Six holistic methods to help balance hormones
Hormones, chemical messengers that are distributed to our organs and tissue from the endocrine gland via the bloodstream, affect our emotional, physical and mental health. Your endocrine gland typically produces the exact amount needed for various functioning within the body, but when hormone imbalances occur—from stress and age—the gland is affected. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to naturally balance hormones over time, here are six of them.
According to a study done at Harvard Medical School, fasting can play a direct role in balancing hormones. When you fast, insulin levels go down and stay down. Fat cells can then release the stored sugar from the body, which can then be used as energy. High amounts of sugar in the body can throw your hormones off balance, so fasting is a great tool to manage insulin levels. Following a circadian fasting lifestyle can help to balance hormones even more efficiently. It focuses on going to bed at the same time each night, getting quality sleep and eating only during day light, which will help to balance hormones.
Avoid Sugar and Consume an Adequate Amount of Protein
This comes to my next point of avoiding sugar, because sugar raises insulin levels, it can cause obesity and hormone imbalance. Protein is the building block for our cells and helps hormones develop and stay balanced.
Consume Healthy Fats
Studies have shown that consuming healthy fats at meals and/or in supplement form can help release hormones and keep them balanced. Eat avocados, nuts, chia seeds and coconut oil consistently with your meals to see a difference. If you aren’t able to do this, try taking a fish oil supplement twice a day.
It’s no surprise that stress causes hormone imbalances, among many other issues. The two main hormones affected by stress are adrenaline, the “fight-or-flight” hormone and cortisol the “stress hormone”, which are released when the body is under stress. Unfortunately, with stressful and busy lives in today’s modern world, these hormones are often released too often and it creates an imbalance. Meditation, listening to relaxing music, humming, chanting and deep breathing can all help balance these hormones.
Regardless of taking a multi-vitamin daily, many people are deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin E, niacin and iodine are a few of the vitamins and minerals needed to balance hormones. If you are low in any of them, you may experience a hormone imbalance. If you suspect you are low in a nutrient, get a blood test done (or get one done yearly regardless) and take the necessary vitamin and mineral daily to raise the levels.
Dopamine and serotonin are the “feel good” hormones, which help keep people happy and feeling their best. Fortunately, exercise helps to release these hormones and is the one of the best ways to do this and keep hormones balanced. A combination of short, high-intensity training (ie. kickboxing) mixed with a less intense exercise for a longer amount of time, (long walk in nature), weight training and meditation/yoga is the perfect combination to keep hormones balanced.
Disclaimer: always consult your doctor if you have a hormone imbalance