This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase from one of the links below, I'll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support!
(Note: This article is a part of our 31-day series, “31 Days to a Whole Body Makeover“.)
We might not even think about it, but hormonal balance is critical to our health. Think of all the woes and complaints you have about your body. What if the health imbalances you are currently suffering from require just a simple fix, because perhaps just one small change can make the difference for your hormonal balance?
So many of our physical woes are actually regulated by our hormones! Read on for 7 easy ways to balance your hormones.
Hormones are little chemical messengers that affect our health as they flow through our bloodstream. When they are imbalanced they can cause some serious symptoms.
Symptoms of Imbalanced Hormones:
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Loss of libido
- Hair loss or thinning
There are ways that you can bring back balance to your hormones naturally. Here are some of the ways you can begin to balance your hormones quickly!
1. Get Enough Sleep
When we do not get enough sleep, we begin to suffer from low adrenal function, and that leads to imbalances all over the body. For one, cortisol, the fat storing hormone, goes into hyperdrive and losing weight becomes impossible no matter how strict our diet or exercise.
Read my tips on how to get a good night’s sleep.
2. Eat Healthy Fats.
Fat is actually GOOD for us. Why? Hormones are built from cholesterol. And having too low of cholesterol is just as bad as cholesterol that is too high.
We do need to avoid some fats, though.Polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable or canola oil are terrible for our bodies, causing inflammation.
Instead, we need more healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, wild-caught salmon, nuts (remember, peanuts are not nuts), and grass-fed butter. Also, don’t be afraid to eat egg yolks! Egg yolks are rich with hormone-balancing selenium, and vitamins A and D. Yes, egg yolks have cholesterol in them, but so much research is out there saying that we do need some cholesterol! Low cholesterol is linked to symptoms like depression, suicide ideations, and violence. Hormone imbalances are a very scary thing! Keeping a bowl of hardboiled eggs in the fridge makes getting at least one or two eggs in a day a breeze!
Plus? We need fat in order to digest and absorb many different vitamins. Our bodies do not utilize those precious vitamins and minerals without fat.
Our meals should consist of tons of vegetables, some healthy protein, and some fats. All three are essential for every meal.
3. Become Aware of Sources of Toxic Chemicals
Our skin is the largest organ of the body. It functions as a drug delivery system, so whatever you put onto your skin, you absorb. This is why we need to be extra cautious of what it is we are putting on our skin.
Everything we eat, drink, breathe, and put on our skin has to then be detoxified by our liver, the organ that metabolizes hormones. It is seriously disrupted by having to process all of these synthetic chemicals. It’s important to read labels, because we cannot trust a product just because it is on the shelf.
Things to watch out for:
In our cosmetics and skin care, we should watch out for pthalates, parabens, and sulfates. Check your sunscreen that it does not contain nanoparticles.
Tin cans tend to have high levels of hormone-interrupting BPAs, as do a lot of plastics and even the non-stick coating on our frying pans. BPAs are found to be cancer causing and are linked to infertility. Instead of plastic water bottles, melamine plates, and nonstick cookware, try to find these same objects in glass and metal. If you can opt for fresh foods over canned foods, that would be helpful, though I firmly believe in having a food storage built up in your home in case of a disaster. Therefore, it is impossible to avoid every toxic chemical, but wherever you can cut corners really does help.
4. Cut the Cardio
In my story about weightlifting being a great way to burn fat, I mentioned that long periods of cardio exercise are actually causing us to gain fat! Yes, it’s true! Prolonged, sustained cardio actually puts a strain on our adrenals, causing the production of stress hormones, telling our body to store fat.
Almost twenty years ago, I read Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health (one of my favorite books of all-time), and I have always remembered his theory about exercise being that we should practice “the law of least effort”. He said to keep exercise minimal. I always thought that was so strange… until now! I had not read anyone else saying the same thing; it was always, “no pain, no gain” right? Well, now, there is a ton of new research coming out supporting the theory that too much cardio is keeping us overweight and stressed.
5. That reminds me… Meditate
It’s amazing how much our body begins to repair and heal itself if we can learn to quiet our mind. Here is my guide to meditation, starting with the basics.
6. Care for Your Gut.
The bacteria flora in our gut is so important. I first started to really think about gut flora when my oldest was a baby (he’s now 9). He always had so many ear infections, and sadly, his doctor kept prescribing him antibiotics. I noticed that every time he took the dose, he would get the worst diaper rash! The antibiotics were killing his gut flora. I kept giving him yogurt with probiotics in it to help replenish his gut bacteria and it really did help so much.
When our gut flora is suffering, it can cause depression, anxiety, and a whole host of other mental woes. I know that if I eat sugar, I feel genuinely depressed afterwards. Not because of “breaking my diet”, not at all. (Besides, diets are bad for you, mm’kay?) It causes a really serious reaction in my body, and I’m so glad I was able to pinpoint it to sugar.
It is also important to avoid alcohol as well. Alcohol disrupts the body’s ability to detox from any toxins we have taken in.
Some things you can incorporate into your diet to really help your gut flora are kefir, kombucha, and bone broth. Since I started drinking kefir earlier this year, I have not caught a cold once, and I normally get severe bronchitis twice a year!
7. Give a Hug, Get a Hug
We humans need physical touch. Paul Zak, a neuroconomist said in his TED Talk that a 20-second hug with someone you love has been shown to produce oxytocin, the “happiness hormone”. Make it a point to hug the ones you love. It’s good for them, too.
Who knew that so much of our health depended on proper hormone function? Try some of these tips to see if you start to feel a difference within a week. I’m willing to bet you won’t just feel better, but you will feel AMAZING.