Hormones 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. Normally, your endocrine glands produce the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes in your body.
However, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common with today’s fast-paced modern lifestyle. In addition, certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.
Fortunately, a nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best. This article will show you 12 natural ways to balance your hormones.
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.
Research has shown that eating protein decreases levels of the “hunger hormone” ghrelin and stimulates the production of hormones that help you feel full, including PYY and GLP-1. In one study, men produced 20% more GLP-1 and 14% more PYY after eating a high-protein meal than after eating a meal that contained a normal amount of protein. What’s more, participants’ hunger ratings decreased by 25% more after the high-protein meal compared to the normal-protein meal.
In another study, women who consumed a diet containing 30% protein experienced an increase in GLP-1 and greater feelings of fullness than when they ate a diet containing 10% protein. What’s more, they experienced an increase in metabolism and fat burning.
To optimize hormone health, experts recommend consuming a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein per meal. This is easy to do by including a serving of these high-protein foods at each meal.
Consuming adequate protein triggers the production of hormones that suppress appetite and help you feel full. Aim for a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein per meal.