Harness your hormones

Working in harmony with the body, hormones help you live a healthy life. But when they're out of balance, your health can suffer no matter how clean your diet is or how many times you frequent the gym. Follow these five tips below to help you feel your best.

1. Eat iodine-rich foods.

Your thyroid, an endocrine gland that makes hormones that control your metabolism, needs the mineral iodine to function properly. You can find iodine in dairy (yogurt, cow’s milk), seafood (scallops, cod), and seaweed.

2. Don’t avoid carbs.

Athletes (especially females) need to eat enough calories to fuel their bodies properly and that includes a dose of carbohydrates. Otherwise, you risk throwing hormones out of whack. For women, that could potentially lead to irregular menstrual cycles and bone loss. Brian St. Pierre, RD, director of performance at Precision Nutrition, recommends eating four to six handfuls of carbs daily.

3. Cook at home more.

In one study, people who ate out in the past day had 35 percent higher levels of endocrine-disrupting phthalates, chemicals used in plastic, versus those who consumed homemade meals. Dine out less by following a weekly meal prep plan.

4. Try pine pollen.

Adaptogens can reduce the body’s stress response and help balance hormones. Try this tropical turmeric smoothie which incorporates pine pollen.

5. Quit what ails you.

Occasionally a food won’t sit well with you. If you notice a common suspect, eliminate it from your diet for a few weeks to see how your body responds. Food sensitivities can create hormonal problems, in turn, boosting inflammation.