When in balance, your hormones are like text messages in your body from a wise mentor. Each hormone sends a “do this” or “do that” task to cells far away in an effort to create homeostasis, which you feel as a full head of hair, strong nails, clear skin, stable mood and weight, stress resilience, robust digestion and libido. Unfortunately, the hormonal system is quite vulnerable to your environment – particularly toxins, poor sleep, the wrong foods or drinks, wayward microbes in the gut, and even limiting thoughts. In this article, we’ll review the top 5 hormones that create homeostasis in your body, then feature my favorite food to bring that hormone back into balance. I have a “food first” philosophy when it comes to restoring balance, rather than immediately jumping to a prescription or even a supplement that contains the isolated compounds of a beneficial food.
Job: Cortisol is the primary hormone of the stress response, and is secreted by the adrenal glands. When elevated, it raises blood pressure and blood sugar so that you can fight or flee. But when cortisol is chronically elevated, it can lead to a heightened sense of “rev” or unease in the body, depression, accelerated aging, weight gain, blood sugar problems, and metabolic syndrome.
What You May Notice:
- Feeling like you’re constantly racing from one task to the next
- Difficulty losing weight, especially at your waist
- Moodiness or depression
- Quickness to anger or rage
- Trouble winding down before bedtime or difficulty staying asleep
- Weak nails or skin conditions like eczema or thin skin (sometime literally and figuratively)
- High blood pressure or blood sugar (or both)
- Memory lapses or attention deficit, especially under stress
- Craving salty or sugary foods
- Low libido
Lab Tests: Serum cortisol, diurnal dried urine (tracks your cortisol levels at four points throughout the day, and reflects the quality of your Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPA, i.e., brain-adrenal conversation), “Complete Hormones” urine test, available from Genova. Old school testing includes saliva testing, but I find dried urine to be more informative.
Eat This Food: extra dark chocolate, shown to lower cortisol levels. Yum!
Honorable mention: cold water wild-caught fish. My latest favorite is cod from Alaska, baked in a miso paste in parchment paper on a bed of asparagus or other vegetable.
Job: Insulin regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. The main problem with insulin is chronic elevation, leading to insulin resistance (when cells become numb to insulin, and blood glucose rises to pre-diabetes or diabetes levels)
What You May Notice:
- Cravings for sweet foods
- Difficulty not eating (or stopping after one serving) carbohydrate-rich foods, such as chocolate, ice cream, or french fries
- Fasting blood sugar higher than normal (greater than 85 mg/dl)
- Feeling feel shaky, anxious, or irritable between meals
- For women, waist measurement 35 inches or greater (at the belly button). For men, greater than 40 inches
- Body mass index greater than 25
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOs), a condition that includes irregular periods, acne, increased hair growth, and sometimes infertility and cysts on the ovaries
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol and/or high triglycerides
- High blood pressure (systolic greater than 140 or diastolic greater than 90)
- Fasting insulin level that is greater than 5 μiu/ml (micro international units per milliliter)?
Lab Test: fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin, HgbA1c.
Eat This Food: sauerkraut (or kimchee, or any fermented vegetable), shown in studies to lower fasting glucose.
Too much testosterone
Job: Testosterone is a hormone produced in the ovaries of women and testicles of men, and in the adrenal glands. It is important for a sense of wellbeing, confidence, maintaining muscle tone, bone growth, and sexual function. When elevated excessively, a problem facing 30 percent of American women, it can lead to acne, irregular periods, excess body hair, loss of head hair, and infertility.
What You May Notice:
- Excess hair on your face, chest, or arms
- Greasy skin and/or hair
- Thinning head hair (sometimes combined with excess hair growth elsewhere)
- Discoloration of your armpits (darker and thicker than your normal skin)
- Skin tags, especially on your neck and upper torso
- Hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia and/or unstable blood sugar
- Reactivity and/or irritability, or excessively aggressive or authoritarian episodes (also known as ’roid rage)
- Depression or anxiety
- Polycystic ovary syndrome, usually with ovarian cysts (called a “string of pearls” on ultrasound), infertility, or menstrual cycles occurring more than every thirty-five days
Lab Tests: serum free and total testosterone, sometimes bioavailable testosterone
Eat This Food: Green beans, which are rich in zinc.
