Modern times bring many diseases and illnesses and hormonal disturbances are relatively common. Experts believe that the majority of people have at least a small degree of hormonal imbalance. In most cases, the problem is caused by environmental and lifestyle factors rather than disease.
Hormonal imbalance can refer to any abnormality in the balance of hormones that has noticeable effects on health and well-being. Many people are particularly concerned about their balance of estrogen to testosterone. Estrogen overload is the most common variant of hormonal imbalance, likely due to the hormone’s omnipresence in today’s average diet.
If you are suspecting that you’re suffering from a hormonal imbalance, here are five foods you need to avoid:
- Soy Products
One of the most prolific offenders when it comes to hormonal imbalance is soy. Soybeans are rich in substances that not only mimic human estrogen but also suppress functioning of the thyroid, the hormone master control system. Regularly consuming soy is linked to hormonal dysfunction, mood swings, depression, infertility, fat gain and muscle loss. Some good alternatives include nut milk instead of soymilk, coconut oil instead of margarine and rice protein instead of soy protein.
Poultry is good for your heart, but it’s terrible if you have a hormonal imbalance. Hormones can’t be given to poultry, but that doesn’t include the estrogen found naturally in their soy-based feed. The hormone winds up in the meat in considerable doses. Try replacing chicken or turkey for heart health with pastured pork, wild-caught fish or grass-fed beef.
- Artificial Colors
Artificial colors in foods might look harmless, but they could be destroying your hormones. These dyes are made from petroleum, which is well-known to disturb endocrine function. In order to avoid them, look for products that use either no added colors or ones extracted from fruits or vegetables.
If you’re a fan of licorice and you’re wondering why you’re experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, you may already have your answer. Research has revealed that the estrogenic properties of licorice are even stronger than those of contraceptives! They’re actually so powerful that licorice is even being investigated for use as an anti-testosterone drug. Fennel and anise candies still have estrogenic effects, but since they’re not as potent, they make a suitable alternative for occasional licorice cravings.
- Dairy Products
Forget calcium and vitamin D. Two important nutrients don’t automatically make a good food for you. Researchers are now beginning to suspect that regular consumption of dairy products can not only cause high estrogen, but they can also increase the risk of estrogen-dependent cancers. Take a look at areas of the world with the highest dairy consumption and you will find the highest rates of breast and female reproductive cancers. Furthermore, experts estimate that dairy products account for between 60 and 80% of the estrogen consumed by an average person. Alternatives made from nuts, coconut and yeast possess no similar effects and can also provide greater nutrition.