The following excerpt from Vitacost talks about the ever-present hormones in your body and the profound influence they have on your energy, thoughts, behaviors, and health.
The first step towards attaining hormonal health is to understand what these chemicals coursing through your body actually are, and then discussing with your physician and getting the appropriate tests. Next up? Supporting hormonal harmony through lifestyle changes, including diet.
With this in mind, here’s a list of four of your most important hormones:
Call it the feminine hormone. Known to encourage femininity, strengthen feelings of intimacy, and boost libido, estrogen is also linked to your general state of well-being. Produced in the ovaries and adrenals, it not only fosters female health, it also supports all of your connective tissues, including the status of your complexion. Healthy levels of estrogen can make you feel fantastic from head to toe (in part because it works in connection with the “feel good” brain chemical serotonin). Too little estrogen, however can generate irritability and general moodiness, anxiety, and insomnia, while too much can exacerbate premenstrual symptoms and lead to a plethora of complications, including fatigue and weight gain.
If estrogen is your feminine hormone, consider progesterone your age-defying hormone. It plays a unique role in conjunction with other hormones—for example, given that it acts as a precursor to cortisol, it can bolster your energy. Vital to sustaining hormonal equilibrium, progesterone can invite a sense of calmness, relieve tension, and promote sound sleep. When this critical hormone falls low, however, it can lead to anxiety, sagging skin, water retention, brain fog, and insomnia.
Frequently believed to be the exclusive province of men, testosterone is produced by both males andfemales. A fundamental hormone that influences your health, sexuality, and energy, ideal levels of testosterone can enhance creativity, cognition and confidence. If levels are low, you may experience disinterest in new activities, reduced libido, lack of motivation and lethargy; too high, and you may experience aggression, acne and increased perspiration, among other symptoms.
Multi-faceted and with far-ranging benefits, DHEA—or dehydroepiandrosterone—is generated primarily by your adrenal glands (and, for women, also in the ovaries). Like testosterone, DHEA can facilitate contentment, encourage lean muscle mass, nourish your bones, brain and skin, and foster overall health. Insufficient DHEA, on the other hand, may create a general lack of vitality, from reduced memory and recurrent fatigue to bluer moods and a low sex-drive.
Read full article at “4 Hormones You Need to Know (And How Diet Helps Support Them)“