Hormones are chemicals released by a group of tissues called glands (endocrine system) present in the various parts of the body. These hormones affect not only the organ where they are produced other cells, organs and systems also in the body. These are carried throughout the body by the blood transport system. Hormones affect all the major functions of the body, they are responsible for maintaining the metabolism, immune system, digestion, brain function, growth, weight, blood sugar levels, etc to name a few.
There are about 230 hormones in human body, which are responsible for maintaining the normal functioning of the body. These are released by the glands on receiving signals from of the brain. For example, when there is excess sugar in blood, insulin the blood regulatory hormones is released by the pancreas on receiving the signal from the brain.
A balanced diet can ensure proper functioning of the endocrine system.
6 Super foods which can ensure a normal functioning if the endocrine system are:
- High Protein Foods: eggs, meat, fish, legumes, nuts, soy are all good quality protein foods. Fish and nuts also have omega-3 fatty acids. Both protein and omega-3 fatty acids are important for the proper functioning of the hormones.
- Oats: Oats are rich in insoluble fibre and antioxidants such as vitamin E along with copper, iron, zinc and selenium. Antioxidants and fibre help in the proper functioning of the endocrine system.
- Curd: Curd helps to keep the levels of gonadotropins, sex hormones in balance, especially affecting the levels of estrogen. Gonadotropins control growth and body weight along with normal functioning of the sex organs in humans.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D does not only help the endocrine system function properly but also acts as a Hormone in the body. Milk, curd, mushrooms are all rich in Vitamin D along with sunlight.
Phytochemical rich foods: Foods that are rich in Vitamin A, C and E such as, red, orange and green coloured fruits and vegetables. These keep the endocrine system in balance and help to avoid most cancers.
- Water: Water ensure normal functioning of the endocrine system and dehydration causes severe damage to the glands as during dehydration proper functioning of the endocrine cells is not possible and they are not able to produce the hormones.
Refined, high sugar and fatty foods and also caffeine and alcohol should be avoided or taken in moderation. One requires to maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper sleep and physical activity (minimum 30 minutes daily) regime.
It is, therefore, important to eat a proper well balanced diet and to maintain a healthy lifestyle, in order to ensure proper functioning of the endocrine system. Imbalance in the endocrine system and improper secretion of the hormones is the cause of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, hyperlipidemia and even cancer.
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