One very easy thing you can do for your hormonal health is to eat to maximise your gut health. Hormones and gut health are intrinsically linked. And whilst the topic itself is huge, quite simply, every time you eat you have the opportunity to improve your gut health. That in turn, is an opportunity to improve your hormonal health.
Gut Health – buzzword or what?
It seems that any time we hear about health, we hear about the gut. And for good reason too! The gut, or more specifically the microbiome, influences everything from our hormones to our mood, from the health of our skin, our energy levels and more. Having a healthy gut influences weight, sleep, anxiety & depression, bone and cardiovascular health. And gut health plays a big role in oestrogen balance
What is the microbiome?
Within the gut, we have the microbiome which is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and microbes. A healthy gut has a rich diversity of each of these organisms all of which play their own role in health.
What affects your gut health?
Stress, environmental toxins, inflammatory foods, antibiotics and other medications including the pill, and hormone levels. Changes to hormone levels during menopause, for example, will influence gut health.
Gut health and oestrogen
Within the microbiome, there is a collection of microbes called the estrobolome which metabolises oestrogen. When the gut is healthy, the estrobolme produces the right amount of enzymes to ensure oestrogen balance. Gut dysbiosis results in disruption to the estrobolome and ultimately oestrogen balance.
We probably all know that oestrogen is one of our major sex hormones, but did you know that oestrogen influences 400 different functions in the body. It keeps our insulin and stress hormones in check and plays a role in heart health, the elasticity of the skin, and the state of our mental health. So whatever stage of life you are at, even post-menopausal, oestrogen is a very important hormone and is hugely influenced by the state of the gut.
Eating for gut health
- Eat vegetables, lots of them, at every meal. Mix it up, aiming for lots of variety and colour.
- Drink 2L of fresh filtered water daily.
- Use a good quality probiotic.
- Eat organic where possible.
- Eliminate refined sugar, preservatives, additives, processed foods
- Avoid inflammatory foods: gluten, dairy, corn, soy.
- Eat slowly, mindfully and away from screens.
Wondering where to start? Next time you are buying vegetables, add something extra, a vegetable you wouldn’t normally choose.
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