Hormones. We don’t really talk about them a lot, unless of course we have teenagers or are dealing with menopause. But we all have them flowing through our bodies all the time, no matter what age we are. Hormones play an extremely important role in how our bodies function. Feeling hungry? Anxious? Sleepy? Skin acting up? Blame hormones.
Controlled by the body’s endocrine system, hormones are chemical messengers that are a key player in the balance and function of the body’s major organs. As we age, the production of certain hormones starts to decline, leading to hormonal imbalances. We may notice slower metabolism, decreased fertility, mood swings, muscle loss, weight gain and low energy. The good news is there are some easy things we can do to improve our hormonal health, helping us to keep feeling our best.
Some of these will sound familiar because they are things we have recommended time and again for healthier and youthful skin - drink water, get good sleep, manage stress and exercise. But here are a few more tips, specific to keeping key hormones in healthy ranges.
- Avoid Overeating and Undereating
Eating too much or too little can result in hormonal shifts that lead to weight problems. Digestion-related hormones can lose their effectiveness if they are constantly being overworked. Overeating increases insulin levels and reduces insulin sensitivity while cutting your calories too much can increase levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that actually promotes weight gain when elevated.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
Make sure you are eating lean proteins, healthy fats, fiber and veggies. These make you feel full while also satisfying the body’s cravings for nutrients. Consuming protein at every meal is extremely important. In addition to providing essential amino acids, it influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake. Healthy fats can help reduce insulin resistance and appetite while a high fiber diet improves insulin sensitivity and the hormones that control hunger, fullness and food intake.
- Eat Fatty Fish
Fatty fish are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Known to have impressive anti-inflammatory properties, research suggests they may also have beneficial effects on hormonal health, lowering cortisol and epinephrine levels (the stress hormones!) Try to get 2 or more servings a week of cold-water wild varieties of fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines and herring.
- Avoid Sugary Beverages
The evils of sugar… Any form is unhealthy but liquid sugars appear to be the worst by far. Studies suggest that large amounts of sugar-sweetened drinks cause higher insulin levels and may contribute to insulin resistance. Additionally, they can lead to excess calorie intake because they don’t trigger the same “fullness” signals that solid food does. And, don't get us started on what sugar does to your skin!
- Drink Green Tea
Trade those sugary beverages for green tea. In addition to metabolism-boosting caffeine, it is high in antioxidants making it one of the healthiest bevvies around! And research suggests that it may increase insulin sensitivity and lower insulin levels.
- Eat Eggs
Not only are they one of the most nutritious foods, they’ve been shown to positively affect hormones that regulate food intake like insulin, ghrelin and PYY. These positive effects seem to occur when people eat the WHOLE egg – the white and the yolk! Bonus: people who eat eggs feel fuller and eat fewer calories over the following 24 hours.
Moral of the story here? What you put into your body matters. We already know the amazing skin benefits of drinking Super Beauty Elixir everyday. Now we know the bennies of a nutritious diet and healthy wellness routine extend to our hormone wellness too!