Hormonal imbalance can be nasty. Cue the undesirable health effects - unwanted breakouts, fatigue, depression, hair loss, low sex drive, painful periods or miserable menopause, and many more. While all of those symptoms are enough to send you straight to the doctor's office, there may be a better way to manage things from the start. Let’s look at five ways you can take control of your hormonal health without having to step foot in the doctor's office.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Good sleep is imperative for health. If you’ve ever experienced a late night or a night of broken sleep, or if you struggle with insomnia, then you know how devasting the effects can be the next day and even after. Sleep helps regulate the hormones that give you the energy to perform daily tasks, think clearly, perform creatively, have a healthy immune system, and even maintain a healthy weight.
2. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Perhaps one of the most important things for maintaining hormonal balance is staying hydrated. Hydration doesn’t have to be boring! In addition to pure, clean water, you can add nutrient-dense vegetable juices and antioxidant-rich smoothies. Coconut water is another option that can add variety to your hydration plan! Packed with electrolytes and natural sugars, coconut water may help you rehydrate faster if you’ve been exercising or sweating a lot. Water should be your first choice, though! Cheers!
3. Work Up a Sweat!
Your skin is the largest organ, and it’s a key player in the hormone and detoxification game.
Whenever you exercise, the movement gets your lymphatic system pumping, which helps scoop up excess hormones, cellular debris, and waste into the lymph nodes so they can be excreted either through sweat, urine, or stool. Sweat not only helps regulate your temperature but also pushes toxins and salts out of the body. Saunas and warm mineral baths are other good ways to induce healthy sweating. Get your glow on and bring on the balance!
4. Eat Healthily
What you eat can impact your hormone balance. For example, too much sugar will spike insulin. Over time, excess insulin production leads to insulin resistance, which stresses the body and triggers an adrenal response. Cortisol enters the scene, and you experience a trap of fatigue and stress that is difficult to escape.
4-6 cups of whole, seasonal vegetables daily (organic if possible). Green, leafy vegetables are hormone helpers, onion/leeks, and cruciferous veggies are detox divas! The fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in all vegetables help support good health and hormone balance.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and can boost your metabolism. Drinking green tea results in reduced insulin levels. The antioxidants contained in the tea can also help regulate oxidative stress.
Protein is necessary for energy and balanced blood sugar. More is not necessarily better. The body converts excess protein into fat, so always aim for balance. Organic, pasture-raised meats, wild-caught fish, and eggs from free-range, naturally raised hens are best if you enjoy animal protein.
If you enjoy a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, focus on a variety of colorful vegetables and protein-rich plant foods like quinoa, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
Hormone health is dependent on healthy fats. Healthy fats include cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, avocado, and olives. They help you regulate your blood sugar and provide the building blocks for your hormones.
Small steps. Small steps, taken consistently, are the key to supporting your health. When we’re talking about hormones, you will be surprised by how much better you may feel simply by incorporating the healthy habits we mentioned. Try this delicious hormone balancing smoothie!
BERRY HORMONE SMOOTHIE
1 1⁄2 cups dairy-free milk
2 cups spinach
1⁄4 cup raspberries
1 Brazil nut, preferably soaked overnight
1 scoop collagen powder or marine collagen (Vital Proteins)
1 tablespoon unsweetened, dried shredded coconut
1 teaspoon flax seeds
Blend in a high-speed blender and enjoy with love.