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How Hormonal Balance Can Bring Tremendous Changes To Your Health

How Hormonal Balance Can Bring Tremendous Changes To Your Health

When it comes to hormonal imbalance, our minds go straight to teens going through puberty, women who are pregnant or having their period. We envision uncontrollable emotions that usually involve crying, anger and frustration, but in fact, this is a huge misconception as a hormonal imbalance can affect both men and women and can be the underlying cause for a lot of our health issues without us even knowing it.

Hormones play a major role in the way we feel, act and think so when we suffer from health issues or are looking to improve ourselves through losing weight or enhance cognitive skills, the first thing to take a look at is how our hormone balance is shaping up.

What Are The Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormones are the chemical messengers that travel via our blood streams to our tissues and organs, and tell them what to do and how to function. In essence, the hormone balance in our bodies is very sensitive. That is why an imbalance can affect us greatly and manifest as common health issues and more stubborn ones such as easy weight gain.

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The most common indicators are:

  • Headaches: regular headaches or migraines.
  • Mood swings: these aren’t just apparent in menstruating and pregnant women, men often get mood swings that could be attributed to a hormone imbalance including anxiety, irritability and depressive episodes.
  • Weight gain: Men who gain weight easily around their abdomen, hips and breast area could be indicating they have a hormonal imbalance.
  • Sweating: hot flushes and finding you sweat a lot more either during the day or night can be a sign.
  • Cravings: constant cravings of a certain food or food group.
  • Digestion problems: feeling bloated or gassy after eating, stomach problems and slow digestion.
  • Insomnia and poor sleep patterns: the inability to sleep soundly and deeply could be down to cortisol imbalances that lead to difficulties in getting a good night’s rest.
  • Memory loss: a hormonal imbalance can affect the way our brains function and can lead to forgetfulness.
  • Fatigue: energy levels can take a significant dive and you are left feeling constantly tired throughout the day.

Most of these symptoms can be found equally in both men and women and it’s due to either the under-production or overproduction of different hormones at one time. In women, estrogen and progesterone are the common hormones affected while in men it’s usually either a testosterone deficiency or excess estrogen. Both can cause specific symptoms such as painful breasts, low blood sugar and even infertility and cysts in women, with hair loss, erectile dysfunction and loss of muscles mass in men.

What Are The Common Causes of Hormonal Imbalance?

  • Lack of exercise: regular exercise keeps our hormones in check and lowers the risk of a cortisol imbalance caused by stress.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: sitting down too much in the space of a day such as at work on a computer and sitting watching TV for hours can wreak havoc for our hormones.
  • Diet: what we eat and drink on a regular basis weighs heavily on how our hormone’s function.
  • Being overweight: obesity and weight issues can put our hormones out of whack.
  • Genetics: sometimes it can be down to good old genetics which makes us more prone to hormone imbalances.

How To Combat a Hormonal Imbalance With Diet and Exercise

It’s important to visit a doctor to eliminate any further causes to your health issues. But if you find your headaches are getting worse or you feel generally down or irritable on a regular basis, then it’s worth changing your diet and exercise regime to see if it makes a difference.

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1. Eat Healthy Fats

Healthy fats such as coconut oil and fats found in avocados and fish can help towards putting your hormones back on track. Our bodies need various fats to create hormones so don’t restrict fat in your diet but try to eat more healthy alternatives rather than saturated. Healthy fats boost anti-inflammatory levels, promote weight loss and boosts metabolism.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fats are also essential for hormone production but it’s important to get a certain balance of both. Omega-3 is found in fish, nuts, seeds and legumes and can be eaten on a regular basis. Omega-6 should be avoided a bit more but can be taken in the form of GLA (gamma-linoleic acid) which can be found in supplements such as primrose oil.

2. Exercise Regularly

Exercising is crucial for a healthy lifestyle but when it comes to our hormones, it’s one of the best ways to keep a good balance. It reduces inflammation, lowers stress levels, boosts metabolism, promotes better sleep and regulates your appetite with all of these helping to level out any imbalance we may have.

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Doing short but high-intensity interval workouts are best but be careful not to over do it – a burst of exercise rather than a long, drawn-out session is enough to ignite the right amount of hormone production all round.

