If you suffer from an endocrine disorder or are at risk for developing one, eating a healthy endocrine diet can help improve your endocrine function and boost your overall health. At Anchor Wellness Center, Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM can evaluate your endocrine function and provide you with a personalized plan of nutritional, lifestyle, and medication support to improve your endocrine function.
What is the Endocrine System?
The human body has multiple systems – nervous, digestive, immune, respiratory, etc. Each system is a group of organs and tissues that work together to perform important jobs for the body. The endocrine system releases hormones that control important bodily functions, such as your heartbeat, bone and tissue growth, and fertility. Endocrine disorders are extremely common and include diabetes, thyroid disease, PCOS, and a host of other hormone-related disorders.
Each gland in the endocrine system releases specific hormones that help control or coordinate many bodily processes. They include:
- Adrenal glands – release cortisol (the “stress” hormone)
- Hypothalamus – tells the pituitary gland when to release hormones
- Ovaries – produce female sex hormones
- Pancreas – controls the release of insulin and glucagon, affects digestion
- Pineal gland – produces melatonin which helps regulate sleep
- Pituitary gland – referred to as the “master gland” because it influences many other endocrine glands, particularly the thyroid; affects metabolism, blood pressure, and growth
- Testes – produce male sex hormones
- Thyroid – controls metabolism, heart and digestive function, mood, and muscle and bone development
Because many of the endocrine glands work in harmony to produce hormones, dysfunction in one gland often causes a cascade of problems throughout the endocrine system. And since endocrine hormones affect everything from sleep and metabolism to heart rate and digestion, endocrine disorders can create symptoms throughout the whole body.
What Is A Healthy Endocrine Diet?
Now that you understand the importance of the endocrine system, what steps can you take to promote healthy endocrine function? Stress wreaks havoc on the endocrine system, especially the adrenal glands. Try to eliminate stressors and engage in activities that allow you to destress, such as yoga, meditation, painting, or nature walks. You should also engage in regular exercise as this helps regulate your hormones and keep the endocrine system running smoothly.
You can also support your endocrine system with what you eat. Avoid or eliminate processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats in your diet. Simple sugars interfere with the body’s insulin levels and can damage the pancreas. Processed foods often contain chemicals that act similarly to the body’s hormones, confusing the body and creating resistance to real hormones. Fats are the building blocks for many hormones and are a necessary part of your diet, but unhealthy fats can increase your risk of heart disease and cause impaired endocrine function. Instead, stick to healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, chia seeds, nuts, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
You should also focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and quality protein. Along with healthy fats, amino acids found in protein are major building blocks for hormones. Eggs, fish, and lean meats are great sources of protein, as are quinoa, oats, beans, lentils, nuts, and Brussels sprouts. The endocrine system also requires numerous vitamins and minerals to function properly, so a healthy endocrine diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables. Leafy greens, such as spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, kale, and asparagus, are especially good for endocrine health.
Learn More About A Healthy Endocrine Diet At Anchor Wellness Center
Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Minni Malhotra has the knowledge and experience to help you restore balance to your endocrine system. Call us today at (832) 246-8437 to schedule a consultation.