Each one of us has had to face our hormones dealing out some really mean blows at least once in our lives. Remember the time you tossed and turned in bed, unable to fall asleep or had to work extra hard to fend off food cravings? If you’re a woman, you’re obviously well aware of how awful those premenstrual syndrome phases can be. If any or all of this sounds familiar to you, you’ve witnessed the kind of havoc your hormones are capable of wreaking firsthand.
When it comes to treating hormonal imbalance and its related issues, we don’t usually think of turning to food as a remedy. But it turns out, certain foods can help restore your hormones’ natural balance to bring your health, mood, and overall lifestyle back to normal. Foods that are rich in protein are particularly important to keep your hormonal levels in check. This is simply because dietary proteins are needed by your body to make essential amino acids that it can’t produce on its own. These amino acids, in turn, manufacture our hormones such as
Therefore, this calls for a list of healthy protein sources to keep your hormonal levels in check. However, before we get to that, here are some basic thumb rules about proteins and the effect they can have on certain important hormones that are responsible for a majority of functions in your body.
Protein And Estrogen
Estrogen is a hormone that ensures smooth and normal sexual and reproductive development in women. Everything that distinguishes women from men – the long hair, our breasts, the curvature of the hips is thanks to estrogen. Our bodies are naturally designed for clean sources of proteins, fruits and veggies, nuts, and seeds. And while meat is an important source of protein, most of the meats that you find at supermarkets are not quite the best for your estrogen levels.
For one, most of the animals that are your meat sources are not free-range, meaning
Going meatless isn’t an option, for this will bring down the levels of estrogen drastically, which isn’t good for health either. So your best bet is to eat red meat in moderation, along with plenty of veggies and other sources
Protein And Insulin
While studies haven’t been able to prove whether red meat is the cause of blood sugar related problems, research has reported that women who are regular consumers of red meat report a higher rate of blood sugar issues.2
One reason for this could be that meat-eating people usually eat half as much less fiber as compared to vegetarians.3 And it’s a well-known fact by now that fiber is very important in preventing insulin resistance or block, thus, in turn, keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
Diets like the Paleo diet and Ketogenic diet that allow the consumption of lean meats along with fruits and veggies have shown to occasionally help reset insulin resistance, though the research comes with fairly hazy conclusions.
Protein And Thyroid
All the metabolic functions taking place in your body are carried out by the thyroid hormone. A drop in the thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) comes with symptoms like fatigue, constipation, fluid retention, and dry skin. An overdose (hyperthyroidism) can cause nervousness, unhealthy weight loss, fast heart rate, and increased bowel movements.
Protein sources that are high in gluten content and infected with mercury are the main offenders when it comes to thyroid imbalance. Gluten is linked to an increase in the
Protein sources that are high in mercury content are usually fish from mercury-laden water bodies – namely swordfish, tuna, and shark. Processed and prepared versions of your favorite meats are usually high in gluten content so you need to steer clear from these as well.
If you love seafood, you can go for cod, Alaskan salmon, tilapia, snapper, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, flounder, herring, crab, oysters, clams, and scallops – these are safe sources of marine protein. As far as choosing gluten-free protein is concerned, going for fresh lean cuts of meat are your safest bet.
Best Protein Sources For Vegans