Health

6 Foods That Effect Your Hormones, And What That Means For You

We all remember in our younger years how hormones were responsible for mood swings during puberty, and how difficult they could be to control.

What no one told us, is that they would play a big role in our health as we aged.

Five key hormones play a role in memory, sex drive, mood, bone health, sleep quality, skin tone, and weight- even how often we pee, says Tasneem Bhatia, a doctor of integrative medicine.

The sixth hormone that plays a role in our body is progesterone, which is key to the quality of life women experience as they age.

Estrogen

Estrogen is known as the beauty hormone. It can effect your skin, hair, reproductive health in women, and is essential to keep balanced.

If you want to keep supple skin, as well as thick and shiny hair make sure you have enough healthy fat in your diet.

Your body needs healthy fat to manufacture this hormone. Opt for coconut oil, olive oil or ghee in your cooking and enjoy more sweet potatoes as well as avocados since they're rich in healthy fats.

Progesterone

Progesterone has a strong effect on the brain and its cognitive functions. When it's in proper balance it supports good sleep, cognition energy and effects mood in women.

If you find that you could use a mental pick-me-up, ingesting pumpkin seeds and black beans will help with your production of progesterone.

Testosterone

While a lot of people assume testosterone is a hormone for men, it's essential for both sexes for their muscle and mental alertness.

Testosterone plays a role in mood stability, sexual performance and mental sharpness.

Reach for foods that are high in zinc to help this hormone balance in your body. Pumpkin seeds, oysters, nuts, and lean meats including chicken are great to help balance the testosterone levels in your body.

Thyroid Hormones

The thyroid horomones including TSH, T4 and T3 are responsible for the energy levels in your body. They will effect your metabolism, mood and weight.

If you want to try and balance your thyroid hormones to increase your energy levels, gravitate toward Brazil nuts and other foods high in selenium. This includes red meats and other sources of iron. To increase your iodine intake grab some seaweeds, such as nori or kelp, iodized salt or Himalayan pink salt.

Insulin

Insulin is known to have control over your weight and metabolism. As we age, our bodies become more resistant to the hormone, which is why many of us see insulin levels spike. These spikes have been linked to high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Help control your insulin levels by limiting your daily fruit intake to two servings. Instead, load up on fresh veggies and protein-rich snacks, such as nut butters. Try cooking with healthy fats like coconut or olive oil and choose quality carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes to keep your diet balanced.

Cortisol

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. Chronic cortisol spikes due to prolonged stress, can trigger an inflammatory response in your body. Inflammation has been linked to diabetes, cancer and other diseases, so it's important to keep this hormone under control.

Stock up on vitamin B rich whole grains such as oatmeal and quinoa which help calm the nervous system. Chamomile tea also has the same effect, so sit down, relax and enjoy a cup.

How will you balance your hormone levels? Share with us in the comments.

Source: AARP