Eating a balanced diet is essential for overall health, but especially for maintaining healthy levels of hormones. Incorporating certain foods into your daily diet can help balance hormones and improve your overall health in as little as a week. Let’s look at 8 dietary changes you can make to start feeling better in no time.
Increase intake of healthy fats
Healthy fats play an important role in helping you to balance your hormones naturally. Most women, especially those with PCOS or other hormonal imbalances, don’t consume enough healthy fats in their diet. Eating a plant-based variation of foods high in healthy fat can help you to balance hormones and promote natural weight loss:
• Olive oil – This oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids – the best type of dietary fat for balancing hormones. It’s also rich in phenolic compounds, which can prevent artery hardening and decrease inflammation. Use it for salad dressings as well as culinary purposes.
• Avocados – This fruit is high in healthy fats, fiber, sterols, oleic acid, and potassium – all essential components of balancing hormones naturally. Eat them mashed or sliced on toast or salads.
• Coconuts – Coconuts are a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which can provide energy and improve blood sugar levels while being particularly beneficial to brain health and hormone balance. Eat fresh coconut flesh or use coconut products such as coconut butter or flakes as a substitute for butter or desiccated coconut when baking treats instead of using flour-based products.
• Nuts & Seeds – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc contain essential minerals such as magnesium that are important for regulating your cortisol levels (a hormone released with stress). They are also sources of protein which makes them beneficial for improving muscle mass and strength during exercise programs aimed at balancing hormones through calorie restriction diets (CRDs). Increase your intake of nuts and seeds by adding them to mueslis/cereal bowls at breakfast time or eat them simply on their own either raw or lightly roasted with your preferred spices/herbs if desired!
Reduce processed sugar intake
Processed sugar can be problematic because it creates an imbalance in the hormones responsible for controlling hunger and cravings. Processed sugar shares similar chemical pathways with insulin and glucagon, two hormones that are integral to metabolic activity.
So, when eating a higher quantity of processed sugar, insulin becomes less effective at its primary job of regulating glucose levels within the body. This causes higher levels of blood sugar, leading to increased appetite and cravings. To reduce your intake of processed sugars, begin by eliminating sugary drinks like sodas and energy drinks from your diet.
Also, minimize consumption of baked goods and candy bars. Reduce your intake of foods that contain processed sugars such as corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sucrose, fructose, and maltose. This can potentially help balance hormones resulting in a decrease in hunger and cravings so you feel better faster.
Increase intake of fiber
Including dietary fiber in your everyday meals can help to regulate hormones, improve digestion and help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Foods like fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, whole grains, and nuts are all excellent sources of dietary fiber.
Be careful not to fill up on processed foods such as white bread or cereals that have had the bran and germ removed during processing as these will offer little benefit for hormone regulation.
Aim for about 25-35 grams of dietary fiber every day though this can vary depending on age and activity level. Eating a balanced diet filled with healthy complex carbs will help stabilize your blood glucose levels and energy fatigue associated with hormonal imbalances.
Exercise is a great way to naturally improve your hormonal balance. Regular exercise can help reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar levels, both of which can have a positive effect on hormones. Furthermore, it produces endorphins, which are known to be feel-good hormones, contributing to a better overall mood. Let’s take a closer look at how exercising can help balance your hormones.
Incorporate moderate-intensity exercise
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to help balance your hormones. Incorporating 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, or biking at least three times per week has been shown to affect hormones such as insulin and cortisol positively.
Incorporating strength training exercises such as squats, deadlifts, chest presses, and rows twice a week will help to increase lean muscle mass and boost metabolism. These exercises help create an overall environment more conducive to hormone balance.
It is important to note that too much strenuous exercise can have a negative effect on hormones by producing too much cortisol. When trying to bring your hormones into balance, it is important not to go overboard with high-intensity exercises such as sprinting or long sprint workouts (50 minutes-1 hour).
Additionally, pay attention to your stress levels during this time and if necessary take frequent breaks or reduce the intensity of the exercise in order for cortisol levels not to become too elevated. Taking time throughout the day for relaxation activities can also have positive effects on hormone levels, further aiding in their regulation.
Increase strength training
Strength training is a great way to increase your muscle mass, burn fat, and balance hormones. Many of the physiological changes that come with aging can be prevented or even reversed through strength-training exercises.
