Nowadays, everyone is looking to balance their hormones and if you aren’t, you should be. Balanced hormones look like shiny hair, glowing skin, healthy sleep patterns, balanced mood, great energy, and a normal menstrual cycle, sign us up. Hormones are complicated, but nourishing them shouldn’t be.
The good news is that diet & lifestyle play a huge role in our hormone health- that’s right, that means you’re in charge. There’s no gatekeeping here, we are here to share all of our tips. But first, a quick science lesson.
Our hormones are chemical messengers made up of protein that regulate and control functions within our body and they are produced by organs and glands of our endocrine system. Hormones have a significant impact on all aspects of well-being, including our thoughts and feelings. Typically, when people talk about balancing hormones, they are referring to sex hormones however hormones regulate our growth, metabolism, stress response, mood, sleep and blood sugar, to name a few.
For any new moms out there, we see you. As your body adjusts to no longer being pregnant, it is normal for your hormone levels to shift. These hormonal changes can manifest in the form of mood swings, hot flashes and irregular periods. If this sounds like you, keep reading. We are here to give you our in and out list for balancing hormones!
- Chronic stress: Stress causes a consistent rise in cortisol from the adrenal glands and depletes nutrients needed to produce other hormones and neurotransmitters.
- Fasted workouts: Cortisol rises while we sleep. When we eat the increase in blood sugar regulates our cortisol back to its baseline however when we fast and exercise our cortisol levels remain high creating stress on our immune system and inflammation.
- Coffee before breakfast: Cortisol levels are naturally highest in the morning and gradually decrease throughout the day. Drinking coffee before breakfast can disrupt this natural pattern and lead to elevated cortisol levels throughout the day.
- Less than 8 hours of sleep: Lack of sleep can have significant impacts on hormones in the body. When you don't get enough sleep, it can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones that regulate various physiological processes.
- Plastics (BPA): There is growing concern about the potential impacts of certain chemicals in plastics on hormone health. Some studies have found that certain chemicals in plastics, such as bisphenol A (BPA), can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt endocrine function. Choose glass when possible.
- Processed foods: It’s time to ditch processed foods. Processed foods are a common source of exposure to various chemicals and additives that can have impacts on hormone health
- Tap water: The quality of your water is important! If you aren’t spending your days hunting for natural springs there is still hope. Invest in a good water filter and pass on plastic water bottles.
- Harsh cleaning chemicals & fragrance: Harsh cleaning products and fragranced products, such as air fresheners and scented candles, can contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals that can impact hormone health. Try natural scents and essential oils.
- Stress management practices: Most of us have heard the saying “The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine”, find ways to lower your stress naturally daily. Create everyday rituals such as morning meditation, journaling, or walking to proactively manage stress.
- Daily movement: Not too much and not too little. Regular physical activity that you enjoy can help regulate hormones and support the endocrine system.
- Breakfast within an hour of waking: Eating a balanced and well-timed breakfast (before your morning coffee) is crucial for setting your hormones on the right track for a day of optimal balance and production.
- Good sleep hygiene: Power down your devices, have a warm shower and dim the lights. Aim for 8-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Lack of sleep can interfere with the production of hormones like cortisol and growth hormone.
- Dry brushing: Lymphatic drainage or dry brushing supports hormone health. The lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the body, including hormones that are no longer needed. Those dry brushes aren’t just for bathroom aesthetic. Make a pre-shower ritual of giving your body a quick but gentle brush.
- Staying hydrated: Hydration plays an important role in maintaining hormone health. Try to aim for at least 8 cups of filtered water daily.
- Whole foods diet: Eating for hormone health isn’t complicated. Focus on whole foods, fibre which can help regulate hormones and reduce inflammation and protein with every meal. After all, hormones are made of protein.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a crucial role in hormone production and has a strong impact on the endocrine system, particularly the reproductive glands. Get outside and consider supplementation!
Of course, often there are factors that are out of our control that could impact our hormones. We are here to help you focus on the things within your control- diet & lifestyle. Take what you want and leave what you don’t. There is power in prevention and we are here to help you discover the lifestyle and diet habits that allow you to live your healthiest, happiest life!