The Future of Nutrition, which took place a few weeks ago, was an online conference hosted by nutritional psychologist Marc David, MA, that connected nutrition with the inner-workings of our bodies and minds. The event featured interviews with over 55 experts in the field.
I was beyond excited for this conference, especially those on the topics of hormones, autism, the brain, gut health, and women’s health. As I listened, I took notes rapidly, trying to soak in as much as I could. This is the stuff that fascinates me; it also empowers people on the Experience Life team to promote better health for our readers — and embrace it in our own lives as well.
This post primarily covers my top takeaways surrounding the topic of hormones from the session with Sara Gottfried, MD.
1. The three main hormones for women (what Gottfried refers to as “Charlie’s Angels”): Cortisol, Estrogen, Thyroid
2. The three main hormones for men (what Gottfried refers to as “The 3 Amigos”): Testosterone, Cortisol, Thyroid
- Testosterone is important for women also, but 10 times less concentrated. Those levels decline over time, especially if you have a sugar addiction. The goal is to keep it level: not too high, not too low.
3. PMS: How do we pay attention and decode the messages from our body instead of masking them with medications? It’s important to have awareness and not become blind in your own roll: When we become aware, it allows us to do something different the week before your period (changing how we eat, move, and supplement, for instance, versus taking sleeping pills, antidepressants, or anxiety meds).
4. Ways to balance hormones naturally:
- Nutritionally: Incorporate needed minerals like copper, zinc, and selenium. You also need vitamin D.
- Bioidentical hormones
5. Women have thyroid problems 20 times more than men.
- Estrogen drives the difference between men and women.
- Inflammation affects women more strongly than men.
- Men are more resilient than women in dealing with chronic stress.
6. A woman’s body is more sensitive and finely attuned, and this leads to the need to have more awareness and be proactive about self-care.
- Men and women are equal, but very different. These differences need to be teased out and understood.
- “We need to get honest about our differences: Here’s the male and female matrixes. Here’s what’s going on in your body. Here’s what food nourishes you, here’s the exercise and movement that best serves your body.”
- Have an open dialogue with yourself about your body and what’s happening in it, and have an open dialogue with your partner and those in your life about this as well. Educate yourself on your body — whether you’re a male or female — and educate each other. In this way, each person can learn how to best support the other, as well as owning and taking responsibility for themselves.
7. Hippocrates said, “Let medicine be they food, let food be thy medicine.” Gottfried said she would add to that: “How do we get really granular about that, for you individually? When you get really clear about the food and drink that will support you best, that’s the future of nutrition.”
Gottfried has a deep well of knowledge of hormones, how they work together in the body, and how that looks from a holistic level. I loved her openness and science-based knowledge, as well as intuitiveness about really paying attention to our bodies. I also appreciated her perspective about how having these open discussions makes what’s happening in our bodies much less “taboo.”
As I listened to her speak, I kept thinking: Why don’t we learn about this in school? Why didn’t I know this information before? It left me feeling empowered and ready to learn more in these areas.
So I started reading her book, The Hormone Cure, and have been madly in love with the way she presents these truths. She has a way of making this essential information not only clear, but fun.
Casie Leigh Lukes is Experience Life’s digital content specialist.