Are You at Risk of a Hormone Imbalance?

One of the keys to a successful health regime is understanding the science behind the way your body processes food, and how elements in certain foods can impact your health. Hormone content is one factor that is not generally taken into account when assessing the health content of consumable products. Estrogen in particular plays a crucial role in weight management and the maintenance of a healthy body – an overbalance is especially common and highly impactive on your health. Too much estrogen in your system can cause a variety of health problems including weight gain, puffiness and poor concentration in both genders, and in women can also cause menstrual problems such as heavy and painful periods, the early onset of menopause and even infertility.

So what can trigger an overbalance of estrogen in your system? The most common are lifestyle factors – certain foods have naturally high estrogen levels, and the way in which meals are prepared can also impact hormone levels. Combined with poor liver function, which can exist independently of other health problems and may be hereditary rather than lifestyle-influenced, these are the most typical causes of a hormone imbalance. By no means do you need to completely eliminate all foods with high hormone content – but an awareness of the types of foods that have the highest levels of estrogen can help you monitor your estrogen intake, and avoid an overbalance.

Chicken is one of the foods with the highest levels of estrogen. Not only do chickens ovulate daily, which means the birds have naturally high estrogen levels, but they are also fed hormones throughout their lifecycles to make them plump and be sold as produce. When humans eat chicken in any form, we are consuming high amounts of estrogen – a hormone our bodies make naturally and that we are not likely to require in excess. Other foods that are rich in estrogen include eggs (particularly the yolk), hydroponically grown foods (vegetables and fruits), dairy products (particularly cheeses and milk) and foods stored in polystyrene or plastic-coated containers.

Over-consumption of estrogen-rich foods may not have a negative impact on everybody. Generally, estrogen is simply processed by the body and any excess is passed out. However, if it is not processed correctly and gets stored in your system, it can have quite serious impacts on your health, especially for women. When women’s bodies are overloaded with estrogen that cannot be broken down, the body can often mistake the hormone imbalance as the beginning of menopause and may begin the process of stopping your menstrual cycle. In turn, this can cause the reproductive organs to shut down, and can cause infertility even in very young women. While these effects are not commonly found, if you are experiencing any symptoms associated with an overbalance of estrogen, it may be best to speak with a doctor to have your hormone levels checked.

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