How to Naturally Combat Hormonal Imbalances in Women
Hormones are special chemical messengers in our bodies that control most of our major bodily functions ranging from hunger to reproduction, even our emotions, and moods. Normally, your endocrine glands produce the exact amount of each hormone required; however hormonal imbalances is an issue that is becoming increasingly common in today’s world. The reason behind this is usually old age, menopause, puberty, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, or pregnancy – but sometimes stress, and medicines can be the cause as well.
If you are having more than 60% of these symptoms then you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance as well.
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Irritability and anxiety
- Mood swings
- Changes in appetite
- Increased heart rate and/or blood pressure
- Long-term fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Sleeping disorders
- Irregular periods
- Pain, stiffness, or swelling in your joints
- Decreased sex drive
- Muscle aches, tenderness, and stiffness
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- Acne breakouts
- Darkening of skin
While you should consult a doctor if you are having a lot of problems, but the mild symptoms and imbalances can be cured at home by just getting healthier. Following are some natural way to balance your hormones:
Consume Adequate Amount of Protein
Eating enough protein during every meal is necessary for your endocrine glands to work properly. Protein provides the necessary amino acids needed to maintain muscle, bone and skin health; and influences the hormones that control appetite and food intake. You should consume a minimum of 20–30 grams of protein per meal. Just include food like eggs, almonds, chicken breasts, oats, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, milk, broccoli, tuna, lean beef, quinoa, whey protein supplements, lentils, Ezekiel bread, pumpkin seeds, turkey breast, fish, shrimp, Brussels sprouts, and peanuts in your daily meal.
Eat High-Quality Natural Fats
Consuming healthy fats help in reducing insulin resistance and appetite. The liver takes up Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), unique fats, directly to use immediately as energy. Adding items like coconut oil, palm oil, pure MCT oil, dairy fats, nuts, salmon, fish oil supplement, eggs, avocados etc. can help reduce insulin resistance. Studies have also shown that consuming healthy fat can trigger the release of hormones that help you feel full and content.
Drink Green Tea
Green Tea contains metabolism-boosting caffeine along with an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – making it the healthiest beverage around. Green tea helps control insulin levels among other things and that is why is suggested to most people with obesity, diabetes, or other such issues. Drinking one to three cups a day is good for your health – whether yours is in sound condition or not.
Engaging in regular exercise can help reduce insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. A study has shown that being physically active increases levels of adiponectin, a hormone that helps regulate metabolism and has anti-inflammatory effects. Exercise also helps boost levels of muscle-maintaining hormones that decline with age. Even if you’re unable to take part in vigorous workouts, just walking regularly can increase these hormone levels. While the combination of resistant training and aerobics bear best results, physical activity on any level is beneficial.
Cortisol and adrenaline (epinephrine) are the two major hormones affected by stress. Cortisol is called “the stress hormone” as it helps you in coping with stress in the long term. Adrenaline is the “fight-or-flight” hormone that provides your body with a surge of energy in presence of imminent danger. Once upon a time, these hormones were triggered by predators. Today though, our busy and fast lifestyle does that. Introducing stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, massage, and listening to relaxing music in your daily life can help you control the cortisol hormone.
Get Proper Amount of Sleep
No amount of healthy, nutritious diet and regular exercise can help you if you don’t get consistent, high-quality sleep. Inadequate sleep has been known to decreases leptin (energy expenditure hormone) and increases hunger, ghrelin, and stress hormones. You should always aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night. This is because your brain needs uninterrupted to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle. Growth hormone is released during deep sleep as well. So, the gist is that you should log-in proper hours of sleep to keep your hormones balanced, and yourself healthy.
Avoid Overeating, Under-eating, and Sugar
Not eating properly can result in hormonal imbalances. Sugar in any form is unhealthy, especially liquid sweeteners. While overeating increases insulin level, under-eating increases cortisol levels. One should aim at eating at least 12,000 calories per day – staying within their calorie range. On the other hand, consuming unhealthy amounts of sugar contributes to insulin resistance and increased belly fat storage.
The bottom line is – Eat healthily, exercise regularly, sleep adequately; and you can fight any hormonal imbalance, obesity, or any other such diseases.