Hormone imbalances are an underlying cause of many health issues that women experience. Extreme fatigue, digestive issues, persistent acne, and weight distribution changes are just some of the symptoms that can be caused by a hormone imbalance. Even small changes in hormone levels can cause these adverse effects. Thankfully, there are things you can do to naturally balance out your hormones.
In this blog, we will be unpacking seven lifestyle behaviours that can improve your hormonal health.
What Do Hormones Do?
Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different bodily functions. They are produced by the endocrine system and send messages to various parts of the body, including your organs, muscles, skin, and other tissues. Emotions, mood, sleep, hunger, and sexual desire are all processes that are regulated by your hormones.
Is There A Cure for Hormonal Imbalances?
In today’s fast-paced world, hormone imbalances have become increasingly common. There are various medications, natural therapies, and lifestyle changes that may help address hormonal imbalances.
7 Ways to Naturally Balance Hormones
Being physically active can positively impact several hormones, including insulin. Insulin makes it possible for cells to take up sugar and amino acids, which are subsequently used for energy and to maintain muscle. Too much insulin can be harmful to your health and may cause diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and/or cancer.
Aerobic exercise, endurance exercise, and strength training are physical activities that have been found to reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. A 2017 study also found that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
Stress can take a serious toll on your endocrine system and hormone levels. Two important hormones that are directly impacted by stress are cortisol and adrenaline.
Cortisol helps the body cope with stress. Adrenaline triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response to dangerous situations. Stress can cause an increase in both of these hormones, and if their levels get too high the imbalance may cause mood swings, cardiovascular issues, and/or obesity.
To manage your stress levels, try adopting stress-reducing practices like meditation, massages, and listening to music.
Eat Healthy Fats
Incorporating healthy fats into your diet may help balance hormones that affect your appetite and help reduce insulin resistance. Medium-chain fatty acids, in particular, can help regulate the body’s response to insulin. These fatty acids can be found in coconut oil and palm oil.
Monounsaturated fats, which can be found in avocado, olive oil, and nuts, have also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. Additionally, studies have concluded that consuming high-quality fats can trigger the release of hormones that help you feel full.
Regularly Consume Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help support hormone balance and have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in fatty fish can help reduce stress hormones, prevent mood disorders, and reduce insulin resistance related to obesity.
To experience the benefits associated with eating oily fish, have at least two servings of salmon, herring, cod, sardines, and/or mackerel per week.
Cut Back on Sugar and Refined Carbs
Sugar and refined carbs, like white bread, white rice, and pastries, may taste good, but they have been linked to several health problems. Fructose, which is a common ingredient in most types of sugar, can increase insulin levels and cause insulin resistance. Similarly, refined carbohydrates have been found to promote insulin resistance in both adults and children.
To help your hormones function the way they are supposed to and prevent diseases like obesity and diabetes, try to eliminate processed carbs as much as possible and opt for whole foods instead.
Consistently Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is something that is undervalued in modern-day society, but it is essential to good health. Poor sleep can cause an imbalance in many hormones, some of which include leptin, ghrelin, growth hormone, cortisol, and insulin. These hormonal imbalances can ultimately contribute to problems with appetite, diabetes, and obesity.
Ideally, you should be getting at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night to maintain optimal hormonal balance. If you have trouble falling asleep, try using a white noise machine, reducing your exposure to blue light from cell phones and computer screens at night, or taking melatonin before bed.
Adopt a High-Fiber Diet
Adequate fiber intake is essential to a healthy diet. This carbohydrate plays an important role in regulating insulin and other hormones that help you feel satiated.
Eating fiber-rich foods, like chia seeds, almonds, lentils, and kidney beans, on a daily basis can help prevent insulin resistance and overeating, which, in and of itself, can also result in unwanted hormonal shifts.
Having balanced hormones is one of many reasons to adopt a healthy lifestyle. By implementing these relatively easy changes, you can drastically improve your quality of life.