Hormones in our bodies as a whole affects our physical, mental, and emotional health. With modern day’s fast paced chaotic lifestyle, hormonal imbalances have become increasingly common. Usually, our endocrine glands produce the correct amount but stress, diet, and age can disrupt that. Hormones have many functions; they are responsible for complex processes such as metabolism, fertility, and growth. They also affect your immune system, sleep, and even your behavior.
Thankfully you can balance your hormones by living a healthier lifestyle and nutrient rich diet. Below I will explain some ways you can balance them out.
- Avoiding refined sugar and carbs:
Diets that are high in refined sugars and or carbs tend to increase insulin resistance so by avoiding or keeping these to a minimum in your diet, you can decrease your insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Especially try to avoid liquid sugars, like sugary beverages, because those seem to be the worst form of sugar.
- Learning how to handle stress:
When you are stressed you increase the amount of adrenaline in your system and the amount of cortisol. Cortisol helps your body cope with long term stress and adrenaline is known as the fight or flight hormone giving your body a surge of energy to cope with short term stress. However, chronic stress causes cortisol to remain elevated which could lead to increased amount of fat in your abdomen and could cause excessive caloric intake.
- Adding healthy fats into your diet:
Incorporating these healthy fats (medium-chain triglycerides) could help to reduce insulin resistance and help with appetite control. These MCT’s are used immediately for energy use by the liver. Examples areà coconut oil and palm oil. An addition to these healthy fats to your meals will release a hormone telling your body that you are full and satisfied.
Getting enough good quality sleep is a very important factor when it comes to hormonal balance. Low quality sleep can affect many different essential hormones such as insulin, cortisol, growth hormone, ghrelin, and leptin. The goal you should strive for is 7 hours of high quality sleep (no TV in the background or phone sounds going off).
These are just a few ways that you can naturally balance out your hormones. I find that these are some of the easier ways to balance them, so they could be what you start out doing and see if you can notice a positive change.