This month with it being Breast Cancer Awareness month, I’m focusing my blog on several different ways you can support your own hormone health. Last week was the first in the series and I talked about sugar and intermittent fasting, go check it out here if you haven’t yet.
Healthy digestion is at the core of our health. Digestion is where we break down and absorb nutrients to rebuild every single cell in our body. Digestion also requires the most energy and is the biggest stressor on our body. When digestion is not working optimally, certain other functions get pushed to the bottom of the pile. And one of those functions that often suffers: our hormone health.
If you struggle with food sensitivities, heartburn or constipation, I can almost guarantee there is a hormone imbalance going on too.
Let me break this down:
- You eat a meal.
- Meal moves down through stomach and ultimately into the small intestine.
- Food gets absorbed in small intestine and sent directly to liver for filtering.
Here’s where things can go astray with your hormone health. If food isn’t broken down fully by the time it reaches the small intestine, it isn’t considered food anymore. It is now considered a toxin. The liver has to filter through all of it and send what isn’t good to the colon to be removed. But, what happens when your liver is overwhelmed with poorly digested foods? Everything gets backed up. Including hormones. Used hormones go through the liver to get filtered out and sent down to the colon for removal too.
If your liver is dealing with an overwhelming amount of food not being digested, your hormone balance will also be affected. Add in constipation? More trouble. Those hormones that were packaged to be removed from the body have the potential to be reabsorbed and sent back to the liver for filtering AGAIN! Ugh! And when hormones get reabsorbed into the blood stream from the colon the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time, they become more and more toxic to you.
What can you do?
Find out for yourself, how are you really digesting? Is food moving through you in an appropriate time?
- Choose to consume one of the following: 2T of sesame seeds, 4 activated charcoal capsules, or 2 large beets.
- Chew gently (but not thoroughly – you actually want undigested food in your stool) and swallow with water. (For charcoal, just swallow)
- Record the date and time you ate the food. (I recommend with breakfast or lunch.)
- Watch for the food in your bowel movements.
- Record when you first see it and when you last see it. The difference between when you eat the food and when you LAST see the food is your transit time.
Fiber simply binds with old hormones in the colon waiting to leave the body and ensures that they do just that. Think of fiber as a broom ushering all the dust and debris out. Consume psyllium husks, freshly ground chia or flax seeds, and plenty of fiber-dense veggies such as pumpkin and avocado.
Take a Good Probiotic
Without good bacteria in the gut, you have reduced motility. Stuff just hangs out longer. A healthy gut with good bacteria allows the old hormones to move out in a timely fashion so you avoid having your hormones circulate through the blood stream a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th time. There is increasing research on probiotics today and I prefer using a soil-based or spore-based probiotic. Curious about these? Email me.
Ensuring that the trains run on time, so to speak, goes a long way in supporting hormone health. But, if you find things are a little off, or a lot off, and you want some outside perspective, check out my Digestion Reset. I really love helping people regain a healthy gut because a healthy gut leads to a healthy you.