The food you eat affects several bodily functions, including hormone secretion. Our body creates various hormones to aid growth, metabolism, mood, and sexual wellness.
The slightest disruption in this complicated body function can impair weight, fertility, menstrual cycles, and the ability to deal with stress. Food is unbelievably useful in combating hormonal imbalance as long as you know what works best for your body. Read on to discover how protein intake affects hormone balance and the best sources of protein for this purpose.
But before you rush to the grocery store for ingredient-shopping, take some time out to familiarize yourself with the requirements of your body. Your GP is the best person to study your symptoms and guide you on which hormones need regulating. So, go in for a professional consultation before you begin altering your diet. Having cleared that up, let’s get down to discovering how various protein-rich foods affect our hormone levels.
8 of the Top Protein Sources for Maintaining Hormone Balance
When it comes to balancing your hormones, a daily dose of eggs is one of the best things you can give your body. Among the most nutritious foods in the world, eggs have a positive impact on several hormones in the body, such as insulin, ghrelin, and PYY. Your insulin and ghrelin levels are lower after you have eggs for breakfast, rather than say, a bagel. A wholesome meal of eggs keeps you full for longer, and you end up consuming fewer calories for up to 24 hours. It's a win-win if you are also struggling with weight loss.
2. Pea Protein
Peas are the ideal sources of plant-based proteins because they contain all of the amino acids that the human body requires, making them a complete protein. You cannot get the full set of amino acids from most other plant proteins. To their credit, among all proteins, peas are also the least allergenic. Hence, there's little chance of developing intolerance, which can happen with other proteins, such as dairy and gluten. A powder form of pea protein (not more than 5 g per serving) works best, especially if it has low sugar and no gluten or dairy. Include pea proteins in your diet for a pre-workout energy boost and also to stay fuller for longer.
3. Wild Salmon
Wild-caught salmon, along with other fatty fish, such as herring, mackerel, lake trout, or sardines, are good for your health in more ways than one. Salmon is rich in vitamin D, which helps improve testosterone levels. The omega-3 fatty acids help reduce the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease. They also synthesize hormones that control arterial function, blood clotting, and inflammation.
The good fats in salmon improve the overall hormonal communication, which gives you better mood and cognition skills. The protein-rich salmon also helps stabilize your hunger hormones, keeping you full for longer.
4. Sacha Inchi
Sacha Inchi is the name of a plant that grows in the Amazonian rainforests in Peru. It is also called the mountain peanut. It is a rich source of protein, especially for vegetarians.
You can also benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids that this plant is rich in. This is particularly important for those who don't consume fish or eggs as part of their daily diet. The mountain peanut works as an excellent mid-meal snack when you want to cut back on your calorie consumption. The oil from the Sacha Inchi is used to add flavor as well as nutrition to salads.
5. Hemp Protein
Hemp is sourced from the Cannabis sativa plant and is a rich source of protein and fiber while being low in sugar. It is also a complete protein, featuring all 9 amino acids that are essential for a healthy person. The vital amino acids in hemp protein can benefit your body in building muscle. For those with gut issues, hemp is also easily digested. As a plant-based protein, hemp is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as well as those with soy or dairy-based allergies. A quarter cup of hemp protein powder offers 15 g of protein. Shelled hemp seeds, toasted if you prefer them that way, make for nutritious munching between meals.
6. Grass-fed Beef
Grass-fed and pasture-raised beef (as opposed to grain-fed meat) is the perfect source of nutrients that promote good thyroid health. It is rich in iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron. These nutrients help in the conversion of T4 hormone into T3, reverse autoimmune thyroid conditions, and promote thyroid hormone production when its levels are low. Be sure to pick organic meats when you go shopping for ingredients to limit exposure to harmful toxins. Another rich source of healthy proteins is beef liver, which provides the same nutrients in a more concentrated form. (Did you know you can get in a pill or powder form too?)
Don't be fooled by their small size: lentils may appear unassuming but are very effective when it comes to delivering nutrients. They are one of the best sources of plant-based proteins in the world, making them the perfect ingredient for vegans and vegetarians. They are a kind of legume, rich in protein and fiber, both of which help reduce estrogen levels. For men, the zinc in lentils helps promote testosterone levels. Other nutrients that you can get from a healthy serving of lentils include potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, manganese, and copper. The best part is that they are relatively easy to include in meals. They are easy to cook and taste great in salads and stews.
The popularity of quinoa today is much more than just a fad. And, for a good reason. As a complex carbohydrate, quinoa has a steadying influence on fluctuating blood sugar levels. This makes it very effective at regulating your levels of insulin and androgen. Diabetes patients, take note! But quinoa also has a host of other useful qualities that make it worthy of being included in our regular diets. It is an excellent source of both fiber and protein. A single cup of quinoa packs in 5 g of fiber and 8 g of protein. It also happens to be gluten-free, which translates into guilt-free snacking!
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