It’s all about hormones! Reproductive hormones are naturally produced in the body and provide signals between the cells and the organs to function properly.
Reproductive hormones are produced both in males and females. Estrogen and progesterone are produced in females while testosterone is produced in males.
While we categorise testosterone in males only, they are also produced in females, though in a smaller amount.
These hormones play a great role in sexual well-being as they regulate proper functioning of body during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause in women.
The female hormones: Estrogen & Progesterone
Estrogen is produced in ovaries in greater amounts and in adrenal glands and fat cells in smaller amounts while progesterone is produced after ovulation in ovaries.
Estrogen marks the status of sexual health in females in areas of puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause while progesterone helps in preparing the lining of uterus for a fertilised egg and provides support during pregnancy.
The secretions of both of these hormones play different roles. Estrogen helps attain puberty by contributing to breast growth, hair in the pubic region and also initiates menstruation. It helps in the sexual behaviour and maintenance in females. Progesterone is mainly concerned with the events of pregnancy.
Some of the foods that can help in keeping a check on estrogen and progesterone levels are:
- Beans: Soy beans, chickpeas and split peas are high in isoflavonoids. They contain high amounts of phytoestrogens which helps balance estrogen levels in mammals. Other beans include red-beans and black-eyed peas. They also contain soluble fibres which help in digestion and reduce blood cholesterol levels.
- Walnuts: Dry fruits are always a good option. Grab some walnuts everyday and include them in your daily diet as they contain B vitamins and are an amazing source of estrogen. They contain phytoestrogens and isoflavones which are needed by the body.
- Pistachios: Another dry fruit that you can include are pistachios. They provide perfect blend of salty and savoury as they also contain phytoestrogens which are known to regulate estrogen levels in women.
The male hormone: Testosterone
Testosterone helps regulate the bodily appearances and the growth of male reproductive organs.
It helps in developing facial, pubic and body hair and also helps in sperm production.
Its secretions allow one to lead a healthy reproductive life and any disturbances in its secretions lead to fertility problems, depression and underdeveloped genitalia.
Some of the foods that can help in keeping a track on testosterone levels are:
- Pomegranate: Pomegranate help in increasing testosterone levels in men as it is high in fructose. It also contains high amounts of fibres and provides ample amounts of other nutrients.
- Garlic: Garlic contains a sulfur-contaning compound called diallyldisulfide which helps in regulating the levels of testosterone. It also contains antioxidants that prevent cell damage and ageing.
- Wheat bran: Wheat brans are a good source of fibre and magnesium. Magnesium helps monitoring levels of testosterone and also helps in digestive problems. As it is a good source of fibre, it is known to lower down the bad cholesterol levels.
Over to you
Reproductive health is vital for living and by incorporating these foods in your regular diet, you can regulate the levels of these reproductive hormones and keep your health on track.