Easy Steps to Rebuilding Hormone Health
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” ~ Jim Rohn
I remember just a year and a half ago a woman asked me ‘How are your hormones?’ I responded with, ‘Uh,fine.. I think.’ She said are you ever moody or grumpy? I said yes, definitely. She told that my hormones might be off balance. I had no idea my mood could be a symptom of an imbalance in my hormones and knew even less about the ability to balance this through food.
With the lives we live today we can easily throw off our hormones, the balancers and regulators of our bodies. Our hormones are produced through an intricate endocrine system of glands throughout our bodies and stressing even just one can cause harm.
Those mood swings may be your body trying to tell you something and I’d suggest that you listen. There are many different symptoms of hormonal imbalances such as low energy, PMS, mood changes, depression, infertility and many more. Ignoring or covering up those symptoms instead of addressing the root cause could cause serious health and reproductive issues. Here are some tips to help restore your hormonal imbalance, get rid of excess estrogen (not a good thing to have excess of) and start feeling back to your normal, happy, healthy, beautiful self.
Food can be the most powerful medicine or the slowest poison; you have the power to choose. I have personally tested taking these substances out of my diet and saw incredible changes. The key words here are decrease and increase. No deprivation or making yourself miserable! Set one goal and work from there.
- Coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can cause your blood sugar to crash & spike for the rest of the day while your body tries to reset itself to a normal balance. If you MUST have coffee have it after eating something. A much healthier option is tea or even better a green smoothie powering up your body with vitamins, minerals and tons of healthy energy.
- Alcohol damages the liver and prevents it from excreting excess estrogen. A tip I give my clients: give yourself a limit ahead of time instead of deciding as you go.
- Dairy consumption worsens hormonal imbalance because there are so many hormones present in milk. The same goes for meat. Our body is trying to rid of excess estrogen so adding hormones in (and un-natural ones from another mammal at that) is clearly not helping our cause.
- Toxins from pesticides (sprayed on non-organic food) and pollution from dry cleaning, antibacterial soaps and other toxins behave like estrogen in your body. Choose natural products and find new, healthier ways to wash your clothes, body and home.
- Soy is not a health food and I don’t recommend it unless it is fermented and organic. Babies fed soy formula are receiving the equivalent of five birth control pills worth of estrogen a day. Many countries even use warning labels on soy products for anyone under the age of 18. If it’s not safe for growing children in my opinion it’s not safe for adults either, especially if we are trying to decrease the amount of estrogen in our bodies.
- Stress the culprit of so many bodily issues, hormones included. Whether it is from nutritional stress, environmental stress, external stress, emotional stress, or even simply worrying about stressful situations that may never occur, it’s all the same to your body. Dealing with stress is critical to hormone health. Your adrenals are an essential part of your hormonal system in your body, they produce DHEA which responds to stress in your body. They are very hard working little glands despite everything we put them through.
Releasing stress helps relieve the pressure of your adrenals. Take baths, feed your body well, go for walks, practice meditation, do what you love, learn breathing methods or take yoga classes. Subscribe below for my full list of healthy tips if you haven’t done so already.
Slow down and breathe
Exercise is very important for overall health, stress relief and of course, balancing hormones. So move your body! You have time. For even 10 minutes. Do something. Aim for 3-5 times a week of cardio & weight training to build human growth hormone, which is a key hormone for strength and longevity.
Bathroom trips! Constipation worsens hormonal imbalances because your body cannot rid of excess estrogen. When this happens estrogen is re-circulated and dumped back into your bloodstream through the gut, after all the work your liver has done to get rid of it. Optimal is 3 times a day after each meal.
To go more often increase fiber in your diet from vegetables, leafy greens, fruit such as blueberries and raspberries, nuts, seeds and beans. Flax seeds in particular are especially helpful in correcting constipation and balancing hormones. Put them in a shake or sprinkle them on salads or food. Flax seeds contain lignans that help balance hormone metabolism and block the negative effects of excess estrogens.
Cultured Foods: Imbalances in gut bacteria increase the amount of re-absorption of estrogen back into the body. Replacing healthy bacteria in the gut also helps normalize estrogen and hormone metabolism. The best way to get healthy bacteria in your gut is to through delicious fermented vegetables.
Sleep is vital for healthy hormone levels. Make sure you are getting enough!
Supplement: I try my best to recommend nutrients from whole foods but there is no getting around supplements because the food quality is not what it used to be. A few supplements and herbs have been shown to help ease hormonal imbalance symptoms in the female body:
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Whole food daily multivitamin
- Wild yam
- Cramp bark
- Dandelion root
A little bit of raw chocolate provides healthy magnesium for your body and can help ease PMS issues. Try my healthy raw chocolate recipe.
FAST FACT: With a diet of excess acidic foods such as coffee, dairy, soy, alcohol, & environmental toxins, your body can have trouble regulating your hormones which can result in mood changes, PMS, irritability, or even fertility and reproductive issues. Make sure you are exercising, increasing healthy foods to help go to the bathroom regularly, keeping your stress levels as low as possible, getting enough sleep and keeping your gut flora healthy with cultured vegetables. And of course increase those greens!
ACTION: Please let me know what you’ve tried and how these tips have helped you become a healthier, happier, (and much less moody) you! Please remember hormones are extremely sensitive and complex and this is a great starting place to rebuilding and feeling better!