I’ve talked a lot about the importance of including carbohydrates in the past. The truth is, without quality protein to balance out carbohydrates, they aren’t as powerful to the body. That’s why today we are focusing on utilizing the power of protein for healthy hormones.
When we aren’t pairing protein and carbohydrates together, it’s like we are taking out a loan for energy for the body. We are asking out body to use a back up energy source all of the time, which is only meant to be used in small amounts. When we pair protein and carb together, we provide our bodies with the nutrients they need to thrive.
Protein has A LOT of uses in the body. The five below are the main functions relating back to hormone health, but is not exhaustive for everything we use amino acids for in the body.
Not All Protein Is Created Equally
This is very important. Diana Rodgers, RD, and founder of Sustainable Dish, does a great job of breaking down the differences between animal proteins and plant-based proteins in this post.
When I say protein, I am referring to animal proteins. I do not recommend plant-based forms of protein. Why?
Animal proteins have a higher amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals and are easier to digest and absorb. Plant-based proteins also contain a higher amount of carbs, making it challenging to balance protein and carbs for optimal blood sugar.
When I think eating for hormone health, I think of making things easier on the body. Including animal protein does this since they are easier to digest and absorb nutrients from and are a complete nutrient source, meaning, you won’t need to worry about specific nutrient deficiencies when eating them. When eating a vegan diet that doesn’t contain any animal proteins, you typically make digestion harder, eat foods that don’t meet 100% of nutrient needs and tend to have a hard time balancing blood sugar. This pushes the body further into stress and is not ideal for hormone balance.
My Favorite Proteins
When I think about recommending proteins for clients to prioritize, I factor in the quality, amount of other nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and other healing properties (supporting digestion, reducing inflammation). With all of that in mind, these are my favorite proteins to include:
I know this can go against a lot of what you’ve learned about nutrition, but I hope you keep an open mind when learning from the information I share.
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