We all know Hormones are responsible for controlling our body’s growth, metabolism and fertility. They are an active component of how our immune system and behavior responds to all types of environmental conditions. In the womb, they are responsible for the development of the brain and a baby’s gender makeup.
Imbalances in Hormones generally lead to less than optimal conditions. For example, high levels of Cortisol can result in fatigue, irritability, anxiety or depression and weight gain. Low Thyroid levels can cause the feeling always being cold, muscle weakness and joint aches, fatigue, depression and weight gain. Do you see a pattern developing?
While there are many causes of Hormone imbalances, diet is often overlooked as a primary culprit or at least an accomplice. According to Sara Gottfried, a gynecologist and author of “The Hormone Reset Diet,” adjusting one’s diet and “resetting” certain hormones can improve one’s overall health and even help lose those stubborn few pounds. She suggests “resetting” seven hormones with a 21 day “fast” for each. This article explains how small dietary tweaks can have a positive effect on five hormones that may help you go from being imbalanced to balanced in less than a month.
To “reset” Estrogen, go Meatless for 21 days. Eating meat can sometimes be an avenue in which bacteria enters the body. And when that happens, Estrogen levels rise. Going Meatless helps reduce bacteria levels and thus keeps Estrogen at bay.
To “reset” Insulin, go Sugar Free. Insulin helps the body convert sugar into energy. However, a constant intake of extra calories will result in your body becoming insulin intolerant. When that happens, glucose builds up in the blood, which can lead to diabetes as well as other health issues. Furthermore, experts believe that Insulin is a primary cause of excess belly fat. Remember, when going Sugar Free, avoid artificial sweeteners as well.
Leptin controls hunger. Believe it or not, to help lower your body’s Leptin levels, go Fruitless. Fructose, even though it’s natural sugar, ingesting too much causes issues related to insulin dependency as well as an increase in the body’s desire for more fuel, aka FOOD!
Feeling more anxious or fatigued than usual? Suffering from bouts of insomnia? Go Caffeine Free to “reset” Cortisol. Known as the “stress hormone”, Cortisol controls everything from the body’s sleep patterns to its energy levels. So if you are feeling off, take a break from your coffee break and see how you feel after a couple of weeks.
Are you depressed? Not able to concentrate? Do you lack an appetite or maybe even have gained weight for reasons unknown? Have you had your Thyroid checked? Gottfried thinks maybe your Thyroid needs resetting. Her solution is to go Grainless. Cereals, white rice, pasta and potatoes are grains that cause blood sugar levels to rise. When that happens, the body is poised to become more fat. Opt for sweet potatoes and yams when looking for a carbohydrate. What about wheat? Gluten (a protein found in wheat) is very similar to the structure of the thyroid gland and weakens it over time as it slows down the digestive tract wreaking havoc in the dressing room and on the scale.
You see, we truly are what we eat. What’s better is that we aren’t what we don’t eat. So evaluate your diet and your circumstances and see if there maybe some minor dietary changes you can do to look and feel better.
Remember, I am NOT purporting to be a doctor. As always, if you are suffering from any of the above symptoms or are currently taking medications for them, check with your primary care physician before making any modifications to your protocol.
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