28 April 2011

Balance your hormones to stay young

Normalise your hormones by eating more of the right foods and by cutting out certain others, and longevity and weight loss will follow, according to the latest research.

Specific hormones' role in longevity and healthy ageing is a hot topic at the moment.

1. DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone):
This hormone, produced by the adrenal glands, is the most abundant hormone in the body.

  • Fruit and vegetables: These help with the conversion of T4 to T3 (the more active thyroid hormone).
  • Protein: Protein-rich foods will increase levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and adrenal hormones like dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), counteract the unwanted wasting effects of cortisol in the body, reduce high insulin levels, and also help with the conversion of T4 to the more potent form, T3.
  • Fats (including saturated fat, but not heated or burnt fat): In normal levels, fat boosts the functioning of all the sex hormones as well as human growth hormone (HGH). In excessive amounts, fats reduce HGH as well as the thyroid hormones.
  • Water.

  • Grains and cereals: These are not easily digestible and cannot be eaten raw, so this is a second-rate food for humans. Try the sprouted grains (e.g. rye and quinoa) and limit the ones that are unable to sprout. Each time the insulin goes up because of these high glycaemic-load foods, the level of other hyperglycaemic hormones, like DHEA, HGH, testosterone, estradiol and glucagons, go down. Grains also bind strongly to steroid hormones in the gut and prevent these hormones from being reabsorbed into the blood stream.
  • Dairy products: The human body is unable to break down the proteins from dairy, as we have lost the enzymes to do this. No species drinks the milk from other species. Cheese is especially difficult to digest. The milk gets moulded (with bread) inside the gut as the normal intestinal flora multiply and grow out of control. It reduces the levels of the thyroid hormones.
  • Sugar: Most people already knows this, but needs to be reminded that this highly refined product is not good for you. It doesn't give energy – instead, it makes you tired on the long run. Honey is marginally better, but has the same effect on your insulin levels. You can eat fruit to get enough fruit sugar (fructose) for energy purposes. Refined fructose isn't good either, but better than sugar (sucrose).
  • Coffee: This dehydrates the body, reduces melatonin at night and increases serum cortisol.
  • Alcohol: This increases oestrogen in men (which leads to an increase in breast size and a bigger stomach or "beerboep"). Alcohol consumption also leads to an increase in prostate size and hardening of the prostate.

  • eating sufficient amounts of calories in the form of fruit, veggies, eggs, meat, poultry and especially fish (steamed or raw);
  • taking L-arginine and L-glutamine supplements (both are amino acids, the building blocks of proteins);
  • eating organic food;
  • avoiding alcohol, vinegar and caffeinated drinks;
  • quitting the use of tobacco, marijuana and other drugs (including medical drugs).


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