If you’ve ever experienced hormonal imbalance in your body, you know it can be tough! Being “hormonal” can make you irritable, moody, sleepy, and even increase your hunger. And along with those frustrating symptoms, hormonal imbalance can even cause more serious ailments. The good news is there are natural ways to maintain hormone balance to help reduce or even prevent many of these issues.
Hormones in general are quite the complicated topic and it took me years to fully understand exactly how they work! But the most important thing to know is that hormones work together synergistically in your body and doing what you can to keep them balanced will ultimately keep you healthier and happier. So, here are 5 easy ways to help keep your hormones balanced, naturally…
1. Eat Healthy Fats.
Yes, you heard me. We need fats. There’s a reason why people typically aren’t successful when they follow low fat diets. Aside from the fact that these types of diets are typically higher in carbs, they don’t work because we actually need good fats to keep our hormones balanced. Essential fatty acids are thereby essential to the production of hormones.
This doesn’t give us a free pass to start frying our food! Those aren’t the kinds of fats we need. Instead, good fats come from avocados, walnuts, flaxseeds, fatty fishes like salmon, coconut oil and my personal fave, MCT oil. What is MCT oil? Learn more and check out the kind I’m using here.
Adding some MCT oil into your coffee or using it in recipes such as homemade salad dressing will give you a healthy dose of “good” fats that can increase your energy and speed up your metabolism. As with anything, you don’t want to go overboard with your fat intake, but a few servings per day is enough to help keep those hormones in check.
2. Cut Out Sugars and Refined Carbs.
Not only does sugar and refined carbs cause inflammation in your body, but they can also cause hormonal imbalance. When you take in too much sugar (or white flour carbs), it spikes your insulin and over time, may promote insulin resistance. Our blood sugars also help to regulate the rest of our hormones, so it’s important not to consume large amounts of sugar which can cause big spikes. Restrict your sugar intake to a few pieces of fruit per day and carbs that provide adequate fiber for the best insulin regulation.
3. Keep Your Gut Healthy.
The first two tips are important ways to keep inflammation down in your body and gut, but there is also something else you should do. I consider this third tip to be one of my secrets to maintaining great health, and that’s taking a daily probiotic.
First off, make sure you choose a high-quality probiotic with researched strains that support your healthy gut. Since your immune system is in your gut, this type of probiotic formula will support good hormonal balance and a strong immune system. Supplementing with probiotics can help repair the lining of your gut, which will improve the production and regulation of key hormones.
4. Get Good Sleep and Manage Your Stress.
Your emotions directly impact your hormones and vice versa. So, when you’re constantly stressed, it negatively affects your insulin and cortisol levels, leading to bigger problems. Taking time out of your day to take a break and meditate for even 10 minutes, doing yoga, going for a quick walk outside, or anything else that relaxes you are some key ways to help balance your hormones.
Getting enough sleep is also a critical factor since your cortisol regulates itself at night. It’s recommended that you go to sleep before midnight and try to get around 7-8 hours for optimal regulation. Good sleep also helps to control your stress, and balanced stress levels equal balanced hormone levels!
5. And Finally, Exercise!
There’s no way around it, you need movement in your life in order to decrease stress, increase endorphins, and balance your hormones. Even walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to help reduce insulin levels and potentially increase insulin sensitivity (a measure of good health that determines how well your body can utilize carbs). For the ultimate exercise, in my opinion, a combination of resistance training and aerobic training is best to help maintain hormones in your body that will naturally start to decrease with age.
So, there you have it… 5 tried and true natural ways to balance hormones! Maintaining blissfully balanced hormones is a crucial aspect of overall health and wellbeing. For more health and fitness tips along with access to motivating home workouts, join me in the 310 Nutrition and 310 Gym Facebook Communities!