3. Reduce Intake of Caffeine, Alcohol and Carbs

Caffeine and alcohol can really affect the brain and the way it produces hormones. Stimulants stay in our system for up to 6 hours increasing heart rate with caffeine being able to up your cortisol levels and causing imbalances. Alcohol affects the liver which is a major organ for hormone production so try to limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

Carbohydrates have a huge impact on insulin production which, in turn, affects the way your hormones travel around the body. Avoid carb-heavy meals and watch your sugar intake.

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4. Beware of Milk and Beef Products

While these products are healthy to eat, it’s important to be aware that many farmers these days inject growth hormones to their cattle in order to boost production. Make sure you choose organic milk and beef products to ensure they are free from artificial hormones that can disrupt your own.

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    Jenny Marchal

    Freelance Writer

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    Last Updated on May 25, 2019

    20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

    20 Spaghetti Squash Recipes For Anyone Who Is Looking For Delicious, Healthy Comfort Food

    Spaghetti squash is similar to cucumber. It has a shell which is difficult to pierce and this hard flesh surrounds a hollow cavity filled with seeds. When you cook this vegetable, the squash flesh falls away from the inner cavity and only the reminiscent of spaghetti remains. You can get surprised and delighted to see how this vegetable transforms with cooking.

    It can act as a great substitute to pasta. It tastes as delicious as the traditional pasta and is equally satisfying but healthier. It is gluten free and contains many nutrients like vitamin A, potassium and folic acid.

    This incredible vegetable can be boiled, baked or steamed. And, a lot of recipes can be prepared with spaghetti squash as the chief ingredient. I’m sure the following recipes will make your mouth water.

    Breakfast

    1. Spiced Coconut Squash Breakfast Porridge

    1

      This unconventional porridge, prepared for breakfast, is a perfect dish to start your day. The ingredients include spaghetti squash, organic coconut milk, ginger, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract. It has a comforting and creamy texture and is best served with fresh fruit topping. (Click here for recipe)

      2. Egg and Avocado Spaghetti Squash Boats

      2

        If you’re looking for a light, healthy, gluten free, vegetarian breakfast then avocado spaghetti squash boats is the best option. Besides chopping the squash, breaking the egg and slicing the avocado, this recipe doesn’t require much effort in its preparation. It tastes amazing with egg yolk and salsa and has a rich decadent texture. (Click here for recipe)

        3. Spaghetti Squash Frittata for One

        3

          This frittata, if prepared perfectly, can be an excellent choice for a healthy meal. It is a combination of lots of spaghetti squash, a few white eggs, some red pepper for color and texture, few onions and garlic for flavor, and some fresh herbs for brightness. This dish is usually served large in size and tastes great with tomato sauce and bean balls. (Click here for recipe)

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          4. Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Brunch

          4

            It’s a fast and easy breakfast that contains a poached egg and feta on a pre-roasted pile of spaghetti squash bed. The yolk from the egg floods through the scraps of squash underneath. It almost tastes like an Italian pasta and the light crumble of feta adds more calcium and protein. (Click here for recipe)

            5. Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

            5

              A very healthy take on hash browns in which spaghetti squash is used in place of potatoes and coconut oil in place of butter. This reduces stress, inflammation and starch, making it healthier than traditional hash browns. It helps lose water weight as well which is helpful for weight loss. The final product is fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside. It is best served alongside some dippy eggs. (Click here for recipe and image source)

              Lunch

              6. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

              6

                Spaghetti squash can not only replace Italian pasta but it can also replace the Chinese noodles. They are a delicious, satisfying dish, prepared by stirring and frying spaghetti squash with a rainbow of other vegetables along with a sweet smelling mixture of fish sauce, rice vinegar and soy. They are gluten free and grease free which makes them healthier. (Click here for recipe)

                7. Parmesan Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash with Pine Nuts

                7

                  This dish is a marvelous combination of garlic, spaghetti squash, parmesan, toasted pine and zucchini nuts. It’s super healthy, gluten free, full of vegetables and delicious. Tossed with olive oil, this dish meets all the dietary needs and is perfect for light lunch. You can also add some chicken to increase protein.  (Click here for recipe)

                   8. Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms Parmesan

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                  8

                    Though spaghetti squash provides low calories, you can add meaty mushroom and a good amount of parmesan cheese to increase the amount of calories. It’s a healthy, full of flavor, vegetarian dish, and has cheap and easy ingredients which you can find in market. The final product is yummy and satisfying and can make your lunch, perfect.  (Click here for recipe)

                     9. Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Fire-Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