Doing some type of full-body resistance training two to three times per week will help turn back the hormonal clock, prevent and even reverse muscle loss, assist in protecting against osteoporosis, and much more. Even if you’re just starting out, all you need is a set of dumbbells and squats to get a full-body workout in the comfort of your home.
For an added challenge, you can try using your own body resistance for exercises like pushups, planks, bridges, and pull-ups. Adding vibrational platforms to your routine can enhance results by increasing blood flow throughout your workout. Whatever exercises you choose, remember to work at 70-80% intensity so that you still challenge yourself but don’t overexert yourself
Incorporate yoga and stretching
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, and it can help you balance your hormones. Incorporating yoga and stretching into your exercise routine can help you to relax and reduce stress hormones.
Yoga is a great way to increase flexibility in the body, strengthen muscles, and relax the mind. You don’t have to practice every day in order to see improvements; even 15 minutes a few times a week can have an impact on your overall health.
Regular yoga and stretching classes are offered at most fitness centers and local parks, but also consider trying online classes or streaming workout videos from YouTube if you don’t want to leave the house. There are plenty of free workouts available for beginners or for those with more advanced skills.
In order for your body to stay healthy, it needs proper nutrition as well as regular movement. Making sure that you are incorporating cardiovascular workouts (such as running, cycling, or swimming) into your routine at least three times a week is important for improving cardiovascular efficiency and metabolism — two key factors in hormone balance and overall health.
Try to vary your workouts so that they don’t become too monotonous; by changing up what you do during each session, you will help keep things interesting while continuing to challenge yourself mentally and physically.
Maintaining a healthy body and mind is essential for keeping our hormones in balance. One way to do this is through effective stress management. Learning to reduce stress levels and manage stress triggers can help us stay focused, relaxed, and productive. Here are 8 tips on how to manage stress and start feeling better in as little as a week.
Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is a powerful tool that can be used to reduce your body’s physical and emotional reactions to stress. This technique encourages mindful, slow, deep breaths as a way to increase the amount of oxygen in your lungs and muscles and help ease tension.
Deep breathing can also be used to activate the “relaxation response” — a physiological state of deep rest observed after giving away stress through controlled breathing.
To practice deep breathing: find a comfortable position and close your eyes; take slow, deep breaths through your nose; imagine all the tensions melting away from your body with every inhale and exhale; focus on positive thoughts or feelings; remain in this position for several minutes until you feel relaxed.
It may take some practice getting used to but start small and you’ll soon find that incorporating regular deep breathing as part of your stress management routine will benefit your mind and body.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment without judging yourself or your thoughts. It involves recognizing thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them, allowing you to deal with difficult experiences without becoming overwhelmed. Mindfulness has been found to reduce stress and improve physical and mental health.
To practice mindfulness, start by finding a comfortable position with your back straight and closing your eyes if desired. Notice how your body feels and concentrate on your breath as it moves in and out of your body.
Observe any thoughts that arise but do not judge or react to them; simply let them float away. Meditate for as long as you like — even a few minutes can be helpful — then open your eyes, sit up straight and take note of any insight gained from the experience.
Get adequate sleep
For most adults, adequate sleep means seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Getting enough good quality sleep helps to improve physical and mental performance and boosts mood. Regularly going to bed and getting up at the same times can help your body adjust its internal clock or circadian rhythm, and result in better quality rest.
Additionally, it’s important to practice good sleep hygiene and create an environment that is conducive to good rest; this includes avoiding screens one hour before bedtime, having a relaxing pre-bedtime routine (such as journaling or reading a book), keeping your bedroom cool, dark, quiet and free from distractions like pets or electronic devices.
When it comes to balancing hormones, supplements can be a great way to help you feel better and get the energy you need. There are several natural supplements out there that can help with hormone regulation and the health of your endocrine system. In this section we will discuss the different types of supplements and what they can do for your hormones.
Probiotics are live bacteria found in both fermentable and fermentable foods that can help balance hormones. They are naturally occurring within the body’s microbiome. The microbiome is a vast network of bacteria, fungi, and other organisms that line the inside of the digestive tract.
It is responsible for breaking down food and absorbing nutrients, as well as defending us against bacteria and viruses.
Because diet plays a large role in biological health, evidence suggests that probiotics can be beneficial to hormone balance, because they’re helping to increase beneficial gut flora which regulates healthy hormones. Probiotics products come in capsules packed with helpful bacteria and yeast ready to colonize the gut microbiome.
