What are hormones and what do they do?
- Poor sleep. This is when your body does a ton of recovery. If you can’t recover, you’re already starting behind.
- Poor digestion. It doesn’t matter how healthy your diet is if you aren’t absorbing the nutrients needed to make, convert and utilize hormones.
- Blood sugar imbalance. If your blood sugar isn’t balanced, it’s impossible to keep hormones balanced. When blood sugar is low, cortisol is released to help regulate this. If cortisol is constantly spiking, your body will prioritize it, and neglect other hormone production.
- Supplementation (aka isolating nutrients). Everything is synergistic in your body - nothing works in isolation. So, if you’re supplementing with one nutrient, it’s more than likely impacting another nutrient and eventually, your hormones.
- Under/over eating. This has to do with blood sugar regulation and nutrient balance.
- Poor liver function. One of the liver’s main functions is to filter/break down hormones. If the liver is not functioning properly, it’s very difficult for your body to metabolize and use hormones properly.
- Toxins. This impacts liver function, among other things.
- Over/under exercising.
- Balanced blood sugar. Eat enough, eat regularly and make sure your meals are well balanced with protein, fats and carbs.
- Manage stress. Prioritize sleep and do the things that you know reduce your stress levels (easier said than done, I know). If you can reduce stress, you can better manage how your body uses nutrients.
- Optimize digestion. This can look different for everyone, but some general tips include chewing your food well, sitting down to eat, going for a walk after meals and cooking hard-to-digest foods well. For more personalized tips, I suggest meeting with a dietitian.
- Eat more nutrient-dense foods. When I say nutrient-dense, I mean foods that essentially give you more bang for your buck. Some examples include:
- Organ meats (often referred to as nature’s multivitamin; rich in B vitamins, bioavailable copper, vitamin A)
- Fruits (provide whole food vitamin C and other minerals)
- Shellfish (rich in selenium, zinc, iodine)
- Cooked leafy greens (calcium, magnesium, etc.)
- Dairy (good source of calcium and vitamin A)
- Bee pollen (B vitamins and bioavailable copper)
- Nutritional yeast (B vitamins)
- Coconut water or aloe juice (potassium)
- Starchy veggies (potassium and fiber-rich, slow burning carbs)
- Animal proteins in general (bioavailable protein source, B vitamins, etc.)
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Team Active content is not medical advice; it's inspiration to live actively!
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Written by: Isabel Debnam, a Registered Dietitian supporting the nutritional needs at Synergy Health Club Petaluma and Napa, managed by Active Wellness.