A survey of 2.000 women aged between 30 and 60 found that around 47% of them have experienced symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
That’s practically half of the sample.
Sadly, 72% of the woman with symptoms understood the cause of their symptoms much later.
This means that the vast majority of us recognize the problem with our hormonal balance only when our body sends us a strong signal.
Although people are generally aware of the importance of hormonal balance for our health, most of us take it for granted.
In most cases, we remember the importance of our hormones only when the imbalance starts showing highly tangible effects on our bodies.
I guess this is how we normally absorb information on aspects of our health, which are highly significant but not easily perceivable.
Therefore, it is essential that we start changing our mindset and begin working on our hormonal balance proactively.
As mentioned above, it is not necessary to explain to most people why it is important to have our hormones in balance.
Nonetheless, the study mentioned above just demonstrates how dormant we have become.
This doesn’t have to be like this.
With just a few healthy habits, we can significantly improve our overall health by bringing our hormones into equilibrium.
I’m bringing to you 8 simple guidelines for balancing your hormones in a purely natural way.
As the main source of amino acids, proteins are one of the essential factors influencing our hormonal balance.
The intake of proteins and consequently amino acids into our body allows us to produce certain hormones like insulin, estrogen, and thyroid hormone.
Therefore, it is crucial to regularly enrich your body with nutrients with a high level of proteins.
However, one must be very careful when choosing his source of protein, as proteins from different sources can have a different impact on your hormonal balance. (*)
This is especially true in reference to different ways how men and women process proteins.
For example, certain sources of proteins, like meat, can stimulate constipation or bloating in women, leading to overproduction of estrogen and consequently hormonal imbalance.
Especially grain-fed, hormone-injected red meat can lead to an overload of estrogen.
Instead, a much better source of proteins, especially for women, would be local unprocessed food, like nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and other cleaner sources of proteins.
Such nutrients will keep you metabolically healthy and balanced when it comes to hormones, particularly estrogen.
Another hormone that is highly influenced by proteins is the thyroid hormone.
However, not all protein sources have a positive impact on it, for example, protein sources that contain gluten and fish rich in mercury, like tuna, swordfish, and shark.
On the other hand, a gluten-free diet as well as sources of marine protein like Alaskan salmon, trout, sardines, herring, catfish, crab, oysters, lobster, shrimp, and others, can have a positive impact on thyroid hormone. (*)
And finally, let’s not forget insulin!
To stabilize blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, including enough fiber in our meal is imperative.
This is another case where a plant-based diet has an edge over meat, as it contains far more fiber, which operates as a regulator of our blood sugar.
So, to sum up, eat more proteins, but be highly careful of the source, especially if you’re a woman!
Besides a quality diet, regular exercising is very important for our hormonal balance.
A half an hour of Pilates per day can do wonders not only for your looks but also for your hormonal balance.
However, as in the case of proteins, we must be very careful when it comes to the intensity of exercising.
The reason behind this is the fact that there is a difference in how different types of exercise impact our hormones.
Insulin, cortisol, and estrogen are the hormones that stimulate weight gain, while testosterone, progesterone, and HGH (Human growth hormone) help us remain lean.
Therefore, it is essential to plan your exercise in accordance with your hormonal balance.
For example, HIIT training can improve our levels of testosterone and HGH but can in turn have a negative effect on our cortisol level, a hormone that is produced in response to stress and low blood sugar.
If we do HIIT training when already under stress and with a high level of cortisol, we can further boost our cortisol into imbalance.
As a result of an excess level of cortisol, an extreme level of appetite can occur.
On the other hand, LIIT (which stands for Low-Intensity Interval Training) is a more holistic approach to working out. If you want to tone your body, burn fat, but keep the level of your cortisol low, try Tone & Burn LIIT method program in online studio Pilatesness.
RELATED: How to start exercising at Home
Another great way to balance your hormones is the regular use of green tea.
