06 Dec How to keep your hormones happy
6 Dec 2017
Our hormones are chemical messengers that are vital for the functioning of every system in the body. Our body is always working to keep us well, but our modern diet and lifestyle aren’t supportive of hormone health and balance. This can lead to the rise of various conditions including endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome and thyroid dysfunction. But don’t despair! There is so much that can be done to support hormone health in both men and women!
Eat a wholefoods diet
It sounds too simple, but eating a diet rich in fresh, wholefoods is one of the most supportive things you can do for hormone health. Focus on an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables (particularly the leafy green variety which aid in the clearance of excess hormones). Also focus on quality protein, and aim to have some with each meal and snack. This will help keep your blood sugars (and therefore insulin) stable. Quality sources include meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy (if tolerated), nuts and seeds, tofu and legumes . Top tip: consume organic animal products where possible. Also, minimise sugar, alcohol and processed foods. These can deplete us of many nutrients – including B vitamins and magnesium, which are required for the production of many hormones. Looking for some yummy recipes? Try our nourishing chicken soup or this choc chia pudding.
Relax and unwind
We live in such a fast paced and full on world. Many people work long hours, have family commitments, social commitments, exercise at a high level or are constantly stimulated by media and information. All of these things can be amazing and exciting. But not taking the time to relax and unwind can seriously throw out our hormone balance. Cortisol, our key stress hormone, is incredibly important in the short term. However, the reality of our modern life is that we are exposed to it LONG term and in large amounts. Excess cortisol can lead to things such as weight gain (particularly around the middle), poor immunity, mood disturbances, inflammation, and menstrual irregularities. More and more research is pointing towards stress (whether consciously perceived or not) being a driver behind many chronic health conditions. But you don’t have to sit on a rock and meditate to relax – find something that works for you! Read a book, take a bath, go for a walk or have a good laugh with a loved one. Aim to do something each day that gives you a moment of stillness and joy. This is great for hormone health.
Minimise toxic exposure
While our bodies are incredibly capable and able to detoxify, there is much we can do to reduce this burden. This is especially true if we are already suffering from poor hormone health and imbalances. One key change that you can implement is assessing your cosmetics and body products. Research has found that many chemicals contained in commercial body products are endocrine disruptors. This means that they can mimic or block the action of our own hormones. Thankfully there are so many natural alternatives available today! Websites such as Nourished Life have an incredible selection, as do most health food stores. Also, reduce the use of plastic food containers and water bottles. These have been shown to leach xenoestrogens which can further imbalance our hormones. Opt for glass or stainless steel – particularly for reheating food.
Specific herbs and supplements
There is so much that can be done through herbal medicine and nutritional supplementation to support hormone health. Focusing on the liver and appropriate elimination are key, as well as including specific remedies for your individual needs. Don’t forget herbal teas too! Spearmint tea is great for PCOS. Licorice is amazing when there has been a period of prolonged stress. Dandelion root tea is fantastic for liver support. And good old green tea offers antioxidants as well as helping to reduce excess oestrogen.
Ultimately, there is no one size fits all approach. Simply give your body the building blocks it needs, support channels of elimination, and minimise barriers to appropriate hormone production and clearance. You’ll be well on your way to happier and healthier hormones!
You can also book an appointment with us to help give your health and wellbeing a good boost.