A high-stress lifestyle coupled with improper eating habits can wreak havoc on a woman’s delicate hormonal balance. Even healthy women who follow a good diet may find glitches in their hormones.
Symptoms of hormonal imbalance may include PMS, osteoporosis, weight gain, altered sex drive, allergies, uterine fibroids, urinary tract infections, changes in the skin, fatigue, anxiety, water retention, hair loss, facial hair growth and even depression. By keeping hormones in balance, women can find it easier to maintain a healthy weight, keep a regular menstrual cycle, as well as exude optimal energy levels.
1. Keep Stress Levels Low
Studies show that women who participate in a daily meditation or yoga experience less hormonal swings than those who do not mediate stress in some fashion . Rest is also important. Many women have such hectic lifestyles that they give their body little time to re-adjust from life’s demands. This disrupts the natural hormones cycles in women. Find small ways to incorporate rest and relax throughout the day.
2. Get Enough Sleep at Night
Sleep is when our body recovers from any imbalance it may have suffered throughout the day. Lack of sleep swings hormones into over-drive. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
3. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Incorporate more fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, plus an abundance of raw nuts and seeds into your diet. Foods such as processed carbohydrates, fried foods, soft drinks, enriched flour, processed vegetable oil and soy products may alter hormone balance. Avoid non-organic dairy products which may contain harmful bovine growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics. These wreak havoc on a woman’s system.
4. Eat More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fats act to create responsive and healthy cell membranes, allowing hormones to adhere to the cell more easily. Omega-3 fatty acids also aid the body in keeping the cellular receptor sites (where hormones bind) repaired and in optimal condition. Consider eating more foods with omega-3’s or taking 500 mg of a high quality organic oil, such as hempseed, flaxseed or olive oil.
5. Avoid Caffeine
It’s been shown that stimulants, such as caffeine, cause the adrenal gland to over-produce hormones. Try to cut-down or cut-out your caffeine intake.
6. Exercise Frequently
Add at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week, into your routine. Form a routine that you can stick to on a consistent basis.
7. Let the Sunshine In
Giving your body a healthy helping of full spectrum sunlight can help stabilize hormones. Get out and take a walk around the block a couple of times a week. This will help get you the exercise you need, as well as the sunshine your body craves.
8. Take Herbal Supplements Known to Balance Hormones
Examples include saw palmetto, dandelion, motherwort, wild yam, or blessed thistle. Hemp tree has also been known to effectively balance hormones in the case of PMS, menstrual cramps and breast pain. Chaste Tree Berry has been shown to balance the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Evening primrose oil is very high in essential fatty acids and is particularly indicated for hormonal imbalance related to PMS symptoms.
Dong Quai, Asian Ginseng and Ashwagandha are commonly used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to balance hormone excesses or deficits. Ashwagandha has the unique ability of being able to better the functioning of the receptor sites allowing hormones to more easily bind to our cells. Licorice and Black Cohosh have also been shown to raise progesterone levels. Studies on the adaptogenic herb, Rhodiola, have shown it to better thyroid function, improve immune function, and help the body adapt to stress.
9. Take a Quality Vitamin/Mineral Supplement
Taking a good quality vitamin and mineral supplement will also help balance your hormones naturally. Make sure it contains vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and the full spectrum of B complex vitamins. I personally recommend taking IntraMAX, because it’s the best vitamin available.
Is there something you do to help balance your hormones naturally? If so, please let me know in the comments below!
– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- MacLean CR, Walton KG, Wenneberg SR, Levitsky DK, Mandarino JP, Waziri R, Hillis SL, Schneider RH. Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on adaptive mechanisms: changes in hormone levels and responses to stress after 4 months of practice. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1997 May;22(4):277-95.