Hormones play a pivotal role in our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
These hormones, acting as chemical messengers, help control our appetite, weight, mood, stress levels, etc.
Typically, the endocrine glands produce the exact quantity of hormones needed for numerous processes in the body.
However, too much or too little production of these hormones could cause a hormonal imbalance.
Hormonal changes could occur at certain point s in our life such as puberty, menstruation, puberty, and menopause. However, our fast-paced modern lifestyle could lead to the faulty production of hormones.
Factors that could lead to hormonal imbalance include; aging, poor nutrition, too much or too little exercise, stress, lack of sleep, adrenal exhaustion, eating disorders, metabolic disorders such as diabetes, toxins, certain medications, tumors, and exposure to chemicals such as pesticides.
Common symptoms of hormonal imbalance include; excess hair growth, hair loss, fatigue, insomnia, low sex drive, irritability, mood swings, weight problems, infertility, dry or oily skin, premenstrual syndrome, acne, and food cravings.
Below are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with hormonal imbalances;
- Cut down on your consumption of sugar as well as refined and processed foods.
- Avoid using synthetic hormones such as birth control pills.
- Ensure that both the quality and quantity of your sleep is adequate.
- Minimize your exposure to stressful situations. You could opt for yoga and meditation as well as other relaxation techniques to help you manage your stress.
- Limit your consumption of caffeine as it increases your cortisol levels which could, in turn, impair your thyroid functions.
- Limit your use and exposure to plaster and environmental toxins.
- Endeavor to eat foods that are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Opt for organic foods instead of non-organic ones.
Below are natural ways to balance your hormonal levels naturally;
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is probably the best food to balance your hormone levels, especially if you are suffering from hypothyroidism. Extra-virgin oil of coconut has a high amount of medium chain fatty acid that improves thyroid functioning. Extra-virgin coconut oil is also useful in managing weight and regulating the body’s blood sugar levels. In addition to those, coconut oil also strengthens our immunity and increases the body’s ability to fight various diseases. Consume at least 2-3 teaspoons of it along with your foods for several months to reap the benefits.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the better functioning of the pituitary gland. Since this gland is responsible for producing various hormones in the body, it is important to maintain its optimal functioning. Vitamin D also assists in combating low estrogen levels in the body. To maintain vitamin D levels in your body, you could increase your exposure to the early morning sun. You may also include vitamin-D rich foods, such as milk, eggs, cod liver oil and fatty fishes, in your diets.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids not only helps in balancing the levels of various hormones in your body but also provides a boost of antioxidants. Its anti-inflammatory action heals the body and improves your overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce cramps and other symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause in women. Incorporate foods such as oily fishes, olive oil, soybeans, chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts and tofu in your daily diet to maintain adequate hormone levels in your body.
Fenugreek seeds contain diosgenin, a phytoestrogen that has estrogenic properties. As such, fenugreek is often used as a home remedy for breast enlargement and for increasing lactation. Fenugreek also lowers the blood sugar level by improving glucose metabolism. For this remedy, put a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a cup of hot water and let it sit for 12-15 minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it twice or thrice every day. You may also take fenugreek supplements after discussing the required doses with your doctor.
5. Protein-Rich Food
Proteins are extremely important for the body. They are composed of amino acids which are known as the building blocks of the body. Proteins also help in regulating the hormones responsible for controlling appetite, thereby, increasing satiety. Protein also boosts metabolism and helps in maintaining an ideal weight. It is recommended to eat at least 20-30 grams of it in every meal for effectively balancing your hormone levels.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is an age-old remedy for balancing hormones and improving the overall health of an individual. Ashwagandha not only helps in enhancing the functioning of thyroid but also assists in the production of dehydroepiandrosterone, androgens as well as testosterone. All you have to do is take 300mg of its supplement twice every day for several months. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting on any supplement, especially if you have a health condition.
7. Maca Root
Maca root is another effective remedy for balancing your hormone levels. It also helps in improving fertility and reduces hypothyroidism. Maca root is also a good source of various minerals and vitamins essential for a healthy body. For this remedy, take a cup of water and add a quarter teaspoon of powdered maca root. Drink this mixture every day for a few weeks gradually increasing its quantity to 1-2 teaspoons. You may also add it to yogurt, smoothies, and juices.
