What? Men Have Hormones Too?

June 2019 - Health & Wellness

When we think of hormones, our brains usually go straight to the females in our species. But males too are greatly affected by their hormones, and when they get out of balance they can create undesired symptoms. But what’s a guy to do to correct this?

Hormones are chemical messengers that control reactions throughout the body. They affect our mood and behaviour, energy and metabolism, sex drive and fertility—they pretty much run the show.

Testosterone is an androgenic hormone that contributes to male sex characteristics, libido and reproductive functions, and growth and muscle development. Testosterone can become imbalanced when too much is converted into other hormones like estrogens or dihydrotestosterone (DHT, a more potent form of testosterone). This imbalance can lead to low sex drive, reduced fertility and sperm count, prostate enlargement, balding, muscle wasting, increased belly fat, and even testicular and prostate cancers.

What’s contributing to this hormonal imbalance, and how do we correct it? It often relates to balancing out our hormonal priorities, ensuring proper building and balancing materials, and optimizing our hormonal elimination.

Hormonal Priorities
How often are you in a chronic state of go-go-go? How often do you actually feel relaxed, supported, and safe? If we’re living a super stressed-out life, our resources go into making stress hormones, and are diverted away from making sex hormones. Chronic stress also tells our body it’s not a great time to bring a new life into the world, and there goes the need for libido.

Check in with your stressors and stress response. Say no to things that stress you out, or put some mental work into making them less scary. Prioritize relaxation and self-care.

Building and Balancing Materials
Zinc is the quintessential male mineral. It is essential for energy production, immune support, mental health, and male sexual function—quite critical for keeping testosterone in the proper balance. Great sources to include in your diet regularly are oysters, beef, liver, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.

Healthy sex hormones are made of healthy dietary fats. Regularly include raw nuts and seeds, eggs, and cold water fish in the diet. Also include avocados, olives, and coconut, and their oils.

Hormonal Elimination
At the end of their duties, hormones get processed through the liver and excreted via urine or stool. It’s a good idea to assess your alcohol intake. Not only does it have to be processed through your liver, alcohol increases the amount of testosterone that gets converted to estrogens (which contributes to belly fat storage). Support the hormone-processing liver pathways with sulfur-rich foods like cauliflower, kale, garlic, onions, and eggs.

If one tends toward constipation or dysbiosis (an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the gut), instead of these hormones being excreted, they can be recycled back into the body and contribute to an imbalance. Feed your good bacteria prebiotic fibre-rich foods like dandelion greens, leeks, and asparagus, and include probiotic-rich fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, and grass-fed yogurt in the diet regularly to support healthy elimination.

When you are feeling down, have low energy, or generally not-so-manly, remember these tips to help your hormones come back into balance. Your partner or friends will also appreciate it!

Hormone-Balancing Power Breakfast
Start your day with a sautéed leek and kale free-range egg omelette, topped with a tablespoon each of sauerkraut and pumpkin seeds. This power breakfast provides zinc and good fats for testosterone production, sulfur-rich foods for liver support, and pre- and probiotics to support your gut flora.

Angela Wright, BSC, CNP, RNCP is one of Nature’s Fare Markets’ Nutritionists who provides complimentary one-on-one nutrition consultations in our White Rock and Langley stores. Since entering the field of Holistic Nutrition in 2005, she has run a private practice, worked in supportive cancer care, and taught at a leading private nutrition college. Check out the appointment schedule on page four and book your free appointment in-store today or online at naturesfare.com. Learn more: alignnutrition.com 

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