                    9

                      A pile of roasted squash is flavored with a sauce made from five ingredients. The vegan fire-roasted tomato cream sauce is made from the mixture of tomatoes, cashews, basil, salt and water. This spicy sauce makes it more delicious and some small amount of basil adds fresh green color and flavor. (Click here for recipe)

                       10. Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash

                      10

                        Most of the dishes listed here are either Mexican or Italian. This recipe however will give you a fresh Asian feeling. To prepare this, all you need are spaghetti squash and peanut sauce, then by adding some ginger, lime and vinegar you’ll get one of the most delicious recipes. The texture of this dish reminds you of heavenly beaches in Thailand. (Click here for the recipe)

                        Dinner

                        11. Spaghetti Squash Comfort Bowl

                        11

                          This is the perfect kind of bowl that you want to have on a cold evening, sitting on a couch and watching TV. You’ll enjoy its lightly steamed veggies, allspice beans, and the strands of squash as well. It feels creamy but doesn’t seem too heavy. It’s a great dish with intense indulgence, with our best spaghetti squash, the warm beans, and the comforting steamed veggies. (Click here for the recipe)

                          12. Spaghetti Squash Crust Pizza

                          12

                            As you already know, spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, but this dish here shows how these chewy shreds can make a great stand-in for pizza. You can add anything like meat or veggies to the base which is bound with egg whites and flour. The end product is a great gluten free dish. (Click here for the recipe)

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                            13. Spaghetti Squash Fried Rice

                            13

                              Spaghetti squash works as a good substitute to the cauliflower as the base of a fried rice. This recipe includes almost all of the usual ingredients of a fried rice. With green onions, eggs, peanut oil, and some garlic, this dish gives a unique texture that you can never find in your local restaurants. (Click here for the recipe)

                               14. Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

                              14

                                If you’re looking for something delicious for the winter evenings, you’ll get fond of these cheesy spaghetti squash boats. To lighten it up, it is filled with tomato sauce, cheese, chicken sausage, parmesan and ricotta. You can easily complete its arrangement ahead of time and bake it before dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                                15. Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

                                15

                                  This Mexican inspired dish has spaghetti squash as a serving bowl and inside it goes enchilada sauce, chicken, cheese, black beans and other veggies wrapped inside a corn tortilla blanket. You can also use spinach in place of the corn and black beans. Topped with sauce galore, this dish can be served as a family fun meal.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                  Dessert

                                  16. Sweet Spaghetti Squash Kugel with Apples and Raisins

                                  16

                                    If you can afford spaghetti squash, coconut sugar, some eggs and few other ingredients, then this dish must be your cheapest choice. This noodle is a delight in all seasons. The addition of some apples and raisins results in its fruity freshness. (Click here for the recipe)

                                    17. Spaghetti Squash Coconut Custard Pie

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                                    17

                                      With the fine sweetness from vanilla extract and coconut, this dessert can be a great hit among guests. The spaghetti squash drowns in an egg batter to make it lighter than a cream pie. You can play and experiment with the ingredients and see surprising results.  (Click here for the recipe)

                                       18. Spaghetti Squash Cake With Cream Cheese Glaze

                                      18

                                        This desert will be a delicious treat to those who are a fan of carrot cake. Spaghetti squash is a vegetable with pleasant taste, lending fiber, potassium and vitamins. So, if you drape it in cream cheese frosting, you will end with this mouth- watering cake. This dessert has so many health benefits and is also great for a Thanksgiving dinner. (Click here for the recipe)

                                         19. Spaghetti Squash Kheer

                                        19

                                          Kheer is a rice pudding made by boiling rice with cow milk and sugar. But this type of kheer replaces boiling rice with noodles swapped out of spaghetti squash and cow milk with coconut milk. By pouring some ghee, you can add necessary richness in it. It is healthier than traditional kheer and can act as a great dessert for your evenings. (Click here for the recipe)

                                           20. Cinnamon Spice Spaghetti Squash Cake

                                          20

                                            By now, you must be surprised by the versatility of spaghetti squash. But your best surprise will probably come after you finish preparing this cake. This cake is a game changer. You’ll have the taste of lots of veggies like cinnamon, allspice maple syrup and ginger, all inside a single cake.  It’s a perfect treat for picky eaters. (Click here for the recipe)

                                            Featured photo credit: Spaghetti Squash with Fire Roasted Tomato, Olive and Baby Spinach Sauce via commons.wikimedia.org

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