Everyone wants to turn back the clock – back to the days when it seemed like you could do anything and your body was radiant with youth. We start to notice aging most on the outside: little wrinkles start to show up on our faces, hair loses its body. But other things start to fluctuate too.
That’s right. I’m talking about hormones.
Hormones – such as insulin, estrogen, testosterone, and adrenaline – are “chemical messengers” (high school chemistry, am I right?) that circulate through your bloodstream to organs and tissues all throughout your body.
Hormones handle everything from tissue repair to how our immune system responds to threats. These hormones can affect your weight and your mood, fluctuating seemingly with the seasons; and they have a part to play in just about every bodily process imaginable.
Most people, understandably, turn to prescription medications to keep their hormones balanced and under control; however, most of the time these chemical adjustments simply mask the issue and actually increase risk for other serious conditions such as stroke or anxiety.
I’m here to tell you there’s another way.
The endocrine system, while extremely complex, can be affected and partly managed by making changes to one very simple thing: your diet.
Here are some ways you can adjust your diet in order to boost and enhance your body’s ability to regulate its hormones, naturally:
1) Avoid Harmful Chemicals – Chemicals found in household cleaners, plastics and pesticides can do some serious damage to your health. Do everything you can to avoid these triggers by cooking in glass or cast iron only, using organic products in your home, and getting rid of toxins in your life.
2) Cut the Caffeine – There is a reason women are encouraged to avoid caffeine when pregnant. Caffeine can do a lot of harm to your endocrine system, especially if you’re already stressed or dealing with other imbalances.
3) Get Enough Sleep – Sleep is the one time that your body has a chance to recharge. While you are asleep, your body gets busy removing toxins, recharging muscles and the mind and creating new, happy hormones. If you cut your sleep short, you’re cutting this process short. Here are some tips to get back to sleep if you’re tossing and turning.
4) Eat More Healthy Fats and Nutrients – The body is always in need of healthy, Omega-3 fatty acids. For this reason, coconut oil is incredibly beneficial to hormone health. Look for good fats in foods like avocado, olive oil, animal fats, eggs, raw dairy, and seafood. Avoid bad oils like canola oil and vegetable oil and opt for coconut oil, real butter, or olive oil instead!
5) Exercise – Just like Elle Woods used to say, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!” It’s important to note that in the short term, for a person with hormone imbalance, extended exercise (like long bouts of cardio) is not the best. However, gentle exercise or exercise produced in short, strong bursts (like deadlifting, for example) can be beneficial! We recommend you get set up with a personal trainer to get help from if you’ve never done this type of exercise before.
As always, we highly suggest that if you are experiencing what feels like hormonal imbalance that you speak with your doctor and/or nutritionist directly.