The Food and Hormone Link

When it comes to health, hormones play a big part in how our bodies function. Diet and exercise are usually enough to maintain a healthy weight and basic health. There are interesting links, however, between some foods and hormone function. Some of these foods naturally have contributing ingredients. Others are added in the preparation process. A better understanding of how these foods affect you can help you control many aspects of your health and functioning. Many may be surprising to learn about.

Milk and Meat

These two foods are contaminated with hormones by farmers. The idea behind this is to ensure successful breeding. When products must be mass produced, unhealthy practices normally play a part in the process. Milk cows must continue to produce milk for long periods of time. Estrogen and progesterone are necessary for the milk to be available. Even organic milk cows have a detectible, but natural, amount of these hormones. These hormones, with excessive exposure, have been linked to ovarian and breast cancer. Meat is a staple part of meals in the majority of homes. In order to keep up with the demand, hormones are given to speed up reproduction. When you pay more for organic, remember that these farms produce less. They, therefore, sell less.


Most of us cannot imagine starting out our day without a hot cup of coffee. Unfortunately, this daily luxury also comes with some hormonal side effects. Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by your body. When the coffee hits your system, an increase in cortisol is soon to follow. Your blood pressure also goes up. Caffeine has been said to speed up your metabolism temporarily; however, the cortisol cancels this perk out. Cortisol can be responsible for unwanted weight gain. Cortisol can cause feelings of anxiety and nervousness, as well.


All the diet books tell you to up your vegetable intake when you are trying to get healthy or lose weight. It may be disappointing to find out that certain healthy staples can also wreak havoc on your hormones. There is a group of vegetables called cruciferous vegetables. These include things like cauliflower, kale, and broccoli. Before you do a sweep of your fridge, understand that these can be enjoyed in moderation. There are still significant health benefits, as well. The hormonal threat from these vegetables has to do with the thyroid gland. Extremely large amounts on a regular basis would have to be consumed to cause a complete thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism could be the outcome if a person also suffers from an iodine deficiency.


Soy is a staple food of meat free diets. This can be frustrated when you find out that it must be enjoyed in smaller amounts. This is another food that has significant health benefits, but also has a downside. Soybeans are used for a variety of purposes in the diet. They house compounds that can cause issues with the endocrine system. These compounds are called phytoestrogens. These get into the body and act like estrogen. This is a problem with unfermented soybean products. Servings should be limited to two or less per day. This can be frustrating for those that are looking to raise their protein portions, without relying on meat.

Our bodies are a delicate balance of many things. Hormones help to regulate many different things. There are also many different production centers that are responsible for various hormones. The release and function of these hormones can be changed when we eat these foods. You can keep your hormones in check by limiting the foods that contribute to these problems naturally. Avoidance of human induced hormones in foods can be accomplished by purchasing organic options.

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