As a woman, I can much relate to the havoc our bodies go through with ‘dancing hormones’. Be it as a teenager, worried about irregular menstruation or today as a menopausal woman going through hot flashes – I have lived through it all.
Today’s day and age, issues like PCOS, Thyroid-ism, Osteoporosis, and Type 2 Diabetes have become very rampant and hearing about them is just another urban day. These are the lifestyle disorders that are not the nightmares anymore, instead a common, almost an identity that urbanites carry. Other common issues that women are prone to and very often trolled, are the mood swings, depression, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, reduced sex drive, premature ageing and the list goes on.
This plethora of conditions has a common villain causing it - Hormonal Imbalance.
The hormones are the chemicals in our body that control our metabolism process. The slightest imbalance in these is enough to throw the intricate working of various systems off track. Achieving this delicate balance may seem like a tight rope walk unless we follow a few healthy lifestyle guidelines - A healthy and wholesome diet, no smoking, maintaining an ideal body mass index, a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, daily.
A healthy diet is one that focuses on whole Plant-based foods. A rainbow colored food plate is not just an appeal to the eye, it also contains sufficient Phytochemical pigments like Anthocyanins, Beta-carotene, Lycopene among others, which are antioxidants that help fight inflammation. They help delay ageing too!
‘Fight the Blues with the Greens’
The feel good hormone, Serotonin is naturally made in our gut. The fiber being the food for the good bacteria helps in maintaining a healthy gut. Secondly, the fiber which is abundant in plant foods help keep the excess hormones in check. The excess Estrogen's and Progesterone circulating in the body get attached to the fiber in the diet and are flushed out of the body.
The WFPB diet also helps one keep the Body Mass Index within the normal range and maintain the Ideal Body Weight. Women also need to protect their hearts, especially after Menopause. This is because the Estrogen levels fall, the risk of CVD increases. At least thirty minutes of vigorous exercise daily will also help in the same.
Ladies, last but not the least, keep them vitamin hormone (Vitamin D) levels in check, to keep Osteoporosis at bay.
Live well, Live Healthy!
- by Ila Pathak, Senior Nutritionist at KB Health