How to keep hormones in balance: diet and exercise help
To maintain hormonal balance, it is essential to have a correct diet respecting circadian rhythms and to carry out a constant physical activity that controls stress.
Hormones are substances secreted by endocrine glands that travel through our bloodstream to other cells and organs in the body to control and regulate their functions. When too much or too little of any hormone is produced, health problems can occur. And why do these hormonal imbalances occur? In the following lines, we see their causes and effects and how to keep them at bay with food and physical exercise.
Causes of hormonal imbalance and its effects
Nutrition problems, habits and lifestyles, stress or irregular ovarian cycle are the main causes of hormonal imbalance in young people of reproductive age.
Being overweight and obese play a fundamental role in causing different hormonal imbalances. “This excess weight usually determines insulin resistance that favors the appearance of type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. Obesity frequently causes imbalances in gonadal (ovarian and testicular) function in both men and women and causes decreased fertility, but in most cases these hormonal imbalances are recovered when weight is lost.
How to maintain hormonal balance
Changes in diet and meal times
As the dietitian and nutritionist point out, “ a correct diet can help us maintain our hormonal balance. However, not only the type of food we eat is important, but also the moment in which we do so.”
Both factors are important, since, although it is important to respect our signals of hunger and satiety, eating at certain times or before certain hours, and respecting circadian rhythms, can be beneficial, especially when it comes to eating. dinner is concerned.
Dietitian Montse Torres, a member of the board of directors of the General Council of Official Colleges of Nutritionists and Dietitians, gives the case of glucose metabolism as an example: “The timing of meals can influence insulin resistance. The pancreas secretes more during the day and less at night, when we should be rested and without the need to eat. For this reason, it has been observed that glucose tolerance is worse during the evening and that eating dinner late can make you gain weight.
Physical activity influences every part of how your body works, from how you handle stress, to how you regulate insulin, sex drive, sleep, and even your risk of breast cancer.
There are numerous studies that prove the ” serotonin rush ” that occurs when increasing the heart rate and also how aerobic exercises, moderate to vigorous, reduce the risk of suffering from depression and anxiety.
These are recommended physical exercises for each stage of life
A recent study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry evaluated the exercise time needed to protect our mental health and concluded that it is far less than the time needed to stay physically fit. In a follow-up of 33,908 healthy adults for 11 years, it was seen that, with one hour of physical activity a week in the open air (more serotonin is secreted when we are outdoors), a protective effect was observed against future depression.
Although estrogen is necessary, if we secrete too much it is not good, since this excess is a risk factor for breast cancer (fat cells produce estrogen, so excess weight increases risk). According to the latest findings published in the Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for 30 minutes five times a week also helps reduce that excess estrogen, as it breaks it down, changing its distribution. and metabolism.
Ultimately, we are the work of our hormones. All the great metamorphoses we go through in our lives, from puberty to old age, through pregnancy, have been driven by hormones. Although our endocrine system manages to keep this complex framework in balance most of the time, we must be attentive to the signals sent by the body, since any hormonal imbalance can affect our health.