the Reads: Body & Fitness

How your hormones are affecting how you feel

Nutritional Therapist Angelique Panagos is passionate about the healing powder of food and how the food we eat affects every cell in the body. Here are her 5 things you need to know about how to keep you hormones happy and why you might be feeling blue.

1. They control your cravings! Low estradiol (an oestrogen-based hormone) levels can have you opening the fridge more often. And there’s no guarantee you’ll be reaching for a salad! Stress and lack of sleep also throw your leptin and ghrelin, i.e. ‘full’ and ‘hunger’, hormones out of whack, so you lose all sight of the stop sign. 

2. They keep you feeling vital…or not! Did you know women also need a healthy testosterone balance? Declining levels can soon see a loss of get-up-and-go, affecting everything from your sex drive to your gym motivation. 

3. They feed your insomnia. Time to meet your adrenals, the gland producing your cortisol (AKA ‘stress hormone’) to satisfy your fight-or-flight (i.e. the meeting that your body perceives to be as scary as a hungry lion!) demands. It’s this hormone imbalance that leaves you too wired to sleep and foggy by day. 

But there is a good side…

4. They make you feel loved. And feeling loved keeps us feeling alive! Oxytocin is the ‘cuddle’ or ‘love’ hormone that surges when a mother breastfeeds and whenever we hug a loved one or enjoy an orgasm. 

5. And they make you smile. Serotonin is the primary hormone responsible for your happiness and the superhero that staves off motivation-zapping depression.

There are many ways to create happy hormones starting with a balanced diet. Base all snacks and meals on quality proteins, a portion of healthy fats and plenty of leafy greens. Reduce sugar and avoid refined foods, along and other hormonal irritants such as caffeine and alcohol, and you’re on the right track.

For more information visit Angelique’s website here