Honorable mention: pumpkin and sesame seeds, also rich in zinc. (Zinc plays an important role in sexual development, menstruation, and ovulation. Zinc deficiency is associated with higher androgens, the family of hormones to which testosterone belongs, and acne.)
Too much estrogen
Job: Estrogen refers to a family of sex hormones that are responsible for female characteristics in the body, including the development of breasts and hips. But sometimes you can get too much of a good thing: more than 700 known toxins from the environment can mimic estrogen and lead to excess estrogen pollution in the body.
What You May Notice:
- Bloating, puffiness, or fluid retention
- Abnormal Pap smears
- Heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding (see your doctor!)
- Rapid weight gain, particularly in the hips and butt
- Increased bra-cup size or breast tenderness
- Fibroids, endometriosis, or painful periods? (Endometriosis is when pieces of the uterine lining grow outside of the uterine cavity, such as on the ovaries or bowel, and cause painful periods.)
- Mood swings, PMS, irritability, weepiness, mini breakdowns, or anxiety
- Migraines or other headaches
- A red flush on your face (or a diagnosis of rosacea)
- Gallbladder problems (or removal)
Lab Tests: Dried urine testing (see cortisol) with all estrogen metabolites, or salivary female hormone panel. Body burden testing in the blood and urine.
Eat This Food: cruciferous vegetables, for example – broccoli and cauliflower, and even cabbage, because people don’t always remember what a gem of a food it is. These vegetables block estrogen, the fiber helps you excrete excess estrogens, and overall the crucifers help cells with programmed cell death, so that senescent cells don’t keep circulating and loitering like zombies, wreaking havoc and accelerating the aging process. Today, I’m eating a salad at lunch with red cabbage, broccoli sprouts, grated carrots, and basil – topped with avocado oil and Meyer lemon. Scrumptious!
Job: Your thyroid is in charge of metabolism, or fast or slow you run biochemical reactions in the body, including the rate of calories burned. Specifically, your thyroid gland’s job is to take iodine, which is found in many foods, and combine it with tyrosine to produce thyroid hormones: a storage hormone called thyroxine (T4) and active thyroid hormone called triiodothyronine (T3). About 10 percent of women lack sufficient thyroid hormone from a slow thyroid gland, so that energy is triaged to the most vital functions and away from hair, skin, and bowel function. They suffer from a slow metabolism: they’re depressed, constipated, gain weight easily, and experience hair, skin, and joint problems.
What You May Notice:
- Dry, strawlike hair that tangles easily and/or falls out (hair loss may include eyelashes or the outer third of your eyebrows)
- Dry skin; decreased sweating; thin, brittle fingernails
- An additional few pounds, or 20, that you just can’t lose; fluid retention
- Bowel movements less often than once a day, or you feel you don’t completely evacuate
- Muscle or joint aches (you became an old lady overnight)
- Cold or tingling in hands and feet, or intolerance of cold or heat, maybe a sensitivity to cold (you shiver more easily than others and are always wearing layers)
- Slow speech, perhaps with a hoarse or halting voice, slow brain, slow thoughts; difficulty concentrating; sluggish reflexes and diminished reaction time
- Lethargy (you feel like you’re moving through molasses) or fatigue, particularly in the morning; depression or moodiness (the world is not as rosy as it used to be), or a prescription for the latest antidepressant but you’re still not feeling like yourself
- Heavy periods or other menstrual problems (see your doctor!), infertility, miscarriage, or preterm birth
- An enlarged thyroid or goiter, or difficulty swallowing
Lab Tests: Mainstream medicine usually runs only a serum TSH and T4 to determine thyroid function. A functional medicine thyroid panel includes several other labs such as free and total T3 (active thyroid hormone), reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies to rule out autoimmune thyroid problems.
Eat This Food: Brazil nuts. In addition to iodine, you need selenium, zinc, and copper for proper thyroid function.Brazil nuts are the richest source of selenium from food. Sometimes people with Hashimoto’s are advised to avoid selenium. You need selenium for glutathione production to help decrease thyroid antibodies. Eat 1-3 Brazil nuts per day.
A quick note from our founder-
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Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
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This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
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In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.