Estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, thyroid… when it comes to hormones, things can get pretty complicated.
In fact, hormones can dictate how our bodies feel, influencing everything from our weight to our mood.
Skin, tiredness, bowel health, and weight gain can all be affected by our hormones, and sometimes it feels like we can’t do anything about it. However, there are a plethora of ways you can balance your hormones by improving your lifestyle and general health.
Here are 10 tips on how to balance hormones naturally, with tips on the techniques you can try if you suffer from a hormone imbalance.
What Are Hormones
Firstly, let’s explore what exactly hormones are.
In short, they travel through the bloodstream to tissues and organs around the body. They have many different functions, including aiding with metabolism, sexual function, mood, growth and reproduction. Women produce estrogen, progesterone and other hormones in their ovaries.
1. Avoid Foods Rich In Polyunsaturated Fats
Did you know that hormones are produced from cholesterol and good fats?
Eating foods rich in good fats can be good for the body’s hormone production, and allows it to rebuild cells more effectively. However, eating bad fats – particularly polyunsaturated fat – can have the opposite effect, and can lead to increased oxidization in the body. These fats can clog the arteries, and can even cause skin cancer when they are incorporated into the skin cells.
If you are serious about balancing your hormones in a natural way, steer clear of foods like
- Vegetable oil
- Peanut oil
Instead opt for real butter, animal fats, and coconut oil. Fish is another excellent source of healthy fats, and is rich in Omega-3. Start by making small changes to your diet, and gradually transform your eating habits over time. If you are still unsure about what foods to eat, speak to a nutritionist or your doctor who will be able to provide you with further information.
2. Eat More Fiber
Try and introduce more fiber to your diet, especially raw fruit and vegetables. Studies show that fiber binds to old estrogen, helping your body to get rid of it more effectively. This can lead to more balanced hormones, and can be beneficial for women who suffer with estrogen dominance.
3. Say Goodbye To Toxins
Toxins are found everywhere, from the plastic items you use in your daily life to household objects like mattresses. They can have a negative effect on the body because they contain a number of chemicals that can wreak havoc on your hormones.
In fact, research suggests that these chemicals can actually mimic hormones in the body – preventing you from producing real hormones of your own. Many women who have a hormone imbalance may avoid these toxins if they are trying to have a baby, and there are a number of simple switches you too can make in your daily life. For example, non-coated metal pans can be a safer alternative when compared to teflon or non-stick crockery.
You could even try and avoid storing food in plastic containers, and stay away from any chemical cleaning products or pesticides. Other options if you are looking to eliminate toxins in your life include natural air fresheners and using a water filter when boiling water.
4. Drink Less Coffee
Everyone knows coffee is full of caffeine, but did you know that too much coffee can have a negative effect on your endocrine system (which influences every cell and organ in your body)? Limiting your coffee intake is easier than you think. Opt for herbal teas or decaffeinated coffee if you can (here’s my favorite green tea).
Energy drinks are another big no-no and often contain an abundance of caffeine and sugar. Home made fruit juices are a better option, and are full of vitamins and natural sugars, providing you with the energy you need to function correctly on a daily basis.
5. Try Chasteberry
Chasteberry can work wonders if you are experiencing menstrual or menopause problems, and works by preventing the release of prolactin from your pituitary gland. Research suggests that high levels of prolactin in the body can lead to the absence of periods or problems with your menstrual cycle.
Chasteberry is a natural herb that can also help with symptoms of the menopause or PMS.
6. Get Plenty Of Sleep
Getting plenty of sleep every night has a number of benefits that you probably already know about. Everything from our mood to how alert we feel during the day is governed by how much sleep we got the night before. If you are having trouble sleeping, chances are your hormones will also be affected.
There are a number of ways you can improve the quality of your sleep, such as taking a bath prior to bedtime to relax the body, or reading a book until you dose off. Watching television in bed might over-stimulate the brain, making it more difficult to get some well-deserved shut-eye. You should also avoid drinking any alcohol or caffeinated drinks a few hours before you go to bed, which can make it easier for you to a get a good night’s sleep.
Another tip is to try and go to bed at the same time every night, and avoid staying up past your bed time. If you are having trouble sleeping because you feel overly stressed or even depressed, it might be a good idea to speak to your doctor.
7. Natural Supplements
Supplements can be a great way to provide your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to function correctly on a daily basis.
- Although we should be getting vitamin D from the sun, and all the nutrients we need from fresh fruit and vegetables, it can be difficult to give our bodies all the love it deserves – especially if we lead a busy life. Natural supplements can therefore have a number of benefits, especially when it comes to healthy hormones.
- A multi-vitamin can provide your body with everything it needs, and is a cost-effective way to get your daily vitamin quota. Cod liver oil is jam-packed full of goodness, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin, K, and Omega-3.
- Another popular supplement is Maca – derived from a root that belongs to the radish family which can be used to improve hormone production in the body. High in fatty acids and minerals, studies have shown that women who incorporated maca root into their diet experienced better sleep, better skin and reduced PMS symptoms.
- Female Hormone Balancer with Sensoril® – based on powerful and unique natural ingredients (Maca, Chasteberry, Green Tea – just to mention a few) is great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin E, B6 and B12. It supports body’s natural antioxidant defense system, promotes emotional well-being and mood enhancement. It stimulates metabolism and weight loss too. Many women reported increase in energy, less PMS and menopause symptoms and better sleep.
8. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
You know all the benefits of exercise by now, especially when it comes to balancing your hormones. As well as helping to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass, regular exercise can have a positive effect on your mental health, leaving you feeling less stressed and more alert. However, it’s important not to overdo it, especially as too much exercise can influence your hormones in a negative way. Instead, keep it light – aim for 2 or 3 sessions in the gym every week. Your workout could comprise of light resistance weights, a little bit of cardio, and plenty of stretching.
9. Work Out at Home
If you’re not a big fan of the gym, working out at home can be just as effective when it comes to balancing your hormones. Alternatively, team up with a friend or family member who can be your new “gym buddy”. Working out with someone else will enable you to encourage each other, and give you the motivation you need to attend the gym – even on those days when you wish you were doing something else. Remember – regular exercise can release endorphins in the brain (known as the body’s “feel good” chemical), which is great for stress and your general health.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be beneficial for the body, and has a number of antibacterial properties. Coconut oil can also lower cholesterol by promoting pregnenolone production in the body – a molecule that can help balance the hormones. It can either be used as a cooking oil, or a teaspoon can be poured into a cup of herbal tea to provide you with plenty of anti-oxidants.