Endocrine System and Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases

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Foods to Keep Your Endocrine System Happy and Healthy
Natural Himalayan sea salt is a good place to find iodine and other minerals too, unlike table salt that has been stripped of its minerals even if iodine is added back. In addition to iodized table salt, foods rich in iodine include cod, wild-caught salmon, sardines, sea vegetables, scallops, shrimp, whole grains and plain yogurt. A disruption in the sleep cycle has cascading, negative effects on the entire endocrine system and overall health. Since the function of phytoestrogens in humans is not completely understood, eating a diet high in these chemicals might have adverse health effects, especially if you have suffer from estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast cancer. This system affects nearly every cell and organ in the body, and it is comprised of glands. Many of these act similarly to hormones, disrupting the natural balance, confusing the body, and creating resistance to actual hormones. It might help you to see more about your question.

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The Endocrine System and Nutrition

Modern sweets are nothing like the fruits our bodies have relied on for thousands of years. These added sugars are not combined with fiber, water, and antioxidants in the treats of today like they are in nature.

These simple sugars absorb too quickly where they mess with the natural balance of glucose in the body and interfere with insulin levels. Diabetes is an endocrine related disease. Pesticides are another thing that wreak havoc on the endocrine system, confusing or inhibiting its function, especially organophosphates and atrazine.

Avoid foods that are grown with pesticides as much as possible. Genetically modified foods are often engineered to resist pesticides so more can be used on them without adverse effects on yield, but the adverse effects come later as we consume these chemicals. Wash your produce well with a solution of clean water and apple cider vinegar. Fats are a necessary part of our diets, even saturated fats, but toxins are also stored in fat tissue as a last ditch effort to keep them from causing damage.

This happens in us and in animals too. Toxins can build up in the animal fats we eat and are released into our bodies as these fats are digested. Trans fats are also a big source of dangerous free radicals that can cause damage to sensitive organs and cells. Unhealthy fats contribute to obesity which then leads to other health issues, including impaired endocrine function. Stress served a valuable purpose as humanity fought to survive for thousands of years in a dangerous world where other animals wanted to eat us.

The body releases hormones that mobilize energy, increase heart rate, and shuts down unnecessary functions as we respond to danger. Unfortunately, constant stress in a world where the dangers are less tangible results in depleted energy stores, high blood pressure, heart disease, digestive problems, stunted growth, infertility, and unbalanced hormones.

Control stress with moderate exercise, breathing, relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, and tai chi. Take a walk, jump rope, take a quick job, do some jumping jacks, jog, swim, bike, dance, and get yourself moving. Eating healthy affects the entire body too. The endocrine system relies on numerous vitamins and minerals to function correctly, along with healthy fats and good protein. Calcium, vitamin C, and B vitamins are important to the formation and function of hormones.

Leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, mustard greens, and asparagus are always a good place to find vitamins and minerals. Choose organic produce as much as possible to avoid the pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals that inhibit or imitate hormones. Vitamin D is also important. Get this from mushrooms, lichen, and short exposures to the sun each day.

The building blocks for many hormones are fats. Your body needs a good amount of healthy fats to build the hormones the endocrine system relies on to send messages. Great sources of fats include coconut oil, chia seeds, avocado, olive oil, sacha inchi, seaweed, sunflower seeds, spirulina, nuts, and pumpkin seeds.

Amino acids are major building blocks for hormones too. Hempseed, quinoa, chia seeds, brown rice, oats, beans, lentils, nuts, and other seeds are all great vegan sources of protein. The mineral iodine is important in forming thyroid hormones. It is an essential nutrient that is involved with growth, development, energy production, and hormone sensitivities. Too much can be a bad thing, so it is better to get it from food rather than supplements.

Sea vegetables are the best source for iodine. Try kelp, arame, hiziki, kombu, and wakame. Cranberries, navy beans, and strawberries are also a good source that may be more familiar.

Natural Himalayan sea salt is a good place to find iodine and other minerals too, unlike table salt that has been stripped of its minerals even if iodine is added back. These herbs are believed to help the body adapt to and lessen stress.

Many of these herbs have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to increase resistance to stress, combat disease, and boost mental and physical stamina. Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA.

Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The hormones released into the bloodstream by the endocrine glands help regulate reproduction, metabolism, sleep, blood pressure and heart rate. Several nutrients found in whole foods can help maintain endocrine system health. The thyroid is the largest endocrine gland, and thyroid disease and inflammation can have a significant effect on the overall functioning of the endocrine system.

Vitamin D helps control overall thyroid hormone production. While synthesizing vitamin D from sun exposure is ideal, foods such as cod liver oil, organic eggs, fortified dairy products, fortified cereals, mushrooms and oily fish will also boost vitamin D levels. Selenium is a mineral that helps activate the enzymes needed to maintain normal thyroid function and to stimulate thyroid hormone production. Foods containing the highest amount of selenium are organ meats, clams, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised pork, raw Brazil nuts, tuna, shrimp, sardines and wild-caught salmon.

Iodine, an essential mineral, helps make thyroid hormone, which is important for metabolic processes. In addition to iodized table salt, foods rich in iodine include cod, wild-caught salmon, sardines, sea vegetables, scallops, shrimp, whole grains and plain yogurt. The adrenal glands are especially important during times of stress because they secrete epinephrine and norepinephine in order to trigger the "fight or flight" response.

Stress stimulates the adrenals to release cortisol, the "stress hormone," to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure, metabolism, immune response and anti-inflammatory actions. If cortisol levels remain high, adrenal fatigue can occur. In the November issue of "Today's Dietitian," registered dietitian Dina Aronson suggested certain anti-inflammatory foods to support adrenal health.

These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and fatty fish. The hypothalamus plays a key role in metabolism and weight management. A study published in a issue of the "British Journal of Nutrition" found diets high in certain polyunsaturated fatty acids, including a 1: According to this study, a diet low in saturated fat and rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids will improve hypothalamus function.

Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, eggs, sardines and tuna.

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