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Hormone Health 101: How To Naturally Balance Your Hormones

Mar 28, 2024

Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers that coordinate how your body functions including metabolism, growth and development, moods and reproduction. Your brain is in communication with the rest of your body via hormones, and your hormones are all in connection with each other. Your hormones are responsible for nearly every single bodily function, from fertility to metabolism to mood balance. 

The energy and nutrients you receive from your diet are the raw materials your body needs to produce and regulate hormones. When your diet is inadequate, the production of stress hormones are increased which disrupts the production of all other hormones, including sex hormones (think menstrual cycle and fertility). 

So, although you have heard that it is normal to have crippling cramps, headaches, bloating and breakouts when you get your period - I’m here to tell you that it certainly isn’t. 

A period isn’t supposed to disrupt your life each month - they aren’t supposed to make you sick, debilitated with pain or experience crazy mood swings! 

 SYMPTOMS OF HORMONE IMBALANCE

  • Irregular or missing periods
  • Painful periods that require days off work and medication
  • Short (2 days or less) or long (more than 6 days) periods
  • Low libido
  • Anxiety, mood swings and other mood disorders
  • Weight gain and inability to lose weight
  • PMS
  • Insomnia
  • Hair loss/thinning on the head or hair growth on the face, back and chest
  • Acne
  • Feeling cold all of the time
  • Breast tenderness or fibrocystic breast
  • Difficulty falling pregnant
  • Hot flashes and night sweats

Symptoms are the way your body communicates with you and tries to tell you that something is up! So the first step to balancing your hormones is understanding that your body is telling you something is wrong by sending you symptoms. 

HOW TO BALANCE YOUR HORMONES

Diet and Hormones 

Our bodies have specific requirements for nutrients that are needed to make and regulate hormones. It’s easy to get in the habit of eating the same foods each day when we are busy, however this usually results in very limited nutrient intake which can leave big gaps in our daily nutrient requirements. So it is important to increase the variety in your diet to increase the nutrients available to your body. Other important dietary considerations for hormonal balance include: 

  • Clean proteins: protein is as essential structural component of all hormones, which means you need to consume sufficient amounts to make enough hormones. Sources include grass fed meats, chicken, turkey, eggs, lentils & beans & clean protein powders.
  • Healthy fats: possibly the most important element for hormonal balance as fats are what produce and regulate our hormones. Sources include avocado, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut oil, ghee, nuts and seeds.
  • Fibre: fibre helps clear out excess hormones from the body by binding to them and removing them through the colon. Sources include rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, white potato and sweet potatoes, fruit and veg, nuts and seeds.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: important to help the liver detoxify and clear excess hormones. Think foods like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts and cabbage.
  • Reduced sugar intake.
Lifestyle and Hormones
  • Stress: stress is often an overlooked factor when it comes to hormone balance, however stress wreaks havoc on our hormones, particularly the production of progesterone. It is important to make stress reducing techniques a part of your daily routine. 
  • Sleep: inadequate sleep is a source of stress on your body - which therefore affects your hormones similar to the way stress does.
  • Exercise: high intensity exercise can increase your stress hormones, however the right amount of exercise is important for reducing stress levels and regulating hormones. 
  • Toxins: exposure to environmental toxins impacts and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC’s) affects hormonal health, so is another important factor to consider. These chemicals (found in household cleaning products, skincare and cosmetics) can increase or decrease levels of hormones as they can mimic our natural hormones or change how they are made, broken down, and stored in our bodies. There are SO many natural alternatives to personal care and household products these days, so it is easy to make swaps here and there to benefit your health.
  • Extra tips: buy organic or spray free produce where possible, consider filtering your water, and swap plastic containers and water bottles for glass or aluminium 

 

Balancing your hormones is a complicated process and takes time. The very first step is to go right back to basics and focus on eating a varied and balanced diet, getting 8 hours of quality sleep per night, reducing your stress and moving your body.

If you’re experiencing period pain, irregular periods, heavy bleeding or spotting, headaches, bloating, a change of bowel movements and breakouts on your period, you should definitely reach out to a health practitioner for hormonal testing and individualised diet and supplementation advice.

By Breeanna Betar

Breeanna is a degree qualified Clinical Nutritionist specialising in women’s health. In her private clinic, she works one on one with women to help them achieve their health goals. Bree possesses a profound understanding of women’s health needs and is committed to sharing her knowledge with the Naked Harvest community, and is proud to be involved in Naked Harvest’s mission of revolutionising the active supplement industry.