4 Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
Hormones, produced in the endocrine glands, play a vital role in our body’s overall function. These ‘chemical messengers’ travel in our bloodstream to tissues and organs helping regulate many different processes, from metabolism and reproduction to heart rate, sleep and cognitive function. Because they play such an important role, when hormone levels fluctuate, it can wreak havoc on our bodies altering our skin and mood as well as causing fatigue and weight gain.
According to Medical News Today, almost everyone experiences periods of hormonal imbalance at least once or twice in their lifetime. While some hormone imbalances are caused by serious medical conditions and require therapeutic treatment, many people can stabilize their hormones with natural remedies. Below are four natural ways to ensure our hormones are functioning optimally.
Eat the right foods. A poor diet can negatively impact our hormone function. Fried and processed foods, sugary drinks and snacks, refined carbohydrates and alcohol all spell trouble for hormones and our bodies. To keep our hormones happy, we have to eat the right foods. Healthy fats, found in foods like salmon, olive oil, avocado and nuts help reduce stress hormones and activate gastrointestinal hormones. Foods high in fiber like broccoli, apples and whole grains can help eliminate excess hormones. Eating plenty of quality protein like eggs, chicken and fish is also key for healthy hormone production.
Supplement missing nutrients. Even with a healthy diet, there are additional nutrients that can help get our hormones balanced and properly processed. Supplements that combine certain herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and botanicals are specifically helpful in supporting normal hormone levels. Key nutrients like maitake mushroom, evening primrose, vitamin E, selenium and zinc support the liver (the primary site for hormone processing), as well as promote hormone, skin and glandular tissue health. A blend of botanicals like dong quai, milk thistle and dandelion root, as well as electrolyte minerals such as magnesium can help relax the mind, muscles and uterine tissue. The calming effects of these ingredients alleviate PMS cramping and discomfort. Additionally, enzymes such as nattokinase and serrapeptase reduce fibrin. Fibrin proteins thicken the blood, increasing cramping and potentially leading to fibrosis in uterine and breast tissue, a symptom commonly experienced by women with unbalanced hormones.
Prioritize sleep. With today’s busy schedules, it is no surprise that we don’t always prioritize sleep. Our bodies need a full eight hours of shut eye, regardless of age. Sacrificing sleep could have severe consequences for our hormones. Poor sleep has been shown to interfere with insulin, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol and other hormones, causing major imbalances. With uninterrupted, quality sleep, the growth hormone is activated, and the pituitary gland remains properly tuned. To ensure better sleep, put away your phone at least 30 minutes before bed, limit your caffeine intake past 2 p.m. and try to head to bed at the same time each day (yes, even weekends), for consistency.
Exercise regularly. Physical activity helps regulate insulin and can boost the feel-good hormones of dopamine and serotonin, as well as estrogen and testosterone. Experts recommend a combination of aerobic exercise such as jogging, swimming and biking, and strength training, such as lifting weights, push-ups or squats. If you do not have time for a full workout, a brisk 30-minute walk a few days a week can be just as beneficial. Some adults actually respond better to walking as opposed to high-endurance exercises, as it can be less stressful on your body to recover. A consistent exercise routine is key to keeping our hormones and mood in sync.
Hormones are essential for our overall health and wellbeing. Following the above recommendations will ensure optimal function of our hormones which in turn means better digestion, sleep, mood, energy and more. Even the smallest imbalance can have a serious impact on our body. Be cognizant of any symptoms and consult a doctor if symptoms persist.Justin Marsh is the CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, a Scottsdale-based manufacturer of enzyme and probiotic based dietary supplements. Arthur Andrew Medical’s products are rooted in science with no processing agents or fillers. They are dedicated to conducting extensive research and clinical applications with dietary supplements for the advancement of natural health alternatives.