Hormone Regulation through Food #1

Hormones are chemical messengers that are involved in energy metabolism, growth and development, muscle and fat distribution, fluid and electrolyte balance, and sexual development including reproduction.

 

Hormone regulation can be very effectively supported through diet, no matter what stage of life cycle you are in - from puberty to menopause. 

PROTEIN

Protein provides our bodies with amino acids, which are the building blocks of our hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters.

 

Protein allows the body to build and repair cells in the muscles, organs, glands, skin and hair. There are eight essential amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Methionie, Tryptophan, and Lysine), all of which we get from our diet and which are all found in “complete “ proteins.

 

Food: Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, quinoa, soy beans and algae such as spirulina and chlorella.  

 

Consuming these protein foods allows the body to have the raw materials to produce so called peptide hormones and their derivatives, such as insulin, thyroid hormones, adrenaline, and oxytocin, which has come to be known as the 'love hormone'. 

 

COMPLEX, UNREFINED CARBOHYDRATES

Our body’s most easily accessible source of fuel is glucose from carbohydrates.

 

Refined carbohydrates such as white rice, chips, crisps and cakes mainly consist of sugar and starch; these foods tend to give fast energy but are unsustainable.

 

Unrefined carbohydrates tend to contain a higher content of the essential nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, and minerals magnesium, selenium, and zinc as well as dietary fibre. There is a debate about the availability of these nutrients due to the presence of mineral binding phytates. Cooking,  soaking or sprouting reduces and deactivates a lot of these phytates so, to get the most out of your unrefined carbohydrates, it is worth processing them in that way before consumption. 

 

Food: Whole grain foods such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, rye along with beans and lentils. 

 

Refined carbohydrates give longer lasting energy, because the body digests them more slowly, this can help regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol and play a role in endocrine balance.

 

DIETARY FIBRE

The role of fibre in our diet is essential to ensure regular bowel movements to eliminate used or unwanted hormones.

 

There are two forms of fibre:

  • Insoluble fibre such as wheat bran and oat bran, which helps speed up transit time.
  • Soluble fibre such as pectin, which absorbs water and help bulk up the stool.  

Soluble fibre can bind to metabolic byproducts and “old” hormones, therefore reducing the risk of recirculation back into the body. This is particularly important for women because a low intake of dietary fibre is considered to be a possible contributor towards “oestrogen dominance” – where oestrogen levels can be too high, or the ratios of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are out of balance. Endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are all conditions associated with "oestrogen dominance".

 

Food: All vegetables and fruits.  Apples and pears are particularly high in pectin.

 

It is recommended to consume at least 5 portions of vegetables and 1-2 portions of fruit per day.

 

 

 

BE WELL LONDON COOKING WORKSHOP COMING UP!!!

Foods for hormone and endocrine balance

29 July, 7.00pm - 9.00pm

 

Hormone regulation can be very effectively supported through diet, no matter what stage of life cycle you are in - from puberty to menopause. 

 

In this workshop we will demonstrate simple ways to balance your hormones through diet. We will be looking at optimising the function of different types of hormones, including: the adrenals, for stress response, thyroid hormones, which regulate the speed of metabolism, and sex hormones, such as oestrogen and testosterone.

 

We will make simple and tasty recipes to show you how to get the right amount of fibre and demonstrate ways that plant compounds, which are particularly supportive and protective for hormone regulation, can be incorporated into your daily diet.