Healthy Fats for Happy Hormones
There have been decades of myths leading people to believe that fats make you fat and that fats are unhealthy. In fact, healthy fats play a crucial role in maintaining our overall well-being and happiness. Our bodies need a certain amount of fat to function properly and support a variety of bodily processes, including hormone production. Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate various physiological processes, including mood, hunger, metabolism, and sleep. They are also essential for other functions such as metabolism, growth, mood and reproduction. Without adequate levels of healthy fats, our hormone levels can become imbalanced, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritability and the body may struggle to produce the hormones necessary for optimal health.
It's important to note that not all fats are created equal and to understand/differentiate healthy fats and unhealthy fats. Unsaturated and saturated fats are the “good” fats, while trans fats are the bad fats. Trans fats found in processed foods, conventionally produced meat, margarine, and packaged snack foods and baked goods can negatively impact hormone production and overall health. To maximize the benefits of healthy fats, it's essential to choose whole, unprocessed foods. Unsaturated (including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats are frequently derived from plant and animal sources and their fatty acids are extremely nourishing.
One way healthy fats support hormone production is by providing the building blocks for hormones. For instance, cholesterol, a type of fat found in animal products, is a precursor to steroid hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish and flaxseeds, are also essential for the production of hormones that regulate inflammation, blood clotting, and heart function.
In addition to providing the raw materials for hormone production, healthy fats also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are crucial for hormone synthesis and balance. For instance, vitamin D plays a role in the production of testosterone, while vitamin E is important for estrogen synthesis.
Another way healthy fats support hormone production is by improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance is a common hormonal imbalance that can lead to type 2 diabetes and other health issues. Healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Lastly, healthy fats can also support mental health by regulating mood and reducing anxiety. Our brains are 60% fat. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by supporting the production of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that regulate mood.
Overall healthy fats play a crucial role in hormone production by providing the raw materials for hormone synthesis, improving vitamin absorption, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and supporting mental health. Including sources of healthy fats, such as fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados, in your diet can help maintain hormonal balance and overall wellness. They are essential for skin, hair, heart, and brain health, a healthy metabolism, feeling satiated, optimal energy, smooth digestion, and lowering inflammation within the body.
Our favorite Rawcolgoy hormone balancing recipes:
Here’s a little guide to a few healthy fats:
Plant Based Sources
Avocado and avocado oil, seeds (eg. pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia, flax seeds), seed Butters (eg. tahini, pumpkin seed butter), nuts (eg. walnuts, macadamia, almonds, brazil nuts), Nut Butters (eg. almond, cashew, hazelnut), olives and extra virgin olive oil, coconut, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut yogurt
Animal Based Sources
Wild and coldwater fish, ghee, grass fed butter, fish oil, pasture raised Eggs, full fat dairy, sheep and goats cheeses and yogurts
Avoid Processed Industrialized Oils
Omega 6 seed oils (eg. corn, soybean, sunflower, canola, safflower, cotton seed, grapeseed, rice bran, rapeseed), hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils (eg. margarine, canola), low-fat labels
-Rawc your wellness with Rawcology!
-Chloe Tilp, CNP