Exercise enhances the balance of hormones in the body. It effectively lowers the level of cortisol which leads to stress reduction. Exercise also helps in releasing chemicals that boost your mood and reduces mood swings. However, indulging in workout more than 40 minutes may increase your cortisol levels. The best way to exercise for good health is to do light exercises such as walking, swimming or jogging for half an hour few times in a week.
Chasteberry is a great remedy for maintaining hormonal balance in women. It induces the pituitary gland to balance the production of estrogen as well as progesterone. It not only improves fertility but also relieves problems associated with menstruation. Include 400-500mg supplement of chasteberry once every day for several months. Make sure you consult a doctor before using it to balance your hormones.
10. Stress Management
Stress can cause an imbalance in your hormones giving rise to various health conditions. The increase in production of hormone cortisol induces stress in the body. Chronic stress can take a toll on your health. Therefore, it is important to manage stress and maintain an ideal hormonal balance. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress in the body and can be done almost anywhere. You may also try other relaxation techniques such a yoga and massage to manage your stress. Listening to light music also relaxes the body in an effective way.
11. Asian Ginseng
Asian ginseng is great for regulating the adrenal gland which is responsible for producing stress hormones. Asian ginseng is also known to relieve menopause symptoms. Moreover, Asian ginseng could help in increasing sperm production in men. Take about 200-400 mg of its extract for 2-3 weeks. Make sure this extract has 4 percent ginsenosides. Stop its consumption for 3 weeks, then, take it for another 2-3 weeks. Maintain this cycle for at least 3 months.
12. Avoid Refined Carbohydrates And Sugars
If you are eating foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, it may affect your hormone levels. Such foods are known to induce insulin resistance which may consequently lead to numerous adverse health conditions. Avoid such foods to increase insulin sensitivity and lower your risk. Instead eat foods that are high in proteins, fibers, minerals, and vitamins.
13. Holy Basil
Holy basil is an adaptogen that helps in reducing the levels of cortisol and promotes the functioning of some of the hormonal glands that are affected by high levels of cortisol. Holy basil also improves mood and enhances mental clarity. Eat a few fresh holy basil leaves every day for several months. You may also prepare a basil tea by adding a few leaves of it in hot water. Steep it for some minutes, strain the liquid and drink up to three cups of this tea daily.
14. Eat In Right Proportions
Not eating in right proportions may wreak havoc on your hormonal balance. Overeating may lead to increased levels of insulin causing insulin resistance. Overeating could also increase your calorie intake and cause obesity. However, undereating may also cause insulin resistance in some individuals. Therefore, it is important to eat in the right proportions and consume at least 1200 calories daily for a better health.
Eggs provide a large number of nutrients to the body. It also helps in regulating hormones in the body, thus, making your healthier. It increases PYY (Peptide Tyrosine Tyrosine) while lowering insulin and ghrelin in the body. As a result, eggs help in regulating food intake. It is important to eat the egg yolk along with the egg white to reap full benefits of eggs on your health. Eggs make you feel full and eat less to maintain a healthy weight and hormonal balance.
16. Green Tea
Green tea aids in reducing insulin resistance in an effective way. As a result, it helps in dealing with obesity and diabetes. Furthermore, green tea is packed with antioxidants which have a positive impact on the body. For this remedy, prepare a green tea by adding dried leaves of this tea in hot water. Let it steep for a couple of minutes, then, strain the solution. Drink 2-3 cups of it daily to improve your overall health while maintaining a hormonal balance.
17. Get Enough Sleep
An uninterrupted sleep is extremely important for a healthy and stress-free body. Inadequate sleep leads to a hormonal imbalance in the body that affects, the levels of insulin, ghrelin, cortisol, growth hormones and leptins. Studies show that an uninterrupted sleep of high quality is needed for balancing your hormones. Therefore, it is recommended to sleep for at least 7 hours every night to maintain a good health.
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