Hormones: we’ve all had to live with their effects since our early teens, and there’s no avoiding them. Both men and women have hormones – they’re a sort of chemical network of messages that don’t only affect your mood and the way you feel, but play a key role in helping your organs to function as they should do.
You might know your hormones best when it comes to sex, reproduction, and mood, but they’re also essential for helping your body to grow and develop properly, and assisting your metabolism to provide you with the right energy from the foods you eat. Your hormones are especially potent in puberty, around your teenage years when people typically think that your hormones “appear”. Actually, they’re present in your body from birth, but puberty is the time when they really take effect.
Men and women are affected differently by hormones, and women tend to experience the emotional impact of their hormonal changes far more than men. Our hormones remain present in our bodies throughout our whole lives and play a role in the constant changes that take place, right up to the menopause.
How can hormonal imbalance affect us?
It’s easy to dismiss hormones as irrelevant, simply because we can’t see them – but actually, they can negatively impact on almost every aspect of our lives. When our hormones are out of balance, they can cause a number of unwanted mental and physical changes to the body, including weight loss or weight gain, infertility, weakness in the bones, and even diabetes and mental illness. If your hormones are unbalanced, you might notice that you’re struggling with mood swings, low libido, headaches, hot flashes, chronic fatigue, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
So, what causes a hormone imbalance? It might simply be that age has caused your hormones to surge or fall, but there may be other underlying causes, including high blood pressure, chronic stress, lack of sleep, certain birth control pills, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, being overweight, or having polycystic ovary syndrome. It’s best to see your doctor if you think you might need help with any of these conditions.
It’s important that we maintain a balanced hormone level to stay healthy in the mind and body. We can do so through making beneficial dietary and lifestyle decisions and sticking to them as best as we can.
With that in mind, here are the best 14 natural ways to balance hormones in females
Best 14 natural ways to balance hormones in females:
1. Take control of your stress levels
Nobody chooses to be stressed, which is why it can often be difficult to do something about it. But when it comes to hormones, stress is a major issue – it affects a wide range of hormones including cortisol, adrenaline, prolactin, thyroid hormones, and growth hormones.
It’s no wonder that stress-based hormonal imbalances can cause all number of health issues, like fatigue, diabetes, and sexual dysfunction. Finding ways to manage your stress levels is essential if you want to be able to restore balance to your hormones. Try meditating, practicing yoga, or altering your diet and exercise appropriately for stress reduction.
2. Improve your sleep quality
There’s a lot that goes on while you sleep. It’s the time for your body to get busy releasing growth hormones that you need for helping your immune system to work properly and repairing damaged tissues. Getting plenty of shuteye also helps you to keep your stress hormone, cortisol, under control, which is necessary for preventing further hormonal imbalances.
Trying to sleep when you simply can’t is impossible, so don’t force anything. Instead, get into a regular sleeping routine, switching off blue screens, and making sure not to eat too soon before bed.
3. Go non-toxic
You probably didn’t realise that hormones aren’t just affected by the things that we put into our bodies, but those that we put onto our bodies too. A shocking number of skin and hair care products contain hormone-disrupting chemicals like parabens, which absorb into your skin and enter your bloodstream.
Here, they’ve got free reign to do whatever they want to your hormone levels. Get rid of any toxic beauty products you have and replace them with non-toxic alternatives. You won’t need to look hard to find non-toxic products nowadays, as they’re now in fairly high demand.
4. Get your protein fix
There’s a hormone for everything, even hunger. Your hunger hormone is called ghrelin, and when it’s out of whack, you might end up eating more or less than you’re supposed to or carrying on eating even when your body’s full.
5. Avoid plastic
As if you didn’t need another reason to ditch the plastic for good – it turns out that plastics can also have a negative impact on your hormone levels. Research has found that almost all types of plastic give off chemicals that mimic oestrogen in your body.
If you’re exposed to these chemicals over a continuous period of time, your hormones can become imbalanced. Worse, this has been linked to an increased risk of a number of health problems including insulin resistance, breast or prostate cancer, infertility, male impotence, and so much more.
6. Up your activity levels
If you have a slight fear of exercise, it’s time to get over it and appreciate physical activity for all the hormonal benefits it can provide you with. Mixing things up with both strength and cardio can help to naturally boost your happy hormone, dopamine, which in turn reduces stress and feelings of lowness.
