It can be frustrating to figure out if your hormones are out of balance. Perhaps you've discovered you've had symptoms of hormonal imbalance for quite some time. Traditional medicine tends to recommend hormonal birth control, hormone replacement therapy and surgery as your only options. While these interventions have their merit in certain situations, the majority of women can use more natural hormone imbalance remedies.
These are the top 5 ways we recommend starting to tackle your hormone imbalance. The more natural hormone imbalance remedies are the best place to start, and if you need to escalate your efforts, you have already made a great basis for your health:
1. Whole Foods
Every well-balanced meal must include three things: protein, healthy fat, and carbohydrate, with emphasis on the first two. This ensures your blood sugar hormone insulin will be balanced, keeping your moods and weight in check. Here are some important points to remember:
Protein: All animal protein should be pastured, wild-caught grass-fed and/or organic. Sources: chicken, beef, bison, lamb, all fish and seafood, turkey, eggs, nuts and seeds, some legumes.
Healthy Fats: All fats should be organic, virgin, pastured and/or grass-fed. Sources: avocado, nuts/seeds, and their oils, coconut oil/products, olives/olive oil, butter/ghee, lard/tallow, MCT oil, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. Follow the Clean Quick Guide to Healthy Cooking Oils, when making your selection.
Carbohydrates: Hotly debated but necessary in our opinion. Choose vegetables as your main sources of carbs, and nix the wheat flour products! Sources: Any vegetable, fruit, nut/seed, whole grain (like quinoa), with emphasis on cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage to detoxify estrogen.
This is something many of us forget but it's indispensable. Keep yourself hydrated. This helps your hormones to balance and your detox organs to shed toxins. Aim for half your body weight in ounces daily.
Fiber is amazing for balancing hormones. It balances insulin and binds to excess estrogen so it can be excreted in your urine and bowel movements. It’s very helpful for reducing excess weight. Work your way up to 35-45g fiber daily.
4. Movement + Meditation
Yoga is a very popular activity these days, and for good reason. Yoga helps release deeply stored tension, often in the pelvic and hip area in the case of imbalanced hormones. In a study of women with menstrual disorders, practicing yoga for 6 months reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, and improved well-being and vitality. Another science team found that women were at a reduced risk for obesity-related illnesses when they practiced yoga and that it helped to reduce their stress response. Reducing stress is key for achieving hormonal balance!
In addition to a yoga practice, or for those who like a challenge, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is for you. HIIT combines bodyweight resistance and cardio exercises in short bursts over a short period of time for maximum impact. Usually, between 10 to 35 minutes, these workouts pack a powerful punch. HIIT can be a free and fun activity that is especially good for ladies with imbalanced hormones because it reduces insulin problems and helps to decrease excess body fat. This means excess estrogen is less likely to be stored in body fat, and sex hormones will be in balance because insulin isn’t messing with them. You’ll also be building lean, strong muscle during HIIT, and we all know that muscle burns more calories even at rest than fat does.
Some think meditation is religious or spiritual in a way they’re not comfortable with, but often women are so unused to “doing nothing” that the thought of “wasting time” sitting and breathing for a while seems silly. Quite the opposite, in fact! Learning to breathe properly in everyday life and during those “do nothing” times will probably have a greater impact than any other one thing you can try for self-care. Here’s how meditation can help:
- Improves functioning of your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, digestive, muscular, and endocrine (hello, hormones!) systems
- Better sleep and memory
- Increased energy, focus, and concentration
- Reduces stress
Getting outside in nature is one of our favorite ways to de-stress. Anytime you can move your body in the fresh air and sunshine, it has a positive effect on your system. Studies have actually shown this! Participants reported greater enjoyment and satisfaction with outdoor activity and declared a greater intent to repeat the activity at a later date. Don’t use weather as your excuse. Bundle up or strip down when you need to - just get out there!
5. Herbs + Supplements
Vitex aka Chaste Berry increases luteinizing hormone or the hormone that spikes around ovulation. This gives Vitex a progesterone-favoring effect. This is helpful for preventing the build-up of excess estrogen in the body. Low progesterone can also show up in symptoms like anovulatory cycles, fatigue, foggy thinking and mood issues like depression. Vitex is strongest in tincture form and generally can be used as directed.
The seeds of the milk thistle plant are an excellent herbal remedy for menstrual issues. Milk thistle is a well-known liver tonic, and we know that excellent liver health is imperative for detoxing excess estrogen and reducing pain and inflammation like period cramps and menstrual migraines. A clean, great quality milk thistle is the main ingredient in our liver cleanser in our 21-Day Cleanse Program.
Specifically for women’s health, magnesium will help with preventing tissue damage and reducing inflammation.This wonder mineral is used in over 300 processes in the body. Magnesium is also a muscle relaxant and is very helpful for the pain associated with menstruation. Magnesium also helps to balance insulin and improve mood.
B vitamins are so important for hormone health, but especially B5, B6, B9 (folic acid) and B12. Vitamin B5 helps to regulate stress and adrenal gland function. Vitamin B6 helps to regulate mood and water levels. Vitamin B9 or folic acid helps build up your uterine lining after you’ve had your period. Lastly, B12 is important, and often a deficient nutrient in women with heavy cycles, and is a form of anemia if you’re very low.
Written by Robyn Srigley
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