Chemicals within green tea are known to have a very strong effect on fighting hormonal imbalance, especially in the case of women.
As women are more prone to hormonal imbalance, due to different psychological processes they are subject to, a cup of green tea per day can do wonders for them.
There are several reasons why green tea is great for the hormonal balance of women.
Firstly, green tea is rich in ECG (Epicatechin gallate), a chemical that has a positive effect on cells in the pancreas, which are producing insulin.
With balancing insulin production, green tea has a direct effect on keeping our blood sugar in equilibrium.
Secondly, green tea possesses another powerful chemical polyphenol, which is great at regulating the level of estrogen in the female body.
By helping keep our estrogen level in balance, regular consumption of green tea helps us reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Thirdly, green tea has an impact on progesterone levels, which is an essential female sex hormone important for regulating menstruation.
This is especially important if you are planning pregnancy, as increased progesterone boosts your chances of getting pregnant.
Furthermore, at the same time with increasing your level of progesterone, green tea has also a decreasing effect on testosterone.
For women, this is a very beneficial effect, as it reduces conditions like hirsutism, and excessive men-like hair on the face, chest, and back.
Finally, green tea is considered to be the strongest antioxidant among teas, canceling out the effect of free radicals.
By reducing free radicals, green tea has a positive effect on slowing down the aging process and fighting off different diseases, like Alzheimer’s or diabetes.
Therefore, don’t forget to support your hormonal balance with a cup of green tea in the morning!
By positively influencing our hormonal balance, a good night sleep has a very strong effect on our overall health.
On the other hand, a hormonal imbalance can also be a reason for our poor sleep quality.
An adequate sleep is highly important for literally every hormone our endocrine system is producing.
Our circadian rhythm is the one that dictates the release of nearly every hormone essential for proper functioning of our bodies.
It is exactly this sleep-wake cycle that regulates our hormones naturally and boosts our immune system.
7 to 9 hours of sleep is what is considered to be the required amount of sleep to hold our hormones in natural balance.
On one hand, as a hormone that helps regulate other hormones in our body, cortisol is regulated directly by the amount of sleep.
A disrupted sleep can lead to an increased level of cortisol when you wake up, reducing you level of thyroid hormone and disrupting the balance between estrogen and progesterone.
Furthermore, a reduced sleep can also have a negative effect on hormones regulating our appetite.
As hormones responsible for hunger, fat storage and regulation blood sugar, insulin, leptin and ghrelin can be negatively affected by reduced sleep.
So, don’t forget to regularly treat your body and mind with a good night sleep!
Although we are not always aware of it, we are all prone to having mood swings and energy highs and downs from time to time.
We usually assign these changes to the influence of the environment on our daily life, but this is often not the only reason for such mood and energy fluctuations.
Through a strong influence on our hormonal balance, added sugar can also have a tremendous influence on our mood and energy.
Increased intake of added sugar is responsible for the uncontrolled increase of insulin, the hormone which stimulates all other hormones in the human body.
An insulin spike can lead to a drop in globulin (SHBG), a protein that binds sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. (*)
SHBG sticks to excess estrogen and testosterone in the blood and its drop results in the increase of these two hormones.
Furthermore, by increasing testosterone, which is further transformed into estrogen through fat cells in our belly, insulin also affects the ratio between estrogen and progesterone.
Progesterone is the hormone responsible for keeping us calm and in good mood and if he is in imbalance with estrogen, this can lead to anxiety and insomnia.
All these effects demonstrate how destructive an impact of added sugar on our hormonal balance can be, through the boost of insulin.
And another important point to remember, these symptoms get even more devastating for women reaching menopause.
Abolishing all sugar from your diet is next to impossible, but a good alternative is more than possible.
Therefore, whenever you crave some refined sweets, try to think of what it does to your hormonal balance and try to move your desire towards some fruits!
Fibers are also another natural promoter of hormonal balance!
And this is especially noticeable in the case of women!
