natural ways to balance hormonesHormones have profound effects on your mental, physical and emotional health. These chemical messengers play a major role in controlling your appetite, weight and mood, among other things.

1. Eat Enough Protein at Every Meal
Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important. Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own and must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health. In addition, protein influences the release of hormones that control appetite and food intake.

2. Engage in Regular Exercise
Physical activity can strongly influence hormonal health. A major benefit of exercise is its ability to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that has several functions. One is allowing cells to take up sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream, which are then used for energy and maintaining muscle.

3. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs
Sugar and refined carbs have been linked to a number of health problems. Indeed, avoiding or minimizing these foods may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes and other diseases.

4. Learn to Manage Stress
Stress can wreak havoc on your hormones. Two major hormones affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline, which is also called epinephrine. Cortisol is known as “the stress hormone” because it helps your body cope with stress over the long term.

5. Consume Healthy Fats
Including high-quality natural fats in your diet may help reduce insulin resistance and appetite. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are unique fats that are taken up directly by the liver for immediate use as energy. They have been shown to reduce insulin resistance in overweight and obese people, as well as in people with diabetes.

6. Avoid Over Eating and Under Eating
Eating too much or too little may result in hormonal shifts that lead to weight problems. Overeating is shown to increase insulin levels and reduce insulin sensitivity, especially in overweight and obese people who are insulin resistant. In one study, insulin-resistant obese adults who ate a 1,300-calorie meal experienced nearly twice the increase in insulin as lean people and “metabolically healthy” obese people who consumed an identical meal.

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