a their shakes for added nutrition and fast for a day once in a while which is a supportive way of cleansing impurities and toxins from my body. There are plenty of options on the market, but as with most things, you get what you pay for have a look at http://www.isagenix.com
  • Lean to cook from scratch..  and ditch the ready meals and fast food junk. Get a out a good basic cook book and learn the basics, so you can rustle up a nutritious stew, soup, omelette, stir fry (My No Fuss Suppers cook book s a good place to start ) 🙂

e4119eb52f810c5970c20510a5e8f867

Change your lifestyle.. Make good habits.. They are as addictive as bad habits.. but much more rewarding!

  • To beat any moody blues…. EXCERCISE it keeps your spirited lifted and your mind healthy and active. Get yourself moving and motivated at the gym or invest in a personal trainer a couple of times to get you going… Swim in the sea, run through the woods, join a dance class, take up marital arts, walk and play with the dog, do Pilates or yoga.  But do something you love! 15-20 minuts of exercise every day will naturaly release feel-good hormones are that are so vital for staying calm and happy.
  • AVOID STRESS.. A high stress lifestyle coupled with erratic eating habits can wreak havoc on a women’s delicate hormonal balance. So keep stress levels low.. smile, laugh often and create a mood board for your dreams and wishes. Set goals and do things you love to do, painting, pot holing, seeing your friends, watching a funny or feel good movie. Even a daily meditation or yoga can release tension and stress and send the the hormone serotonin to the brain.
  • GET ENOUGH SLEEP.. lack of sleep swings the hormones into over-drive. Try to get at least 8 hours sleep every night. Women’s sleep loss has been linked to increased appetite, impaired memory, feelings of anger and hostility. Women who toss and turn have higher levels than men of C-reactive protein and other signs linked to high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • ….. and finally.. LET THE SUNSHINE IN.. giving a women’s body a healthy dose of full spectrum sunlight can help stabilize hormones. A walk in the sunshine will lift your mood too!  Or if you are in a colder climate invest in a Light Box..the bright light on the retina sends nerve signals to parts of the brain, affecting the levels of mood-enhancing chemicals and hormones.