The endocrine system is a key player in the health of your body, controlling everything from your calcium levels to your emotions to your sleep to your ability to lose weight.
In fact, a poor functioning endocrine system, leading to improperly regulated hormones, is a common reason individuals are unable to reach their weight loss goals. It stands to reason then, that it is important to look after it, and feed it with nutrients that are beneficial and helpful for each part of the endocrine system. Doing so will ensure each component is able to function properly and perform its job so that we can feel good and be a our best!
Here are 5 healthy hormone foods you should add to your diet:
1. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has been shown to have positive effects on the mood, increasing levels of the calming hormone, serotonin, and stimulating the brain cells to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone within our body. Furthermore, chocolate, and in particular cacao, is an incredible source of antioxidants. Having adequate levels of antioxidants means our body can use them to get rid of free radicals, which can build up inside our body, having negative effects on all systems of the body, including the endocrine system.
This plant of the sea, found in several different forms, is abundantly rich in iodine, the key mineral needed for a healthy functioning thyroid. The thyroid functions to help regulate our metabolism and energy levels, plays a role in calcium absorption and is a key player when it comes to trying to lose weight – difficulty gaining or losing weight can sometimes be because of a low functioning, or overactive thyroid. Fill up on wakame, nori and kelp to keep your thyroid functioning at its best.
Typically found in powder form, this super food is the ground up root from the maca tree in the Andes Mountains. You have probably seen it popping up in everything from chocolate to smoothies to vegan desserts, and that’s because of its great affects on the endocrine system. It has been shown to boost energy and libido, fight fatigue and help to balance hormones within the body. It also supports the adrenal glands, the endocrine system players who deal with stress.
4. Healthy fats
Fish oil, hemp oil and flax oil are all excellent sources of omega fatty acids, while coconut oil and avocado provide a healthy fat serving as well. These healthy fats are necessary because fats are on of the building blocks of our hormones. The body is synthesizing new hormones every day, all the time, and it needs to have the proper “ingredients” on hand to make them. This means lots of healthy, proteins for their amino acid bases, as well as healthy fats. Try to consume a healthy fat at least once a day!
The health benefits of pineapple come from its naturally occurring content of a digestive enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme helps break down plant foods in our body and can aid in digestion when you have an upset stomach or something just isn’t agreeing with your system. In terms of your hormones, there are several hormones which are released as part of the digestive process, and failure to properly digest our food means they may not always be released when necessary. Try for fresh pineapple when possible, or opt for pineapple juice with no added sugar.