05 Dec How to balance your hormones naturally
A poor diet, bad habits and stress are the most common causes of hormonal imbalance. Learn to balance your hormones naturally by changing your habits!
Hormones are chemical substances that act as messengers of the body. They circulate through the blood to organs and tissues to control various functions, such as metabolism, development and reproduction. They also have the power of affecting your mood!
For all these reasons, it is very important for our well-being to have balanced hormones. Hormonal imbalances produce very varied symptoms, both physical and emotional. The most common are (1):
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Mood changes, irritability, anxiety, depression, stress
- Unexplained weight changes
- Sleep disorders
- Variable appetite
- Digestive problems
- Loss or weak hair
How to balance your hormones naturally
If you experience symptoms of hormonal imbalance, it’s important to regulate your hormones in order to recover your well-being. You can regain hormonal balance by changing your eating habits and lifestyle. Here are some tips.
- Eat healthy fats
Good fats or essential fatty acids are necessary to produce hormones, and since our body does not generate them, we must eat them!
Omega-6 and Omega-3 are healthy fats. Our body needs both of them, but it is important to balance the amount we eat so that they function correctly. The correct ratio should be between 1:1 and 4:1 (Omega-6: Omega-3), but the reality is that the standard diet has much more Omega-6, with an average ratio of 20:1. (two)
The poor proportion between these two fats causes health problems, such as hormonal imbalance. Therefore, a natural way to balance your hormones is taking proportions in your diet into account (2).
- Foods with more omega-6: the biggest sources are vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil and margarines. Also legumes, seeds and nuts. (and avocados.)
- Foods with more omega-3: blue fish (sardines, salmon, tuna …), chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, seaweed, farm eggs, coconut oil and olive oil.
The easiest way of helping your body achieve this balance is to eliminate or reduce processed foods from your diet since they are the main sources of omega-6. And at the same time, eat more foods rich in Omega-3. We recommend you to include chia seeds in your diet and avocado since it’s a great source of these fatty acids, with extra content, such as vitamins, minerals, fibers; and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. (3)
- Powerful herbs
Plants that have healing properties and help our body adapt to its environment (stress, fatigue …) are called adaptogenic herbs. You can use a lot of them for hormonal imbalances! These are some (4):
- Basil: it stabilizes and reduces the levels of cortisol (the hormone that causes stress) that has effects on the thyroid, ovaries and pancreas.
- Turmeric: it benefits the male and female sex hormones.
- Maca: it can help improve menstrual disorders, libido and fertility.
- Salvia: it has a high estrogenic content. It is recommended in cases of menstrual problems and during menopause.
- Parsley: it regulates the menstrual cycle and it is rich in iron and vitamin C.
- Reduce your stress levels
Stress creates a hormone called cortisol, which blocks estrogen when there’s too much in our body. This is one example of imbalance. In addition, the decrease of estrogens in women changes the mood. Breathing, meditation, yoga … Find your way to avoid stress!
- Avoid toxic products
Many products of our daily life have synthetic chemical substances that can alter our health and hormonal balance. Packaging, foods, cosmetic products, cleaning products …
This is difficult to control, but you can reduce the possible effects by using more natural and ecological products.
- Increase organic foods
- Avoid personal hygiene products with parabens. Studies show that parabens found in deodorants and other cosmetics can migrate to the breast tissue contributing to the development of tumors. (5)
- Use natural and organic cosmetics and hygiene products.
- Replace the aluminium with glass and stainless steel to avoid the negative effects of BPA (bisphenol A). Be careful, BPA can also migrate from plastics to the food they’ve been in contact with! (6)
- Do light exercises
If you are going through a hormonal imbalance, an intense exercise routine can make the problem worse in a short term (since it can increase cortisol levels). Do light exercises, especially cardio. This will help your body release chemical substances that improve your mood and fight the emotional effects of hormonal imbalance.
- Sleep well
During your sleep the body recovers and releases a lot of hormones. It has been shown that various hormones and metabolic processes are affected by the quality of sleep and rhythms. Consequently, the lack of sleep or sleeping poorly is associated with an increased risk of obesity, overweight and diabetes. (7)
If you do not sleep well try to find the cause to improve your sleep: improve the environment, reduce stress, create habits that help you fall asleep…
- Reduce caffeine
Caffeine alters the way your brain produces hormones (2). It can also increase stress hormones and impair the sleep cycle, which makes our balance worse.
- Avoid hormonal contraceptives
Hormonal contraceptives such as pills or the vaginal ring increase estrogen levels significantly, causing an imbalance. If you decide to use hormonal contraceptives, inform yourself about the adverse effects and try to compensate them.
Take control of your body and your mood with these tips to balance hormones. If you suffer severe hormonal imbalances or you don’t improve with these natural methods, go see your doctor because he can find the cause of the problem and decide the best treatment. To take care of yourself is to love yourself!
- Hormone.org. (2017). Women’s Hormone Health, Female Hormone Resource | Hormone.org. [online] Available at: http://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].
- AP, S. (2017). The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].
- Andrew M. Seaman, R. and Andrew M. Seaman, R. (2017). Comer aguacate a diario le ayuda a reducir su colesterol “malo”. [online] Scientific American – Español. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/espanol/noticias/reuters/comer-aguacate-a-diario-le-ayuda-a-reducir-su-colesterol-malo/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].
- Dr. Axe. (2017). 7 Steps to Balance Hormones Naturally – Dr. Axe. [online] Available at: https://draxe.com/10-ways-balance-hormones-naturally/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].
- P, H. (2004). Endocrine disrupters and human health: could oestrogenic chemicals in body care cosmetics adversely affect breast cancer incidence in women? – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15211609 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].
- Blog Conasi. (2014). ¿Qué es el Bisfenol A (BPA)? Conoce todos los riesgos. [online] Available at: https://www.conasi.eu/blog/consejos-de-salud/bisfenol-a-bpa/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].
- Kim, T., Jeong, J. and Hong, S. (2015). The Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disturbance on Hormones and Metabolism. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377487/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2017].