If you are a woman struggling to balance her hormones, please take a moment to read this article. I can not express enough, just how important our diets are to our wellness - especially our reproductive health.
Understanding how our bodies interact with certain chemicals from our food, gives us eye-opening insight about the processes and conditions of our bodies.
Taking control of our wellness at the level of food, something we do have a hand in, puts us in a position to navigate our wellness. Being proactive in our quest to optimal health, starts with not only getting the information but being receptive to the information as well.
So what is sugar?
Before we begin, let’s define sugar.
Sugar is a sweet crystalline substance taken from various plants, especially sugar cane and sugar beet. Sugar is the generalized name for sweet-tasting, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are found in our food and drinks.
But if we ditch the scientific or “book” identification of sugar, in short, sugar is a chemical drug that has very little nutritional value - plus highly addictive.
But of course, sugar is not just sugar. It's white sugar and brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white carbs (i.e. bread, pasta, potatoes), agave, maple syrup, cane sugar. There are so many ways in which sugar is packaged now, including many alternative sweeteners, that while marginally better than refined sugar, they still carry the same negative impact on our blood sugar and insulin levels; leading to our hormonal imbalances.
What are hormones?
Every second of every day we have dozens of hormones acting in our body to get certain physiologic functions accomplished. Hormones are chemical messengers used in the body by our endocrine system to co-ordinate our organs.
Hormones control much of what we feel, be it tired, hungry, horny, hot or cold. They control the rates of certain chemicals reactions, assist in transporting substances through membranes, help regulate water balance, our electrolyte balance and blood pressure. Hormones manage our behavior, development, growth and reproduction.
In short hormones are the body's little messengers...always telling our body what and how to behave.
How sugar causes hormonal imbalance!
Sugar not only provides major highs and lows in our mood and energy, it also disrupts one of the most powerful hormones in our body: Insulin. Insulin is closely connected to all other hormones in our body, including estrogen and testosterone.
Insulin is a hormone made by our pancreas that allows our body to use sugar (glucose) from the food that we eat for energy or to store glucose. Think of insulin as the "key" that unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy.
When insulin spikes, typically after a meal high in sugar, this can lead to lower levels of an important protein known as sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). SHBG binds excess estrogen and testosterone in the blood, but when it's low, these hormone levels increase. Insulin also increases the production of testosterone, which is converted into more estrogen by fat tissue in the belly.
And what effect is it having on women?
These effect means the ratio of estrogen and progesterone is off. And since these hormones for the woman are responsible for the development and regulation of her reproductive system, sex characteristics and emotional well being , it's affects a lot.
So unfortunetly, a gravely negative effect on all parts of a woman's physical, mental and emotional well being.
Here's a breakdown:
Instead of NO sugar, think glycemic control!
The goal isn't to avoid sugar entirely. Cutting all sugar out of your life is next to impossible.
Fruits, vegetables, even legumes have some sugar in them. The trick is to lower your glycemic load. Glycemic load is an estimate of how much the carbohydrates in a certain food or meal will raise a person's blood sugar after eating. You want to gradually increase blood sugar and insulin levels as opposed to causing spikes and dramatic drops.
Simple, refined sugars cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. But complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein and healthy fats promote more gradual increases and decrease in blood sugar and insulin, lowering the glycemic load and lifting the burden on the hormones.
Instead of keeping that handy bag of hard candy or bottle of sugary drink near, switch out to a healthier snack like nuts. Rotate between cashews, pistachios, almonds or walnuts to keep your taste buds interested. This small change can not only help with food cravings, mood swings, and fatigue, but blood sugar levels will see significant improvements.
4 ways to balance hormones & curb the sugar habit!
There are multiple ways to balance hormones and ease our symptoms! Consider adopting these approaches:
Again our food contribute to hormonal imbalances, adopting a "whole food diet" is imperative. Consume organic fruits and veggies, seeds, nuts, hormone-free, grass-fed and humanly raised animal product as mush as you can.
Even if you aren't worried abut your waistline, cutting back on or eliminating sugar helps rebalance your hormones, and can dramatically ease your symptoms.
Did this article help you, teach you or bless you? Please share it on Facebook or pin it on Pinterest to help our fellow sisters choose healthy organic options!
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Love and Health,
- Shavonne Richardson
Your Wholistic Health Coach
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