Research suggests that probiotic-rich foods not only improve digestive health but can also benefit moods and fight inflammation associated with skin conditions or fatigue by boosting overall immunity. Plus it may reduce symptoms associated with PMS or menopause such as bloating or breasts tenderness.
Consider adaptogenic herbs
Adaptogenic herbs are natural substances that have been used for many centuries, particularly in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, to help the body adapt to stress. These herbs contain natural chemicals that help balance hormones and improve your immune system and energy level.
Many are quite effective in supporting the endocrine system and helping it to balance hormones even under conditions of physical or emotional stress. Examples of adaptogenic herbs include ashwagandha, holy basil, rhodiola, maca root, and astragalus.
Adding one or more of these calming herbs to your diet can help keep your hormones balanced so you can better manage stress levels. As with any natural supplement, speak with a professional before using one as some may interact with medications or other supplements you are taking.
Consider omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be taken in through food or supplements. Fish oil is a great source of omega-3s, which may help to balance hormones naturally. It’s also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
If your diet already contains foods high in omega-3s, like salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and spinach, it might not be necessary to take a supplement. However, if your diet does not include these foods regularly it can be beneficial to consider taking a daily supplement.
For example, if you don’t eat fish regularly then you may want to buy an Omega 3-6-9 supplement that contains EPA and DHA from fish oil, as well as GLA from borage seed oil. Taking an omega-3 supplement can also benefit those with diabetes and metabolic syndrome by helping lower triglyceride levels in the bloodstream.
Maintaining hormone balance is essential for overall physical, mental, and emotional health. Making small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on balancing hormones and improving your overall well-being. In this article, we will discuss 8 strategies that you can start using today to begin balancing hormones and feeling better in as little as a week.
Reduce exposure to environmental toxins
Reducing the number of environmental toxins in your environment can help to balance hormones naturally. Avoiding products with chemicals, such as pesticides, insecticides, air fresheners, plastics, and other items that contain BPA or phthalates, can help to reduce exposure to these harmful contaminants.
As much as possible, use natural products instead of synthetic ones and look for cruelty-free choices when shopping. Use natural cleaners around the house and avoid wearing perfume or cologne with artificial fragrances. Furthermore, try not to smoke or consume alcohol; both substances can interfere with healthy hormone levels.
Consider switching to a filter for your shower head if you live in an area where the water is not clean or contains large amounts of chlorine. Additionally, limit your exposure to digital devices that emit blue light from screens since this can disrupt hormones at night.
Taking care when using cosmetics on your skin is another important aspect of reducing toxic exposures in the home and on the body.
Increase exposure to natural light
Getting a regular dose of natural sunlight is essential for enabling your body to regulate hormones effectively. Melatonin, which helps promote healthy sleep patterns, is released into your bloodstream in response to periods of darkness. You can facilitate this process during the day by exposing yourself to natural light: draws curtains or blinds open in the morning and spending time outside when possible throughout the day.
If outdoor activities are not an option for you, make sure that you get plenty of exposure to bright, artificial light when indoors. Light therapy lamps use spectrum lighting to mimic natural sunlight and help your body process melatonin more effectively at night.
Science has shown that daily 15-30 minute sessions on these special devices can improve mood over time as well as help with hormone balance. Similarly, candlelight therapy utilizes dim lighting in the evening (typically 45 minutes before bedtime) to reduce stress and support restful sleep.
Practice self-care activities
A simple but important step in balancing hormones is to practice self-care activities. Self-care should be an important part of everyone’s life, but it can be especially beneficial when it comes to addressing physical and mental health issues caused by imbalanced hormones. Taking the time to relax, meditate, exercise, or engage in a hobby are all examples of activities that can restore balance and get your body back on track.
Setting aside an allotted amount of time for yourself each day may seem like a daunting task if you’re busy with work, family, or other commitments; however, planning for self-care will make it easier to prioritize. When looking for activities that help you de-stress and relax try:
-Taking baths with essential oils like lavender and cedarwood
-Doing puzzles or reading books
It’s also worthwhile cutting out digital distractions for these precious moments away from technology where possible – with research suggesting this can help us take back control of our lives from devices that demand more attention than we are aware of.
Finally although catching up with friends may not seem directly related – prioritizing quality social interaction will benefit your overall health journey.