When I talk to ladies from around the world and hear their stories about the hormone imbalance issues they're facing, I'm always surprised to hear that either their doctor or endocrinologist never asked (or told them) about the raw materials that their body needs to make hormones and how to support overcoming hormone imbalance with food! Doesn't it just make sense to ensure that you are giving your body what it needs first, before exploring supplemental (and synthetic) hormone options?
In today's post, I want to communicate the nutritional factors that can contribute to inadequate hormone production, which leads to hormone imbalance.
1) Your body needs certain raw materials to make hormones, namely:
- Cholesterol, from animal foods, but also manufactured in the body
- Vitamin A from animal sources (vitamin A deficiency is rare in developed countries)
- Adequate thyroid hormone (T3), that you get from having a health liver function and a healthy thyroid function (good thyroid function is instrumental and controls the rate at which your body MAKES hormones via T3 -thyroid hormone).
- Other vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C
2) In addition, there are certain dietary and lifestyle factors that can promote this hormonal conversion and certain things that block this conversion, such as:
Conversion promoters (get MORE of these):
- Vitamin A (from food, not supplements! (think egg yolks, dairy products)
- Sunlight/light therapy
- Copper (oysters, shiitake mushrooms, dark chocolate, and avocado)
- Vitamin E (think avocados and nuts)
Conversion blockers (get LESS of these):
There are other factors that affect hormone production as well, such as inflammation, stress, blood sugar imbalance, not eating enough, diets of all kind (keto, carnivore, low carb, vegetarian, vegan, etc.), over exercising. These issues must be addressed or hormone status in unlikely to change.
I hope today you learned something important about what you can do with food to help support your body's ability to overcome hormone imbalance by making sure that you're doing all that's needed to back up hormonal production through diet and lifestyle.
Just like you can't bake a cake without the right ingredients and the right oven temperature, your body can't make hormones without the right raw materials and the right conditions!
Ready to combat your hormonal issues by understanding your body?
Do you struggle with hormone imbalance? Please share in the comments!
Peat, Ray. Nutrition for Women. 1993.
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