Hormones have a direct link to your physical, mental, and emotional health. For women, hormones not only affect their reproductive and sexual health, but they also play a role in their weight, mood, and appetite.
Typically, your body is capable of producing the right amount of hormones it needs for various functions. But our fast-paced, modern lifestyles have caused certain hormone declines beyond those that come with age.
Hormonal imbalances are not common in women, causing issues regarding fertility, pregnancy, and mental health. While these issues can now be diagnosed using techniques like endoscopic examination and be treated using advanced methods, prevention is still better than cure.
Fortunately, there are many simple and natural ways you can beat abnormal hormone issues. Keep reading to learn ten hormone-balancing strategies:
Consume enough protein
Consuming plenty of dietary protein is essential in maintaining healthy bones and muscles. But it also helps release hormones that regulate your food intake and appetite. Several studies show how protein helps reduce a person’s ghrelin, also known as the “hunger” hormone. This way, your body will feel full when it is, signalling you to stop eating. That said, it’s important to have a protein-rich diet every day to make sure you’re not over or undereating.
Regular exercise provides so many physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. On top of keeping you in good shape and improving your physical endurance, it also ups your energy levels. This is because exercise regulates your insulin levels. In particular, exercises like aerobic and endurance exercises and strength training can reduce your insulin levels and increase your insulin activity. These exercises also help increase your levels of adiponectin, the hormone in charge of regulating your metabolism.
Avoid refined carbs and sugar
Refined carbs and sugar are some of the main culprits behind several health issues, from diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases. That said, avoiding these foods could help optimize your health. More importantly, avoiding these foods can reduce your risk for insulin-resistant conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Instead of consuming processed and refined sugars and sweeteners, opt for natural alternatives like maple syrup and honey.
Opt for healthy fats
Incorporating healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nut butter offers plenty of health benefits, but they also help regulate your hormone production. They also reduce insulin resistance and appetite, which help prevent you from eating too much. This is because healthy, natural fats trigger the production of hormones cholecystokinin, PYY, and GLP-1, which help you feel full and satisfied. Optimize your hormonal health by consuming the right portion of healthy fat daily.
Learn to cope with stress
Learning to manage stress is easier said than done, but it can surely do wonders for your hormones. Stress is one of the main causes of hormonal imbalance, especially in women. Stress caused by a hectic lifestyle increases the production of cortisol and adrenaline (aka epinephrine), which could lead to overeating and obesity, rapid heart rate, anxiety, and high blood pressure. So do your best to mellow down your cortisol and adrenaline levels by practising yoga and meditation, getting enough sleep, hydrating, and listening to calming music.
Eat fatty fish
Fish is a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, which contain a huge amount of anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies suggest that they also help balance hormones by reducing the levels of cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones. People with
insulin-resistant conditions like prediabetes and PCOS can also benefit from an increased intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
Get regular, adequate sleep
Sleep is perhaps one of the most important steps to optimizing your hormones and overall health. Getting consistent, high-quality slumbers allow your body to repair itself daily and flush out harmful toxins. After all, sleep restriction can wreak havoc on your hormones. Plus, restorative sleep increases your growth hormone production, so aim for at least seven hours of restful sleep daily.
Manage your weight
Keeping a steady, healthy weight is one of the keys to staying happy and healthy. Overweight and obese individuals have higher levels of hormones like leptin, insulin, estrogens, and androgens, influencing one’s metabolism, appetite, and body fat distribution. These hormones have been linked to the accumulation of body fat. To avoid hormonal imbalances and other obesity-related health problems, try to maintain a healthy weight consistently.
Your hormones can affect many aspects of your life, from how you deal with stress and everyday triggers to your long-term wellness. Be sure to follow these nutrition and lifestyle tips to keep your hormonal health at an optimal level.