Hormones and your overall health
So last week, coach Jen, Jennifer Whalley ND and myself did a talk at the studio on sleep, hormones and nutrition and how they affect your overall health and wellbeing.
If you don't already know, hormones are what make your world go round and if they are not in check you will suffer from a whole host of health issues.
If you want to be healthy and have energy to do the things you love like train, play sports and everything else active ;) you have to keep your hormones in check.
Two of the most important hormones to consider are testosterone and estrogen.
Whether you are a man or woman, when those two hormones are working properly together you will thrive but when they are out of balance you will definitely feel it.
Some of the common signs that these two key hormones are out of whack include: Fat gain Muscle loss Fatigue Loss of libido Poor sleep Depression like moods
Before you get all google self-diagnosing happy, I always suggest to get some proper testing done to see what's really going on a deeper level.
We don't like guessing when it comes to our body!
Most doctors will do basic testing if you ask them but almost none of them will get into any real detail unfortunately, however if you are interested in doing in-depth testing like the Dutch Test I would strongly suggest reaching out to Dr Whalley to book a consult with her (details at bottom of this post!)
In the mean time let's discuss a few key things you might want to consider as a starting point to help give your hormones a fighting chance.
1. NUTRITION IS EVERYTHING!!!
I promise you that if your nutrition sucks, your hormones are going to suck too!
Maybe not when you are younger but as you age it will catch up to you guaranteed.
Hormones are primarily made up of fats so it's important that you are eating a good variety and amount of healthy fats to provide the building blocks to hormone production.
Some of the best choices include grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, organic eggs (yes cholesterol is not the enemy, you NEED cholesterol to make hormones), oysters (great source of zinc too which helps testosterone) and fatty fish like salmon.
Also eating a good variety of fibrous cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, collard greens, asparagus, etc. can help to keep hormones in balance.
On the flip side it's important to avoid foods that have a tendency to decrease hormones like testosterone such as trans fats (fried food), soy products and alcohol.
Nutrition is always your first line of defence when it comes to your health!
2. LIFT WEIGHTS!!!
To keep hormones healthy I am a big believer in strength training.
Lifting weights is a great way to stimulate health hormone production, on the flip side, too much excessive cardio can elevate the hormones that can compromise our health such as cortisol so go easy on the elliptical marathons :)
And it's ok to lift heavy weight ladies, don't worry it won't make you bulky, it will make you strong and fit.
3. SUPPLEMENTS & HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY
As you can imagine, there are a ton of the different supplement companies out there claiming that they have the magic to help boost hormones but the truth is, the majority of them are just false promises.
There is no magical solution out there that is going to save you, you are going to have to do the work and pull everything together if you want to maximize your hormone health.
A few supplements that I do recommend that can indirectly be beneficial when it comes to hormone health such as testosterone include fish oil to provide quality fats for hormone production and although the research is a bit inconsistent, I have seen some promise with Zinc, Vitamin C and B-Vitamins.
If your hormone levels are clinically low then the best option might be to explore hormone replacement therapy but make sure that you have a doctor who really knows what they are doing and are able/willing to monitor your levels to make sure that you are doing it correctly and it's within healthy levels ongoing.
The other major consideration to think about when it comes to hormone replacement therapy is the fact that in most cases, once you start down that road, there is a good chance that you will have to continue taking it for the rest of your life so consider that before you take that option.
I suggest doing everything you can naturally with your lifestyle, nutrition and training and if that still isn't helping, then you consider replacement therapy.
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