Ever wondered why you always feel sluggish at work no matter how much rest you’re getting? It could be due to your hormones.
But the fact is, our hormones are affected not only by how we sleep and our stress levels, but also what we eat. Food does more than just provide energy and dictate body composition – it sets off a cascade of hormonal changes that can wreak havoc on our skin, health and mood. If you suspect that you have a hormonal imbalance, here are some foods to avoid.
Foods high on the glycemic index like bread, pasta and dried fruit cause insulin to last six to eight hours in your blood stream, leading to cravings, weight gain and hormonal hunger. Keep your hormones in check by eating more protein, fat and fiber instead.
Most chickens sold on the market today are reared on farms where they are fed with soy grains. Heavy use of soy leads to the ingestion of a high dosage of estrogen, which can be especially disruptive to hormone cycles.
Sugar-loaded beverages like cocktails and fizzy drinks are all examples of fast sugar. It will send your insulin levels racing, offsetting your hormones and leaving you feeling fatigued. It might interfere with your sex hormones too!
In order to maximise dairy output, cows are kept pregnant, resulting in high levels of estrogen that can not only wreak havoc on your hormones, but also cause problems for the rest of your family too. Men who are heavy dairy consumers sometimes develop breasts.
Dyes used in artificial food colouring are usually made from petroleum, which is well-known to disrupt endocrine function. It’s better to avoid them by consuming food that uses naturally extracted dyes from fruits or vegetables instead.
Industrial Seed Oils
These include oils such as canola, corn, cottonseed, soybean, vegetable, safflower and sunflower oils that oxidise and cause inflammation. A good general rule is to avoid fried foods and check food labels.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds found in foods like soybeans and soy products, tempeh, flaxseed, oats and lentils. The problem with phytoestogens are that they can interfere with your libido and menstrual cycle. While more thorough research is needed, avoiding them altogether is safer for your health and wellbeing.
Text: Atika Lim and Natalya Molok / The Singapore Women’s Weekly / July 2017
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For more health stories, read Will You Still Eat Mac & Cheese After Reading This? and 5 Types Of Food To Avoid To Feel Less Bloated.