Hormone imbalances are the underlying cause of many common health concerns. Fortunately educating yourself, and making some lifestyle changes may hold the key to more healthy living.
Imbalanced hormones can show up as insomnia, fatigue, moodiness, PMS, bloating, brain fog, and acne. It is important to observe your habits, symptoms, and food choices when trying to figure out if your hormones are to blame for feeling subpar. When hormones are out of balance things can feel like they are spiraling, making body awareness incredibly important.
It is important to understand hormone’s functions in the body. These brief descriptions will help you understand hormones roles in the body:
Estrogen imbalance can show up as heavy periods, weight gain around the waste and buttocks, joint pain, and fine lines and wrinkles.
Estrogen helps to regulate the menstrual cycle, estrogen affects the reproductive tract, the urinary tract, the heart and blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain. Secondary sexual characteristics, such as pubic and armpit hair, also start to grow when estrogen levels rise. Many organ systems, including the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, and the brain are affected by estrogen.
Progesterone encourages a calm mood. Low progesterone levels can result in anxiety, poor sleep, periods coming too frequently, weepiness, and breast tenderness.
Testosterone affects sex drive and bone health. Too much testosterone can contribute to acne struggles in which case birth control is offered. Birth control also helps with menstrual cycle regulation. Too little testosterone can cause fatigue, weepiness, and missing libido.
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. All of our hormones need balance, but if cortisol levels increase at night and crash in the morning, cortisol can be the culprit of low energy levels.
The thyroid gland plays a vital role in metabolism, irregular periods, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and hair loss.
Healthy hormones contribute to feelings of happiness, strong libido, stable energy levels, minimal period struggles, and healthy blood sugar levels.
Insulin affects your blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance plagues many and can cause a tired feeling after meals and irregular periods.
Eating for Hormone Health
What you eat can help your body heal itself from the inside out. Food is medicine making its role in your hormonal health vital.
Diet plays a vital role in sustaining your energy levels, mood, libido, glowing skin and healthy metabolism. You are what you eat is more than just a saying but a principal to live by.
Keep in mind, it is important to choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
What to Avoid
Sugar is the culprit for many imbalances in the body and can throw your hormone system completely off balance. These imbalances can cause weight gain and insatiable hunger. Sugar can also contribute to menstrual cycle struggles, depleted energy, inflammation and imbalanced levels of estrogen and testosterone.
Life without treats is no fun, but sugar should be consumed in moderation.
What to Eat to Support Hormone Health
3-6 cups of vegetables might seem like a lot but vegetables are a key part of a diet to support hormone health. There are a wide variety of vegetables giving plenty of opportunity to eat a wide variety of fresh foods.
Non-starchy vegetables include bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, baby corn, asparagus, and artichoke. A quick Google search can give you a great list of vegetables to choose from.
Cruciferous vegetables include compounds that can help increase and improve gut health, and can also support natural detoxification.
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower and kale. Broccoli can help to balance estrogen levels and can be especially beneficial if you struggle with PMS.
The source of proteins should always be considered. 100% grass-fed meats and pasture-raised eggs as well as wild-caught fish, legumes, nuts, and seeds make a significant difference for the liver, feeling of fullness, and balanced blood sugar levels.
Healthy fats play a significant role in hormone and cell production. Hormone production requires certain fatty acids and cholesterol. Healthy Fats are especially important for the female reproductive system.
Healthy fats include avocados, coconut oil, raw butter, and soaked seeds and nuts.
Clean Filtered Water
Your tap water can be laced with heavy metals and other waste. Carrying a refillable BPA-free bottle helps cut down waste and oftentimes there are filtered water stations available in public spaces.
Exercise, Sleep and Stress Management
Exercise, sleep and stress management go hand in hand. A balance between cardio and strength training can help balance the metabolism.
Sleep also plays a vital role in the body’s natural healing process. Sleep can help maintain balance in the body; supports a strong and healthy immune system; and of course, supports hormone health.
A little stress management goes a long way. Stress takes a toll on all of the body’s vital systems. While exercise can help with stress management, mindful practices like yoga and meditation can help ease tension, and approach stress differently.
Hormone health requires a well rounded diet and healthy lifestyle. If you believe hormonal health is to blame, a lifestyle change might have the power to redirect your health.