Hormone Health (Part 3)

Sleep well consistently!

This is fundamental because no matter how nutritious your diet is, and how much exercise you get, your health will suffer if you don’t get enough restorative sleep.  It is imperative for cell repair and regeneration for a start.

Poor sleep has been linked to imbalances of many hormones, including insulin, cortisol, leptin, ghrelin and growth hormone.  When sleep deprived it has been shown in various studies appetites increase and the cravings for high calorie high carb types of foods. So it is important to get a good amount of sleep but the quality of your sleep also matters.

I think we can relate as sleep deprived mum’s how well your thinking is the next day!  Or perhaps you should consider when driving tired that you might as well be drunk as far as your functionality is concerned at the wheel.  Your brain needs uninterrupted sleep that allows it to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle. This is especially important for the release of growth hormone, which occurs mainly at night during deep sleep.

To maintain optimal hormonal balance, aim for at least seven hours of high-quality sleep every night.  Some people do manage with less and a lot of us THINK we need less.

I also like two supplements here as well.  The first is Pharmanex Cortitrol, it is perfect is you are getting less than eight hours sleep, if you are restless, tired, also if you are dieting or generally feeling run-down.  It helps mental focus enabling you to perform at optimal levels.  If you suffer from elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol, a necessary compound for the restoration of depleted energy stores, is produced by your body in response to stressful events. The occasional release of this “fight-or-flight” hormone is essential to our ability to respond to emergency situations, but too much cortisol in response to the daily stresses of our increasingly hectic and busy lives leads us into a downward spiral of health problems. Health experts in past decades have identified key deterrents to living healthily. In the 1980s it was elevated cholesterol and its role in the development of heart disease. In the early ’90s it was free radicals and their effect on disease progression and ageing. Researchers today are discovering cortisol is the next principal deterrent to good health. Numerous studies demonstrate prolonge exposure to cortisol is associated with numerous health issues.

The second supplement I like is R2 Night by AgeLOC.  This is an epigenetic product (works with gene expression).  It optimises each cell’s natural purification process.
Helps start each day feeling refreshed and renewed.
Supports the body’s ability to neutralise and remove cellular waste and toxic by-products.
Helps protect and fortify cells against damage from external toxins by supporting the body’s own protective mechanisms.
Supports normal cellular detoxification processes

SUMMARY: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep has been shown to decrease fullness hormones, increase hunger and stress hormones, reduce growth hormone and increase insulin resistance.  Reduce mental clarity and generally wear out the cells before their time.

It doesn’t hurt to also include essential oils to assist with relaxation I like lavender peace, copaiba and ylang ylang as bedtime diffusing favourites

Sugary Beverages

I think we all know that sugar in any form is unhealthy. However, did you realise that liquid sugars appear to be the worst by far.

Studies suggest large amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages may contribute to insulin resistance, especially in overweight and obese adults and children

In one study, when overweight people consumed 25% of their calories in the form of high-fructose beverages, they experienced higher blood insulin levels, a reduction in insulin sensitivity and increased belly fat storage.

Additionally, research has shown that drinking sugary beverages leads to excessive calorie intake because it doesn’t trigger the same fullness signals that eating solid foods does, wow!  So if you can avoid sugary drinks this may be one of the best things you can do to improve your hormone balance.

As mentioned previously I love a product call Metabotrim for so many reasons but I love the fact that it reduces sugar cravings.

SUMMARY: High intake of sugary beverages has consistently been linked to higher insulin levels and insulin resistance in overweight and obese adults and children.

You can again include essential oils to assist with appetite I tend to like to deal “one on one” with my clients to assist with what works best for an individual.

Eating Lots of Fibre

Fibre, especially the soluble type, is an important component of a healthy diet. It increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel full and satisfied.

Although soluble fibre tends to produce the strongest effects on appetite and eating, insoluble fibre may also play a role. Both types of fibre seem to reduce appetite.  So to protect yourself against insulin resistance and overeating, make sure you eat foods rich in fibre every single day.

SUMMARY: High fibre intake has been linked to improvements in insulin sensitivity and the hormones that control hunger, fullness and food intake.

Eat Eggs Anytime

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’ve been shown to beneficially affect hormones that regulate food intake, including lowering levels of insulin and ghrelin, and increasing PYY (peptide tyrosine tyrosine encoded by PYY gene).

The positive effects seem to occur when people eat both the yolk and egg white.  One study found that eating whole eggs as part of a low-carb diet increased insulin sensitivity and improved several heart health markers more than a low-carb diet that included only egg whites

Most studies have looked at the effects of eating eggs at breakfast because that is when people typically consume them. However, these nutrition powerhouses can be eaten at any meal, and hard-boiled eggs make a great portable snack.

SUMMARY: Eggs are extremely nutritious and may help reduce insulin resistance, suppress your appetite and make you feel full.

In summary

Your hormones are involved in every aspect of your health. You need them in very specific amounts for your body to function optimally.
Hormonal imbalances may increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems.
Despite the fact that aging and other factors are beyond your control, there are many steps you can take to help your hormones function optimally.
Consuming nutritious foods, exercising on a regular basis and engaging in other healthy behaviours can go a long way toward improving your hormonal health.