Hormones do not get enough credit. Many people equate getting hormonal with getting emotional, but it is so much more than that. In fact, in terms of our health and body, hormones seem to be involved in everything from growth and development, sexual function, reproductions, metabolism, endocrine glands, and yes, mood.
Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance
When you experience a hormonal imbalance, it can really throw things off. Typically the endocrine system needs a rest or “reboot”.Those suffering from a hormonal imbalance may experience such symptoms as:
• Sleeping too much
• Hot flashes
• Weight gain (particularly around the middle)
• Vaginal dryness
• Painful breasts
What Causes a Hormonal Imbalance
Several factors can cause your hormones to go awry. Such variables that may affect hormones are:
- Nutritional deficiency
- Impaired liver function
- Exposure to toxins
How to Balance Hormones Naturally
The good news is, there are plenty of lifestyle and dietary changes you can make to get your hormones back in line.By making these changes, you will not only be balancing your hormones, but will simultaneously be improving your overall health.
Eliminate Vegetable Oils from your Diet
In order to build healthy cells, your body needs a combination of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. However, when the body consumes an abundance of polyunsaturated fats, it can throw off hormone balance and cause a number of potential health problems.
Polyunsaturated fats can be found in canola, peanut, vegetable, soybean oils, as well as shortening and margarine. Instead, consider using fats like real butter, olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats such as tallow and lard, and fish that are high in Omega-3s.
Consume Good Fats
Now that you are eliminating those awful polyunsaturated fats from diet, you can fill the void by eating a healthy variety of foods that are high in short, medium, and long chain fatty acid.
These foods not only help in healthy cell production, but they also help boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.To get include healthy fats in your diet, add avocados, coconut oil, butter, and salmon.
By incorporating more fiber into your diet, you can flush out the old estrogen in your system and restore your hormone levels to a healthy balance. Add raw fruits and vegetables as well as chia seeds into your diet.
Coffee should probably be eliminated altogether, but for those of you who would rather die than skip their morning cup should at least limit their intake. Drinking too much coffee wreaks havoc on your endocrine system, especially if you are dealing with other hormonal stressors.
Even skipping one cup of coffee a day can have a positive impact on your hormonal system. To cut back on your caffeine intake, try substituting coffee with herbal teas.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is so very important. If you are not getting enough sleep, your hormones are not going to be balanced, period. Lack of sleep deprives your body of needed healing rest.
Skimping on sleep also prevents your endocrine system from regenerating and regulating healthy hormones. Experts recommend a healthy seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
Many people do not realize how much they are constantly exposing themselves to harmful toxins. Look around, you probably have toxins all over your house. This is why you see so many potential cures related to detoxing.
Toxins can be found in household cleaners, plastics, pesticides, and even your mattress.These toxins contain chemicals that mimic hormones and therefore prevent the body from producing real hormones. If you are experiencing a hormone imbalance or are trying to get pregnant consider removing these toxins from your household.
Replace all Teflon and non-stick pans with glass or non-coated pans, avoid heating or storing your food in plastic containers, and try buying organic, fresh produce free of pesticides. As for household cleaners, contain all cleansers containing ammonia and bleach with all natural household cleaners which can typically be found at health food stores.
Replace Toxic Beauty Products
Oh yes, even your lotions and potions may contain harmful toxins that can disrupt your hormones. Many conventional beauty products may be high in parabens, proplene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and DEA. Avoid any products that contain these toxins or try making your own natural beauty products instead.
The key here is balance. That not only goes for your hormones, but your exercise routine as well. In fact, in terms of balancing your hormones, strenuous exercise can make things worse. However, sitting around and doing nothing can be just as harmful.
Consider adding light exercise to your daily routine, such as walking or sleeping. Avoid intense exercise such as extended cardio, running, or extensive aerobics while your body is healing from a hormonal imbalance.
This may sound counterintuitive to the previous point, but short bursts of heavy lifting can be beneficial to those looking to balance their hormones. Extended cardio is not recommended for those healing from a hormonal balance because it stresses the endocrine system. However, a lifting routine consisting of shorts sets using heavy weights triggers a release of healthy hormones.
Leptin is the main hormone that controls hunger and metabolism. We can throw our leptin balance off by consuming too much sugar and processed foods and by not getting enough sleep. By fixing our diet and getting on a healthy sleep schedule, you can help boost your fertility, boost your metabolism, lose weight, sleep better, and lower inflammation.
Stress can have a negative affect on your overall health, especially your hormones. Even if you are being diligent in making the lifestyle changes necessary to balancing your hormones, stress will negate all of those changes by raising your cortisol levels. So breathe deeply and relax.
If you’re having difficulty making the lifestyle and dietary changes required to get your hormones back in check or if you feel like you need an extra boost, consider taking supplements that support hormone balance:
- Vitamin D
Typically, you can get enough vitamin D by venturing outdoors, but it may be a little bit more difficult in the winter months. Vitamin D is a hormone that helps support new hormones.
This super mineral is vital to hormone balance and helps the body get better sleep. The best way to get your daily dose of magnesium is to absorb it through the skin, so try using a magnesium oil.
- Gelatin: Taking gelatin is a great way to get your daily source of magnesium, calcium, and phosphate. This supplement aids in hormone production, promotes digestive health, and helps alleviate inflammation.
- Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Fermented cod liver oil gives you everything you need to stimulate hormone production, such as vitamins, A, D, and K. Taking this supplement is also a good way to get your omega-3s and good fats.
This root, a member of the radish family, is famous for raising libido and promoting hormone production. Rich in fatty acids and fatty minerals, taking maca helps both men and women alike.
Women who take maca root noticed a decrease in their PMS symptoms, increased fertility, and a better complexion, while men experienced an increased libido, improved sperm production, and better sleep. You can either take maca in pill or powdered form.