Eating to balance hormones is becoming a big trend, but are the current claims based on science?
Scroll through some health related socials these days and you’ll discover that hormones are making the headlines. Eating to balance hormones is becoming a big trend, but are the current claims based on science?
In healthy circumstances, our bodies are experts at maintaining hormones within a normal level. But modern food processing and sedentary lifestyles make it more difficult for our bodies to do its job. Let’s learn how to naturally support our body in balancing hormones and if related meal plans hold true.
Hormones are chemical messengers in our body which have a big impact on many processes. They influence our growth and development as well as regulate our metabolism, sexual health, sleep, mood, and digestion.
When hormones are within a normal range, our health benefits! But when too much or too little hormones are produced overtime, or if we’re not able to effectively use them, it can lead to complications such as diabetes, infertility, or weight gain or loss (1). To restore the balance, many people have been turning back to nature in order to regulate their weight.
Hormone balance is extremely complex and individual. Our hormones are constantly changing and adapting to things happening in our body and our surroundings. However, there are some general ways of eating that can help promote healthy hormone production and function (2). So here are some general healthy eating tips to support healthy hormones:
Now that we know the basics about hormones and how eating can support them, let’s take a look at what social media says. We compiled some of the most popular content out there and explored whether the claims are fact or fiction.
Influencers are saying that carrot salad is a must for women in order to lower estrogen levels; helping them balance thyroid function and supporting the liver. This secret ingredient is sought after because too much estrogen can cause unpleasant side effects like moodiness and bloating.
When it comes to carrots for estrogen reduction, there isn't in-depth research that focuses specifically on the relationship between carrots and estrogen. Fiber feeds the gut bacteria which break down estrogen. So there is some truth to eating carrots for hormone health since they contain fiber, but you can also get it from other sources as well.
In general, when you eat easily digestible carbohydrates, they’re quickly absorbed and released into our bloodstream, but all carbs are not created equal. When you combine carbohydrates with fat, protein, or fiber (found in vegetables, whole grains and fruit), it can slow the absorption of the glucose, regulating the insulin response. To balance your blood sugar through healthy eating, download the Lifesum app.
Caffeine may or may not impact your estrogen levels, depending on your body and sensitivity to it. A study found that Asian women who consumed the equivalent of about two cups of coffee per day, had elevated estrogen levels, while white women who had the same amount, had slightly lowered estrogen levels (7). Drinking up to three or four cups per day is usually safe for most people but it's important to keep in mind that everyone responds differently to it (8).
Keep in mind: Trying to regulate imbalances and underlying conditions can be tricky with just food or lifestyle so it’s always important to check in with a doctor.
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