Keeping your hormones functioning right is important. Hormones are messengers that control the functions of the body. They’re made by the endocrine glands and travel to other parts of the body. Keeping them in balance is important, because hormones affect your health. They influence all the functions of the body and can determine whether you store fat or use it for energy, among other things. They even play a role in brain health.
Insulin is a hormone.
You may already know that there’s an important link between insulin and diabetes. It helps the body use glucose, which is blood sugar. Too high of blood sugar means the body produces even more insulin. When there’s too much insulin the cells become to insulin resistant, failing to open to allow the cells to use the sugar, leaving blood sugar levels high. That’s when the body releases more insulin, which eventually leads to insulin resistance, which can cause type2 diabetes. A healthy diet and exercise can help reverse the problem and prevent diabetes.
Human growth hormone—HGH—is praised as the anti-aging hormone.
Younger children have higher amounts of HGH and it’s known to be responsible for developing muscles and growth spurts. The older you get, the more the production slows. Besides bone and muscle growth, it aids in fat metabolism, sugar metabolism, regulating body fluids and heart functioning. Exercise can boost the production of HGH, especially HIIT—high intensity interval training. While it is an aid to slow conditions like muscle wasting from aids and chronic kidney disease, synthetic HGH doe not affect aging. However, a healthy diet and exercise does boost it’s anti-aging capabilities.
If you’re under stress, cortisol—a hormone of stress—affects your body.
The body produces cortisol and other hormones when you’re under stress to prepare the body for the fight or flight response. However, if you don’t do either, your body remains in a state of change that can lead to heart problems, digestive issues and even the accumulation of abdominal fat—visceral fat—the most unhealthy type of fat. While stress hormones are important if you’re under assault by a predator, too often stress comes from situations where fighting or running are inappropriate. Working out can mimic the body’s movements when running or fighting and burn off the hormones of stress, keeping you healthier.
- Sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen are found in both men and women, but in differing amounts. Testosterone helps build muscle tissue and estrogen aids in muscle recovery and brain health.
- If you need a good night’s sleep, you probably need more melatonin. It’s a sleep-promoting hormone. You’ll boost your melatonin level by sleeping in total darkness and avoiding restrictive nightwear. Low melatonin levels are also linked to obesity, cancer and diabetes.
- Memory, sleep cycles, appetite and mood regulation are controlled by serotonin. Some muscle functions are also affected by it. Weight gain, depression and insomnia can occur if you have low levels.
- While I’ll help you eat healthier with my nutrition program, you also need to live healthier, too. For instance, to keep the balance of leptin—the satiety hormone—and ghrelin—the hunger hormone—you need adequate sleep. Lack of sleep suppresses leptin and makes your body produce more ghrelin.