Whether you’re struggling with intense hormone changes in your monthly cycle or you’re suffering from extreme hormone imbalances because of pregnancy, perimenopause or menopause, imbalanced hormones can seriously mess up both your body and your mind. Hormone replacement therapy has become incredibly common as more and more women face these issues, but there’s a lot of debate about its long term benefits and effects.
As people are becoming more aware of what goes into their bodies and the power of natural substances, many women are turning away from traditional hormone therapy. They’re turning away from medications that fix the symptoms and making big lifestyle changes that address the root causes of the issue.
Here are some changes you can make today to balance your hormones:
1. Maintain a healthy weight. Even a few pounds in the wrong direction can make a big difference when it comes to hormones. The more extra weight you have, the more likely you are to suffer an imbalance. This is because extra fat can act as an endocrine organ and create extra estrogen. The first step in eating the right way is to be mindful about the quantity and the types of food you consume.
2. Eat phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens are plant-based substances that help balance your hormones. You can find them in sunflower seeds, flax seeds, soy foods, bean sprouts and most legumes.
3. Eat a lot of broccoli. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, bok choy) contain indole-3 carbinol which is transformed by the body into diindolylmethane. These substances help balance out estrogen and have been shown to have some anti-cancer effects, especially around breast cancer.
4. Limit caffeine. Caffeine increases the production of cortisol and lowers your thyroid hormone levels. Try not to drink more than one or two cups of coffee a day. Ideally you should stick to tea, which offers many of the same benefits but typically has less caffeine.
5. Take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is known as the happiness vitamin for a reason. It gives you the energy you need to do things, speeds up the healing process and helps you digest important minerals like calcium. And most of it comes from the sun. This is part of why so many people have seasonal depression. Take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams on days when you don’t get much sunlight.
6. Eat coconut oil and avocado. One of the biggest issues in most modern diets is that they’re not getting enough variety, specifically in fats. You want to have short, medium and long chain fatty acids to keep your hormones balanced. These fats also help you speed up your metabolism and lose weight.
Some other foods rich in healthy fats are wild salmon, grass-fed butter and pure grass-fed cottage cheese. Incorporate as many of these as you can into your diet.
7. Avoid plastic. The BPA in most plastic bottles has been proven to cause estrogen imbalances and increase the risk of breast cancer. Try to eliminate plastic from the house altogether. At the very least you should purchase a metal water bottle and avoid drinking any juices or other drinks that come in a plastic bottle.
8. Use natural cleaning products. Many cleaning products, including face and skin cleansers, contain toxic xenoestrogens, which can cause serious hormone imbalances (especially when you count up how many products most of us have in our home). Try cleaning with vinegar, baking soda or lemon instead. It’ll be cheaper too.
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You can balance your hormones naturally and regain control of your life. For a dramatic improvement combine as many of these strategies as possible.
Olivia Johanson is a mom by day, and a freelance writer by night. She loves natural remedies and sharing them with you. If you have any health, beauty or household problem, and like to create your own solutions, hop over to Olivia’s blog EveryHomeRemedy.com!