6 Foods to Help Balance Hormones

Tired? Stressed? Low Libido? Abnormal Weight? Your conventional doctor thinks you are crazy?  Well chances are, you're not crazy and there’s a good explanation for these symptoms.  Hormones for both men and women play a vital role in the maintenance of the body and body systems. As we age, levels decline but in today’s world of technology and man-made chemicals, we can be at risk for major hormonal fluctuations or drops.

When most people think of hormones, they are referring to the sex hormones Testosterone, Estrogen and Progesterone.  These are just a few of the fat-soluble steroid hormones that are made in the body but many others can play a larger role than are given credit. Your Thyroid and Adrenals are the central axis of energy and metabolism, while the reproductive and growth hormones 

Fiber
Foods rich in fiber play a vital role in removing old, oxidized hormones.  Bile from the Liver and Gall Bladder serves a couple important functions. 1. to help digest fats2. to discard old steroid hormones.  Ground Flax Seed, Psyllium Fiber as well as fresh fruits and veggies contain large amounts of fiber.  Just make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.  Fiber also has been shown to lower cholesterol and prevent colon cancer.  

Broccoli
According to numerous studies, a very special compound, Glucoraphanins,  in vegetables in the broccoli family has been shown to support healthy metabolism of steroid hormones such as Estrogen.  When this hormone is in the process of being eliminated it must be transformed and there are 2 specific routes, one of which promotes Estrogen to become cancerous and the other prevents cancer.  Glucoraphanins have the ability to steer estrogen down the anti-cancer pathway.  1 spoonful of broccoli seed contains about as much of this compound as an entire pound of fresh broccoli and when frozen, the compound is destroyed.  

Wild Caught Salmon
Did you know that Vitamin D is not a true vitamin?  It is actually another steroid hormone that is initially made in your skin. Studies have show that deficiency in Vitamin D can negatively affect Testosterone levels! Most people have sub-optimal levels of this important hormone since it is difficult to go out for 30 minutes into the sunshine during mid-day (10am-2pm). So wild salmon, shrimp and other small fish have a good source.

Flax Seeds & Fish oils
Whether you are vegan or a fish eater, these foods have the highest concentration of Omega 3’s. Essential fatty acids play a very important role in the inflammation pathways in our bodies.  High consumption of processed foods and corn or grain fed meats have increased our levels of Omega 6 fats which are PRO-inflammatory.  Omega 3’s create ANTI-inflammatory hormones in our bodies, which are crucial for cellular and tissue health.

Wheat Germ and Pumpkin Seeds
These are a great source of Zinc, a trace mineral in the body that is necessary for many enzymes to work properly. Some of which create Testosterone and others are needed at Estrogen Receptors. Without the adequate amount of zinc, hormone levels will be out of balance and can also affect your immune system leading to increased colds or flus.

Non-GMO Soy
Often a topic for controversy, this powerful plant packs a huge amount of protein as well as plant compounds called isoflavones.  Isoflavones have been shown to have a modulating effect, meaning if you are low it can bring you up and if you are high it can bring you down.  In addition, soy has been shown to prevent osteoporosis due to this hormone modulating effect. Soy has been demonized in men since this estrogen effect is known, but remember an entire civilization developed soy products like Tofu and men didn't grow breasts or having adverse effects.  Soy is often eaten as a part of a well balanced diet rich in other vegetables.

In the past century, the supermarket and supersize mentality has been encouraged due to convenience. Corporations have stripped food down removing vital nutrients, animals are fed genetically modified foods that are filled with hormones, pesticides and other hormone disruptors just to shave down costs to the manufacturer and increase their bottom line.  As we move forward in the future, we must make an effort to demand better quality food and avoid the “frankenfood” mentality if we and our children are to live better and healthier on the planet.

 

Source of Health is a natural medical center with the vision to help people live happier and healthier lives.  Hormone balancing is just one of the many ways to improve your life.  To book an appointment, call 480.361.4005 or visit www.SOHnatural.com

Steven Sorr N.M.D
Board Certified Naturopathic Physician
9755 N. 90th St.  Suite A110
Scottsdale, AZ