The reason for this is the positive effect fibers have on our level of estrogen, by helping it to balance on the proper level.
As already mentioned above, excess estrogen can be the reason for several serious symptoms, especially in women.
Our bodies get rid of excess estrogen when we go to the toilet and as fiber promotes digestion, it also helps balance our level of estrogen.
Decreased sex drive, irregular periods, tenderness and swelling of breasts, anxiety, fatigue, weight gain, bloating, mood swings, could all be symptoms of excess estrogen level.
Therefore, it is important to include the right amount of fiber in every meal.
However, it is also important to dose it properly, as excessive intake of fiber also has its drawback, as fiber also includes a lot of calories.
The best sources of fiber are seeds, nuts, beans, whole grains, most fruits, and vegetables like carrots, beets, and artichokes.
What is also important is that your intake of fiber is supported by the corresponding amount of water, as fiber requires water to be processed properly in our bodies.
Include a proper amount of fiber in every meal, but don’t forget to keep it tasty!
You would be surprised how many tasty groceries are very rich in fiber, contrary to popular belief.
Dark chocolate would be one of the best examples!
Contrary to popular belief, fat must not always be bad for our health, as it can serve as a promoter of hormonal balance.
As we have been bombed over years with low-fat diets, we have completely taken out of consideration the benefits that intake of fats brings.
Low-fat diets can result in hormonal imbalance, as fats are essential for the proper functioning of our endocrine system.
The human brain, which is responsible for the production of hormones and their routing, is up to 60% made of fat. (*)
Furthermore, the supply of cells with hormones is dependable on fat, as fat is essential for cell membranes to work properly.
Fat is also beneficial for balancing insulin and blood sugar production, as well as for absorbing vitamins A, D, E, and K.
What needs to be taken into consideration here is that there are different types of fats and that they always come together.
Without going too much into the scientific background, what is essential for our hormones is that we promote intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, the so-called “healthy fats”.
Through the intake of animal products and vegetables, we are generally sufficiently supplied with Omega 6, while Omega 3 can be found in different types of fish, nuts, and seeds.
Therefore, a good way to promote hormonal balance would be to increase intake of these products, especially those rich in Omega 3, which are fewer to find.
And finally, one of the most common and trickiest reasons for hormonal imbalance is STRESS!
Particularly in the case of women, regardless of age, stress can cause very serious disorders.
What is even more tricky, is that symptoms of hormonal imbalance resulting from stress are often very hard to detect.
Some of the most common symptoms of stress-related hormonal imbalance are sudden weight gain, mood swings, leg cramps, and hot flashes.
However, stress can influence women’s hormonal balance so intensively, to even result in symptoms like anxiety, depression, memory loss, and brain fog.
The background for this lies in the fact that extreme stress triggers also uncontrollably high production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Cortisol, as mentioned above, has an effect on all other hormones in our endocrine system, and is therefore critical for our hormonal balance.
This all leads to the simple conclusion that stress management is critical for our hormonal balance!
If we do not proactively influence the level of stress we are exposed to, we can easily get trapped by our daily life routines and absorb too much stress.
Therefore, we need to counteract the stress absorbed every day, by proactively working on stress relief.
Remember, if you don’t think about yourself and your well-being, no one is going to do that for you.
Also, if you are not good enough for yourself, you will not be good enough for the people you care about!
Include in your weekly, if possible, even daily routine some activity which will relax you and improve your mood.
Pilates, hiking, swimming, running, but even non-sportive activities, like movies, concerts, or gastronomy, whatever pleases your heart and mind!
Although most of us are aware of the above-mentioned factors that influence our hormonal balance, we still tend to be passive when it comes to this probably most important aspect of our health.
For some of us, it seems not easy to abandon some bad habits, but we should all ask ourselves if it’s really that hard?
Just try to memorize these tips and think about the benefits they bring long-term.
I think most of you will recognize how few healthy habits can do wonders for your hormonal balance, which in turn can make wonder about the quality of your life!