Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body. Different hormones perform specific roles inside your body and regulate the body physiology based on the signals from brain. These hormones, if deficient or in excess, can lead to hormonal disorders and can have deleterious effects on your health and physiology. The main functions of hormones include:
- Development and growth
- Metabolism of food
- Sexual function and reproductive health
- Cognitive function and mood
- Maintenance of body temperature
Though there are numerous hormones present in our body, few hormones that have a powerful influence over your health are testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and insulin.1
What Causes Your Hormones To Go Out Of Balance?
- Stress – It is one of the biggest causes of hormonal imbalance. Stress can either be emotional stress or dietary stress. Dietary stress can be caused due to processed foods like gluten, which cause an inflammatory reaction in your body.
- Thyroid function – The thyroid, which regulates metabolism, may turn down its hormonal activity in an attempt to reverse adrenal overdrive. This may result in hormonal imbalance.
- Environmental factors – Hormonal imbalance is also be caused due to exposure to toxins and pollutants in the environment, chemicals in plastics, pesticides in food, and toxic cleaning products.
- Diet – When, what, and how much we consume affects how hormones are produced and maintained in the body.
- Obesity – Being overweight can lead to increase in insulin production that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. 2
What Happens When You Have Excess Estrogen?
Women – Estrogen has been linked to a wide range of conditions in women, including toxic fat gain, water retention, bloating, and a host of other health and wellness issues. In addition, numerous studies demonstrate excess estrogen can cause breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers and even contribute to menopausal symptoms.3
Men – Estrogen is considered a female hormone. Men usually have low levels of estrogen and a number of undesirable symptoms can result when levels of estrogen are too high. High Estrogen in men may result in Gynecomastia/male breast growth, low sex drive, infertility, stroke risk, heart attack, prostate problems, and weight gain.4
What Happens When You Have Excess Testosterone?
Female – Testosterone is an androgen steroid hormone that is usually linked to male sexuality. Abnormally high testosterone levels in women can lead to a variety of symptoms. Most often, women with high testosterone levels develop male hair growth patterns (hirsutism), especially on the face and chest, and other male characteristics such as increased muscle mass, redistribution of body fat, deepening of the voice etc.
Male – Symptoms in men having higher than average testosterone levels include an addictive tendency to alcoholic beverages and smoking. According to some researchers, the higher the testosterone level, the more likely men are to participate in risk-taking behavior (sexual, injury risk, and even criminal activity).
What Happens When You Have Excess Progesterone?
Females – Progesterone belongs to a group of steroid hormones called progestogens. High levels of progesterone are associated with a condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Also, high levels of progesterone are associated with an increased risk for developing breast cancer.
Male – High progesterone levels in men cause an increase in estrogen production, which can lead to a number of problems such as heart conditions, depression, and fatigue. Higher estrogen levels can also lead to an enlarged prostate.5
How Does Avocado Help Balance Hormones?
Helps In Weight Loss
Avocados are rich in a number of nutrients, particularly vitamins, fatty acids and compounds called plant sterols, such as beta-sitosterol. Avocados helps in regulating sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity.While they contain high levels of fat, much of this fat is the healthier unsaturated fat, making avocados a good option for healthy weight management.
Avocados Are An Anti-Estrogenic Food
The plant sterols in avocados have an effect on hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone. Avocados do not contain these hormones, but they tend to block estrogen absorption and promote progesterone production in women and testosterone in men. Avocados help balance estrogen levels for better health.6
Regulation Of Insulin
The avocado fruit contains a sugar called mannoheptulose, which has been shown to inhibit both synthesis and release of insulin. Consumption of avocado sugar is a natural, dietary solution to alleviate the problem of hyperinsulemia (excess blood insulin levels).7
By balancing your progesterone, testosterone and estrogen levels, avocados will help in boosting energy and retaining lean muscle mass, in women and men as well. Make this wonder fruit a part of your daily diet to keep your hormones happy and healthy.
|↑1||List of Human Hormones and Their Importance, Health Guidance For Better Health|
|↑2||Obesity may cause hormonal imbalance, infertility-Susan Farley.Published Online: Thursday, April 1, 2004|
|↑3||Estrogen Dominance: Too Much of a Good Thing Can Certainly Be BAD, Naturopathic Physicians: Natural Medicine. Real Solutions.|
|↑4||High Estrogen in Men, New Health Guide|
|↑5||Sofuoglu, Mehmet, Ellen Mitchell, and Marc Mooney. “Progesterone effects on subjective and physiological responses to intravenous nicotine in male and female smokers.” Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental 24, no. 7 (2009): 559-564.|
|↑6||Avocado Benefits: How Avocados Balance Hormones Naturally, 999Health|
|↑7||Effects of eating half an avocado with lunch on satiety and desire to eat between meals, EurekAlert|