Think about how you would describe yourself. Your height, hair color, complexion, stature -- all of these things are regulated by your hormones. As we go through the various physical stages of life, the levels of different hormones within our bodies begin to change and can lead to changes in our appearance and how we feel. But there are ways to help you keep everything in balance.
What Are Hormones?
Hormones are chemicals produced by different organs in the body. They travel throughout the body in the bloodstream to take part in various processes throughout the body. There are several different hormones, but if you're experiencing symptoms such as weight gain, acne, changes in mood, fluctuations in body temperature or fatigue, these hormones may be out of balance:
Sex hormones -- Estrogen and testosterone support proper physical development and fertility. When out of balance, they can cause symptoms like acne, facial hair growth in women, hot flashes and mood swings.
Serotonin -- Called the happy hormone, serotonin helps you stay positive and relaxed. A decrease in this hormone may cause symptoms of depression.
Cortisol -- Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is released when you're under stress or experiencing anxiety. Too much cortisol can make you gain weight.
Melatonin -- This hormone is triggered by changes in light at night to help your body fall asleep. If you're experiencing fatigue, you may be deficient in melatonin, which could lead to poor sleep.
There are lots of other hormones that all need to remain in balance to help you look and feel your best and keep the body operating as it should. So, how do you maintain that balance?
How to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
You don't have to go right for hormone replacement medications to get your body back in sync. Here are some changes you can make in your routine to encourage proper hormone production. The results will be noticeable on the outside as well as the inside:
1. Get as much sleep as possible. Aim for at least seven hours per night of undisturbed sleep. It may require changing up your routine, but it's worth it.
2. Add more cruciferous vegetables to your diet, such as broccoli and brussels sprouts which promote estrogen metabolism.
3. Make sure to include healthy fats and omega-3 essential fatty acids into your diet. Coconut oil and olive oil are the best options for cooking and dressing food.
4. Avoid too much caffeine, especially soda, which is loaded with excess calories and artificial ingredients anyway.
5. Consider adding evening primrose oil to your routine, which contains omega-6 essential fatty acids to support hormone balance plus healthy hair, skin and nails.
6. Cut back on the refined sugar. Try swapping out your dessert for fresh berries or make a smoothie with them to get antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits as well. They also provide fiber.
7. Switch to whole grains from white flour breads as well as white rice and pasta.
8. Keep your stress in check, which can cause spikes in the hormone cortisol, which can trigger weight gain.
9. Exercise regularly, with a combination of cardiovascular and strength training work throughout the week.
10. Eat a colorful diet dense in fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods.
11. Buy organic, grass-fed meats and wild caught fish to avoid consuming excess hormones commonly used in factory farming.
12. Add some maca root powder to your morning smoothie to boost energy. It also promotes healthy libido levels.
13. Quit smoking.
14. Be mindful of what you put on your body, like cosmetics and and bath and beauty items. Look for products that are natural, organic and free of preservatives.
15. Try a chasteberry supplement to combat symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) or menopause like cramping, fatigue and changes in mood.
You can find all the supplements mentioned in this post at eVitamins. Check back here for the latest health news and information. Have a good weekend!