5 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally
Hormone imbalances have become all to common in our modern day and age. We have around 50 hormones in our bodies that act as chemical messengers that control things like growth, metabolism, fertility and hunger. Hormones can go out of balance due to a number of different factors including poor diet, prescription medications, the birth control pill, high stress levels, excess alcohol and caffeine. When one hormone goes out of balance, others go out as well as they rely on each other to function.
Typical Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalances in Women:
Heavy or irregular periods
Depression or anxiety
Reduced sex drive
Fortunately, our bodies have the ability to heal themselves as long as they are given the proper conditions.
Here are my top 5 ways to balance hormones naturally:
Chose whole and organic foods as much as possible. Foods that are high in chemicals and toxins contain xenoestrogens that can actually mimic estrogen and act as hormone blockers. Limit foods such as alcohol, caffeine and sugar as these can overburden the liver, which is responsible to metabolizing and excreting excess hormones. Include foods such as leafy greens, complex carbohydrates like quinoa and oatmeal, quality protein sources such as organic chicken or turkey and wild caught fish.
Consume omega 3 fatty acids. Fish, flax and hemp oils are all excellent sources of health fats. One of the best foods to help with excess estrogen is ground flax seeds. Healthy fats are the building blocks of many hormones in our bodies. They also help to lower inflammation in the body. Try to stay away from high levels of omega 6 fatty acids which can be found in processed foods that contain vegetable or soy oil.
Look after your gut. Gut issues such as candida can actually produce estrogen like substances that get reabsorbed into the blood stream and cause an excess of estrogen. Replenish the gut with healthy bacteria by including two servings of fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir and organic yogurts daily and supplement with a good quality probiotic.
Manage stress. Stress is the number one cause of hormonal imbalance in both men and women. When the body is in constant fight or flight mode, the adrenal glands focus on producing cortisol and adrenaline but fail to produce proper amounts of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Include daily stress reducing activities like deep breathing, meditation or stretching, even if it's only for 10 minutes. A big one that I find helps for winding down is switching off social media at a certain time of night and establishing healthy morning and nighttime routines. Starting or ending the day on a healthy note is key. You can checkout my post for creating a healthy morning routine here.
Try an adaptogenic herb. Adaptogens help to tweak hormone production to balance the body and mind. They help to calm the nervous system, promote relaxation and increase energy. A few of my favorites are maca, ashwaghandha, and mushrooms like chaga, reishi or cordycepts. They come in teas, herbal tinctures, powder and pill form. Ask your naturopathic doctor or check at your local health food store for one that suits you best. It is best to just focus on one and use for at least 3 months. Then you can look at rotating.