As elusive as it may seem, your endocrine system or hormone system controls every chemical process and system throughout the body. Hormones act as chemical messengers, coordinating the body’s delicate chemical balance on a nonstop basis. Women live with an especially delicate hormonal balance. Ensuring your body has the supports it needs to maintain proper hormone levels can go a long way toward living a long, healthy, and happy life.
In total, the human body produces about 50 different types of hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and adrenaline, along with the female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone regulate reproductive, menstrual, and fertility functions in a woman’s body. While female hormones are only a part of the puzzle, the endocrine system works together as a whole to maintain balance. This means an imbalance in one area will throw off the entire system. Symptoms of female hormone imbalance can take any number of forms, including:
- Problems sleeping
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Loss of sex drive
As with most any medical problem, causes for hormone imbalance can vary from woman to woman, depending on genetic makeup and environmental factors, but the one common denominator is the daily diet. For example, high amounts of sugar in your diet place a tremendous strain on the body’s ability to regulate and use insulin over time. The effects of excess sugar and carb consumption will also cause weight gain and eventual obesity when left unchecked. While you may not be able to do anything about genetics or environmental factors, you can take steps to ensure the food you eat supports proper hormone levels.
The Special Roles That Estrogen Plays
The female body houses over 15 different forms of estrogen, though three in particular stand out in the crowd:
- Estrone – Produced by the ovaries and the dominant form of estrogen in women who’ve gotten past menopause, many hormone-based cancers involve this type of estrogen.
- Estradiol – The highest levels appear in women who are pregnant and in women who are in their reproductive years. Levels of estradiol also have an impact on brain, bone, colon, and heart health.
- Estriol – Produced by the placenta during pregnancy, it is the weakest of the top three estrogen types.
Estrogen levels typically fluctuate as a woman moves in and out of different life stages, though significant fluctuations can be expected later in life, especially during the perimenopausal period. Perimenopause usually starts in your 40s, though some women may start to experience symptoms in their 30s. This stage continues on up to the start of menopause. The likelihood of experiencing hormone imbalances runs especially high during this period. For these reasons, it’s important to eat a diet that supports a balanced hormone system.
The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet on Hormonal Balance
The nutrient content of the foods you eat every day has direct effects on your hormone levels. Nutrient content has to do with the type or quality of carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and amino acids contained in different types of food. Unfortunately, the high fat, high sugar, and low fiber content that makes up the Standard American Diet not only lacks nutritional content but predisposes the body to develop chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. A healthy diet creates a healthy body, as well as balanced hormone levels. Here are just a few of the areas affected by your daily food intake:
- Sugar metabolism
- Cell receptor functions
- Hormone synthesis
- Gut flora
- Emotional state
A plant-based diet provides the body with the types of quality nutrients it needs to function at its best. Hormonal balance benefits from a diet that includes high fiber, healthy fats, and phytonutrients, which are chemical compounds found in plant-based foods such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, and organic whole grains. Plant-based foods contain the essential nutrients such as essential fatty acids, isoflavones, and antioxidant materials needed to support normal estrogen and progesterone levels.
Tips for Keeping Estrogen Levels in Check
- Eliminate animal-based fats from your diet.
- Get plenty of exercise on a regular basis.
- Maintain a healthy gut flora.
- Only use cosmetic products that contain safe, clean ingredients.
A quality herbal supplement offers another effective way to promote normal hormone levels. Hallelujah Diet offers both perimenopausal supplements and menopausal supplements formulated to provide the level of essential nutrients needed to support proper hormone levels. Considering the enormous impact hormones have on your health and well-being, it’s important to take whatever steps are needed to ensure your body has what it needs to maintain a healthy endocrine system.