Even more impressively, exercising regularly has been found to improve digestion, sleep quality, cognitive function, and sex drive, thanks to the increased levels of the serotonin and oestrogen hormones.
7. Stay away from sugar
It’s a well-known fact that sugar is really bad for you, and unfortunately, research has found it to negatively impact your hormones too. Sugary foods, and foods containing refined carbohydrates, can both cause a spike in your blood sugar spikes and result in an over-production of insulin. This can lead to insulin resistance and eventually to type 2 diabetes.
There’s no joy in cutting out every single sweet treat from your daily diet, but try to limit your consumption where you can. Replace non-natural sugars with kinder alternatives like honey, fruits, and coconut sugar.
8. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s and saturated fats are essential for assisting in proper cell function, especially when it comes to our hormones. When we don’t provide our bodies with enough of these fats, it uses polyunsaturated fats as a sort of back up, which are a lot less beneficial to our health.
One particular source of omega-3, coconut oil is incredible for hormone health. It helps with hormone production and weight loss, and can also reduce inflammation. Other good sources of omega-3 healthy fats include avocados, animal fats, olive oil, lean meats, and eggs. You can also get omega 3 fatty acids from supplements – CLICK HERE
9. Limit your coffee
There are pluses and benefits to drinking your daily cup of coffee, but it’s not good news on the hormone front. Scientists have found that drinking too much caffeine can wreak havoc on the endocrine system, especially if you’re involving other hormonal stressors, such as pregnancy, or the presence of toxins or stress.
Try not to drink more than one cup of coffee a day if you can, or replace it with a healthier hot drink of choice, like herbal or fruit tea.
10. Support your gut
Who would have thought that your digestive system would be linked to your hormones? Research indicates that an imbalance in the gut can directly lead to an imbalance in neurotransmitter and hormones.
Serotonin, the hormone that we need to manage our sleep and stress balance, is thought to be even more concentrated in the gut than even in the brain. If your gut isn’t working properly, your hormones will more than likely end up all over the place. Take prebiotics and increase your fibre for a healthier gut.
11. Eat your broccoli
Love it or hate it, broccoli boasts a multitude of health benefits, which just happen to include balancing your hormones. It’s thought that including broccoli in your daily diet can help you to improve your oestrogen balance, and thanks to its high calcium content, it can also help with premenstrual syndrome, or PMS.
Some studies suggest that broccoli may even be able to help the body to get rid of 'bad' oestrogen hormones from the body.
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12. Cook with more herbs
It might sound a bit voodoo to you, but there are a growing number of healing plants that people have been using for years to promote hormone balance and protect their bodies from a number of diseases. Certain healing herbs, including ashwagandha, rhodiola and holy basil, can improve your thyroid function, reduce anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses, lower cholesterol levels, and keep your blood sugar and insulin levels normal.
Ashwagandha, otherwise known as Indian ginseng, has shown the highest success in balancing hormones. It’s been found to fight off free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to a number of medical disorders.
13. Experiment with essential oils
If you’re looking for alternatives to your toxic beauty products, you can’t go wrong with essential oils. If you don’t want to pay for the concentrated oils themselves, try to at least purchase products that contain oils like coconut oil, and shea butter. Or try lavender oil, which has been found to treat anxiety, depression, and stress caused by a hormonal imbalance.
It can also be used to promote better sleep, which will also help to balance your hormone levels.
14. Supplement with vitamin D
Most people think that vitamin D is as it sounds: a vitamin. Actually, though, vitamin D almost acts like a hormone inside the body, and is essential for reducing inflammation levels. The best way to get your vitamin D is from the sun, because your skin actually makes vitamin D on its own when it’s exposed to direct sunlight.
However, if you live in an area that doesn’t see a lot of sunshine, you’ll probably benefit from supplementing with vitamin D to keep your hormones in check. Click here for the best vitamin D supplement
So, while hormonal imbalances are often unavoidable, there’s plenty we can do to even them out when the going gets particularly tough. By following the advice mentioned in this video, you’ll be able to live a much healthier and happier life, without having to deal with the effects of sudden dips and surges in your hormones.
It’s often what you are doing, as much as what you aren’t doing, that can affect your hormones. Take a look at your current lifestyle and make the appropriate changes to help to balance your hormones the natural way. Cut out the trigger foods and see what difference it makes.
For more advice, you can always visit your doctor, who’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs with you in person.