As elusive as it may seem, your endocrine system or hormone system controls every chemical process and system throughout the body. Hormones act as chemical messengers, coordinating the body’s delicate chemical balance on a nonstop basis. Women live with an especially delicate hormonal balance. Ensuring your body has the supports it needs to maintain proper hormone levels can go a long way toward living a long, healthy, and happy life. In total, the human body produces about 50 different types of hormones, including insulin, cortisol, and adrenaline, along with the female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone regulate reproductive, menstrual, and fertility functions in a woman’s body. While female hormones are only a part of the puzzle, the endocrine system works together as a whole to maintain balance. This means an imbalance in one area will throw off the entire system. Symptoms of female hormone imbalance can take any number of forms, including:
- Problems sleeping
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Loss of sex drive
The Special Roles That Estrogen PlaysThe female body houses over 15 different forms of estrogen, though three in particular stand out in the crowd:
- Estrone – Produced by the ovaries and the dominant form of estrogen in women who’ve gotten past menopause, many hormone-based cancers involve this type of estrogen.
- Estradiol – The highest levels appear in women who are pregnant and in women who are in their reproductive years. Levels of estradiol also have an impact on brain, bone, colon, and heart health.
- Estriol – Produced by the placenta during pregnancy, it is the weakest of the top three estrogen types.
The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet on Hormonal BalanceThe nutrient content of the foods you eat every day has direct effects on your hormone levels. Nutrient content has to do with the type or quality of carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and amino acids contained in different types of food. Unfortunately, the high fat, high sugar, and low fiber content that makes up the Standard American Diet not only lacks nutritional content but predisposes the body to develop chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. A healthy diet creates a healthy body, as well as balanced hormone levels. Here are just a few of the areas affected by your daily food intake:
- Sugar metabolism
- Cell receptor functions
- Hormone synthesis
- Gut flora
- Emotional state
Tips for Keeping Estrogen Levels in Check
- Eliminate animal-based fats from your diet.
- Get plenty of exercise on a regular basis.
- Maintain a healthy gut flora.
- Only use cosmetic products that contain safe, clean ingredients.