Role of nutrition in the hormonal balance of women: Amid our current hectic lifestyle patterns, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet. Unfortunately, this has led to numerous health problems, especially hormonal imbalances in women. A poor diet can cause complications such as hair loss, acne, fatigue and conditions such as PCOS/PCOD. Furthermore, hormonal imbalances also contribute to the onset of conditions such as diabetes, obesity and related conditions.
Watch the video below on a healthy diet plan for working women:
In a conversation with Jagran Engels, Dr. Pallavi Kiradi, Ayurveda Expert, Herbalife India explained how dietary habits affect women’s hormonal balance.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being, and its impact on hormonal balance in women should not be underestimated. Hormones serve as crucial chemical messengers that control several physiological processes, including the menstrual cycle, fertility, mood regulation and bone health. By understanding the complicated relationship between women’s diets and hormonal balance, we can make informed nutritional choices that optimize hormonal health and improve overall vitality.
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However, in today’s hectic, multi-task lifestyle, it can be challenging for women to consistently meet their nutritional needs through diet. This is where supplementation can play a valuable role in providing essential nutrients that may be missing. While it is ideal to get nutrients from whole foods, supplements can be a convenient and effective way to bridge the nutritional gaps. Nutritional shakes, high-quality protein powders, natural energy drinks, Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) capsules, multivitamins and probiotic and prebiotic supplements complement a complete diet, meeting the body’s optimal nutritional needs.
The influence of diet on hormonal levels
Various patterns of nutritional intake, ranging from fasting to excessive calorie consumption, have been found to influence the levels of specific hormones in the body. Foods with a higher glycemic load can also affect hormone circulation. For example, the regulation of thyroid hormones is affected by the condition of the body, whether it is well nourished or starved. Adequate intake and availability of essential nutrients such as selenium, iodine and iron contribute to maintaining healthy levels and optimal functioning of thyroid hormones. Another hormone, cortisol, plays a crucial role in regulating numerous body processes. While cortisol itself stimulates appetite, extremes in nutritional intake, such as overeating or starvation, as well as specific nutrients such as fish oil, can affect cortisol production and secretion.
Dietary Strategies for Hormonal Balance – Certain dietary habits can be used to support hormonal balance as follows:
Replace processed carbohydrates with whole foods
Insulin is an important hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance, often caused by factors such as age, obesity, genetics and a diet high in processed foods, can disrupt this balance. When cells become resistant to insulin, blood sugar cannot reach them properly, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. Including natural foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans and lentils, instead of processed carbohydrates such as snacks, savory items, white bread and sweets, can help prevent or delay the development of diabetes and mitigate the effects of insulin resistance.
The Role of Diet in Women’s Hormonal Balance (Image Credits: Canva)
Supplement with healthy fats
Leptin and ghrelin are hormones involved in appetite regulation. Leptin suppresses appetite, while ghrelin stimulates it. People who are overweight or obese often develop leptin resistance, which leads to decreased levels of this hormone and subsequently to overeating. Include foods rich in healthy fats, such as fish, walnuts, nuts, seeds and olive oil, or even supplement with Omega fatty acids to help maintain optimal leptin and ghrelin levels and induce satiety.
Increase your consumption of phytoestrogens
Estrogen and progesterone are crucial female sex hormones that undergo fluctuations during menopause. These hormonal changes can affect weight and lead to symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Although dietary consumption cannot replace estrogen, foods high in phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed, chaste berries and soy, and herbs such as Aloe Vera, Shatavari and Dill can help relieve menopausal symptoms.
Make sure you get enough iodine
Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating metabolism. Imbalances in these hormones can contribute to weight gain, fatigue and reduced muscle mass. Iodine-rich foods, including fish, seaweed, iodized salt and eggs, can help with thyroid function and hormone balance.
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Start supplementation to bridge nutrient deficiencies
Supplementation plays a crucial role in addressing nutritional deficiencies and ensuring optimal health. Despite eating a healthy and balanced diet, women can still experience deficiencies in their nutrient intake. They regulate optimal nutrient absorption and ensure a consistent supply of nutritional elements, preventing deficiencies. Multivitamins, joint health supplements, heart health supplements, skin boosters and eye protection supplements are some of the examples that can be included in diets on a daily basis.
Consume protein and fiber rich foods
This reduces the chance of binge eating. Top quality protein powders, such as Formula 1 nutritional shakes, which are packed with vitamins and minerals, along with natural herbs, antioxidants and dietary fiber, will help provide desired protein and nutrition without loading up on unnecessary fat and calories at breakfast.
In conclusion, the relationship between diet and hormonal balance is complex, involving both direct and indirect effects on hormone levels and sensitivity. Understanding these connections is essential to develop individualized strategies for restoring hormonal balance and addressing any dysfunctions. By delving into the complex interplay between nutrition and hormones, it becomes possible to design specific interventions that promote optimal hormonal health in women.