Your hormones can make or break your day. These vital chemicals produced in the body in a beautiful synchronised process ensure optimum functioning of important life processes such as digestion, growth and reproduction. But a single glitch in their production can cause havoc in your body, and your mood.
Erratic sleeping patterns, wrong food choices and a busy lifestyle throw hormones out of balance—the immediate reaction is irritation and mood swings. An imbalance in hormone production can also lead to more serious metabolic conditions such as insulin resistance and hypothyroidism, ultimately paving the way for PCOD, diabetes and obesity.
Very often, we underestimate the power of natural foods and traditional healthcare techniques and may go right into seeking medical intervention, which may make things worse in the long run. Making simple switches in diet and lifestyle can have a profound effect on the way your hormones function. So, if you really want to get down to the business of making things work for your body, start with paying attention to what you eat. Here’s a list of hormone-healthy foods—backed by scientific evidence—that bring back the hormonal balance. Eat them and go from feeling grumpy to great!
Yes! The banana flower has bioactive compounds that benefit you in various ways, and is used to effectively treat menorrhagia, a disorder in which there is prolonged heavy menstrual bleeding. It has been a part of traditional medicine, as well as regional cuisine in India. The European Journal of Scientific Research lists several benefits of musa paradisiaca (banana) flower. The bioactive compounds in banana flower have anti-microbial, antioxidant, antivirus and anti-cancer properties, says the research. Ayurveda advocates eating cooked banana flowers with curd or buttermilk as it can increase progesterone levels in the body and helps in regulating excessive menstrual bleeding and PCOD.
The body uses good fats to synthesize hormones in the body. A lack of healthy fats can cause problems with hormone production. Hence, it is essential to include balanced amounts of short, medium and long chain fatty acids in your diet. Avocado contains 28.8% fat, and is a rich source of monounsaturated fats. Additionally, they are loaded with soluble fibre, vital vitamins like A and E and folic acid which are essential for maintaining hormonal health.
Healthy fats decrease insulin resistance and show good results in diabetics, pre diabetics and patients with PCOD. They bring down the inflammation in the body and significantly reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The omega 3 levels in fatty fish protect women from gestational diabetes by bringing down insulin resistance, points out a research published in Clinical Nutrition Journal.
In Ayurveda, turmeric has been recommended extensively for its various medicinal properties. According to studies published in The US National Library of Medicine, the anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric boosts oestrogen metabolism and detoxifies the liver, which in turn clears out toxins from the body. Studies shared by the American Diabetes Association highlight the blood glucose stabilizing properties of curcumin which makes it a superfood for women with PCOD.
Studies suggest that soy brings down the cholesterol levels and has protective effects against diabetes and kidney diseases. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition (American Society of Nutrition) states that soy especially benefits postmenopausal women, who see a dip in oestrogen levels in the body after menopause. Soy provides oestrogen, thus protecting them from breast cancer.