Updated: Nov 9, 2021
So you’ve been trying to get make healthy changes for a while now. Every time you get close to feeling changes in your body and seeing improvements something happens and you end up back where you started.
When I started on my own wellness journey I often associated getting healthy with going on a diet. What I learned along the way is that in order to really feel like my most energized and well self I needed to take into account any imbalances that I had going on in my body. Once you work on addressing hormone imbalances the end result is you spend your day feeling calm and energized, your skin is clear, you sleep well and you are able to reach or maintain a weight you feel good at. I could go on with what it means to have balanced hormones but I think you get the point.
Balancing hormones is complicated. But you have to start somewhere and there are three things you can start doing today to help. Give these tips a try and see if they don’t work for you too…
Lower Stress: When we are stressed, the adrenals work overtime to protect us from what they consider physical stress (even though we are not really in danger). This is our fight or flight response. It causes the adrenals to produce higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol. Because we can only produce adrenaline for a few seconds, our fight or flight response is dependent on excess cortisol, and this is where the havoc begins. Excess cortisol has been linked to depression, blood sugar problems, reproductive issues, anxiety, and weight gain around the middle.
The key is to support the health of the adrenals with foods rich in B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. Practicing meditation or deep breathing helps lower cortisol.
Tip # 2
Excess hormones like cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone all need to be detoxed out of the body. This is a key process that the liver performs to make sure we do not suffer from the excess of these hormones. Supporting the health of the liver, therefore, is critical. A milk thistle supplement helps the liver function more optimally. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale, apples, grapefruit, garlic, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, lemons, limes, and berries are just a few foods that help support the liver.
We also need good gut health to help make sure the toxins leave the body so supporting gut health is also important. This is easier said than done but it starts with adding probiotics and fermented foods such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut. Prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, potatoes, wheat, broccoli, berries, and apples, just to name a few, feed our good bacteria and help keep our gut healthy.
Balance your blood sugar. Bad eating habits and stress can cause our blood sugar to swing up and down throughout the day. When our blood sugar drops, we can experience anger, fatigue, weakness, and depression. Normally, we then receive a signal to do something such as a sugar craving or a desire for a coffee. If we respond to the craving and consume something, this will bring our blood sugar back up. Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol all cause the blood sugar to swing up high. This causes a high insulin release. And too much insulin can affect other hormones.
If we do not respond to the craving, then our adrenals send a signal to tell the liver to release stored glucose and bring up blood sugar. Blood sugar swings high and again, large amounts of insulin are released.
To keep blood sugar stable, eat small meals throughout the day with fiber and/or protein. Blood sugar stabilizing foods such as Jerusalem artichokes, cinnamon and legumes can be very helpful. Lowering stress also helps keep blood sugar stable.
These are just three simple steps. Give them a try and see the difference they can make.
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