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What to Eat for Balanced Hormones And Quicker Weight Loss

What to Eat for Balanced Hormones And Quicker Weight Loss

Millions of people around the world struggle every day to achieve weight loss goals – an achievement which can sometimes feel almost impossible. One of the reasons why it is so hard to lose weight and keep it off is that those extra pounds aren’t just a matter of eating too much and not exercising enough. Hormones – especially insulin, cortisol, and estrogen – help control whether or not your body burns fats or stores it. Keeping hormones in balance can make it much easier to lose those extra pounds.

That being said, diet does play an important role in balancing the hormones so that they do not cause yo to put on extra weight. Ideally, a hormone-balance diet should be based on a combination of clean proteins, vegetables and fruits and foods containing healthy fats. Fats are especially important because they are the building blocks of hormones: without enough healthy fats in the diet, your body simply does not have enough raw material to produce enough of these hormones to keep them in balance. With the right diet, however, it is possible to help balance hormones naturally.

Below is a list of the best foods to eat if you are trying to keep your hormones balanced in order to lose weight.

1. Avocadoes

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    Avocadoes work on two levels to help balance the hormones. On one level, they are chock-full of monounsaturated, healthy fats to help the body produce the hormones that It needs to maintain its health. On another level, they also contain a plant sterol which helps the body to lower estrogen levels and this makes it a great choice for women with high estrogen levels – such as those who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

    Avocadoes can be cut into salads, made into guacamole for Mexican dishes, or even blended into a smoothie.

    2. Butter

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      Especially if you can get organic butter from pastured cows, this can actually be quite good for you, as well as lending a rich taste to many of your meals. Butter is vitamin-rich, giving you a good dose of vitamins A, D, and K and, even more importantly, is a rich source of short ‒ and medium chain fatty acids that also help support optimal hormone production.

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      While you don’t want tons of butter in your diet, smearing a small amount onto whole wheat toast or English muffins or using it in a lemon-butter sauce for fish is an excellent way to add it to your diet.

      3. Cruciferous Vegetables

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        Members of the crucifer family, which include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, have become nutritional rock stars – and with good reason. They are loaded with vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants and are also incredibly rich in fiber. This fiber breaks down slowly in the body and helps to regulate blood sugar – and this, in turn, can keep your insulin levels from getting too high and signaling your body to pack on the pounds.

        These awesome veggies can be eaten raw in salads, chopped, and sauted as stir-fries or mixed in with whole grain pasta dishes for a healthy, Mediterranean style meal.

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        4. Nuts and Seeds

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          Walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds….anything in the nut and seed family is going to provide you with good quality, plant-based protein as well as healthy fats. Walnuts are particularly good for balancing the hormones because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat which is needed for hormone production. Because these nuts and seeds are also high fiber, they can also control blood sugar levels, which in turn keeps insulin in check.

          Nuts and seeds can be added to pilafs and other rice dishes, sprinkled onto a stir-fry or eaten “as is” for an afternoon snack.

          5. Berries

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            Berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for general health and immunity, but they, like the cruciferous veggies, are also rich in fiber. They are also low in sugar and low on the glycemic index which means that they break down slowly in the body and help to keep blood sugar – and insulin – levels steady.

            Berries can be added to the morning bowl of oatmeal, blended into a smoothie, or layered with yogurt for a delicious (and healthy) parfait.

            6. Fatty Fish

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              Tuna, mackerel, salmon, or other fatty fish are another excellent choice if the goal is to keep the hormones balanced. This is because, like walnuts, these fish are also rich in the omega three fatty acids that your body needs for proper hormone balance.

              This fish can be baked, pan seared, or blackened and are great for dinner entrees as well as chopped and added to a lunchtime salad.

              In short, these foods will not only improve your general health, they will help you to balance out your hormones naturally. This will not only help you feel better, but it will generally make it easier for your body to shed those extra pounds and achieve your weight loss goals which will have you both feeling and looking great!

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              Brian Wu

              Health Writer, Author

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              Last Updated on October 23, 2018

              Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

              Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

              My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

              Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

              The Neural Knitwork Project

              In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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              While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

              The knitting and neural connection

              The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

              More mental health benefits from knitting

              Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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              “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

              Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

              Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

              She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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              “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

              The dopamine effect on our happiness

              Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

              There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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              “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

              If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

              Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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