Food like coffee, sugar and vegetable oil might mess up your hormones. (Source: File Photo)
While we all crave for flawless skin, lustrous hair and perfect curves, hormones play a significant role in not only maintaining our physical and mental health but also have their share in bolstering up your good looks.
There are several hormones present in your body. From sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone to thyroid hormones cortisol, insulin, glucagon, these are responsible for various body functions like blood pressure and heart rate, hair growth, libido, and sleep among others.
Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, Senior Consultant, Nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, lists out the various factors that affect the hormonal balance in the body. She explains, “Hormones are the basic proteins in your body that get affected by high-stress levels or poor gut health or underlying deficiencies like that of vitamin D. On the other hand, environmental exposure to various toxins and regular consumption of processed food and alcohol can also bring about a hormonal imbalance in your body.”
Dr Rohatgi further suggests the ‘MyPlate’ method for a healthy diet, where your food plate is divided into four equal parts with each containing fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins to ensure a good hormonal balance.
Foods that you consume on a daily basis may affect your hormonal balance. Jaee Khamkar, Dietician from Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, lists the foods you must keep a check on to make your body a happy place for hormones:
* Processed food: Processed food can mess up your hormonal balance by increasing the amount of cortisol and decreasing the estrogen levels in the body.
* Cruciferous vegetables: While cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower can be used to maintain the estrogen levels in the body, a very high intake of such food can also lead to the hormonal imbalance in the body. Keep a check on the amount of such food in your daily diet.
* Red meat: Being high on fat content, red meat can alter the hormonal balance in your body.
* Coffee: While a regular dose of coffee is quite necessary to boost your energy for the day, having too much caffeine interferes with your hormonal balance, thus increasing the levels of cortisol in your body.
* Sugar: High sugar intake can not only cause mood swings and alter the energy levels in the body but also has an immediate effect on the levels of insulin in the body. The disbalance in the levels of insulin have adverse effects on the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. Hence, sugar intake in your regular diet must be maintained.
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