4 Simple Tips for Balancing Hormones
Hormones and how to balance them is such a prevalent topic amongst females, especially with the rising percentages of women struggling with hormonal disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and more and more people educating themselves about how detrimental synthetic hormones, like the oral contraceptive pill, can be to our natural hormonal balance and overall health.
Hormones are the body's chemical messengers, helping different parts of our bodies communicate and responsible for the chemical and physiological processes which are constantly taking place in our bodies. Especially for females, a balanced lifestyle is so so important when it comes to hormone balance. In order to have a regular monthly cycle, normal hunger cues, balanced energy levels and none of those PMS symptoms (yep, you heard right! Being in excruciating pain before and during your period is NOT 'normal' and is actually a typical sign of hormonal imbalances).
I receive so many questions about hormones on a daily basis, whether it's getting your period back (which I'm also currently writing a full blog post on!) or making it regular and free of unwanted symptoms, so I thought I'd share some simple hormone balancing tips:
Make sure you are fuelling and nourishing your body with balanced, whole foods meals. Aim for each meal to include a source of slow-releasing complex carbohydrates (think sweet potatoes, whole grains, potatoes..), plant based protein (tofu, tempeh, beans or lentils are a few of my favourites) and healthy fats (such as avocado, nut butter, coconut, nuts and seeds), with plenty of veggies. A wholesome and balanced diet will not only help balance and regulate hormones to reduce PMS symptoms and promote a regular period, but also balance blood sugar and energy levels, and reduce those sugar cravings.
Some vegetables, such as cruciferous vegetables (that means broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and co!) and phytoestrogen-rich foods (like chickpeas, soy beans, alfalfa sprouts and flax seeds) also help promote the clearance of excess oestrogen from the body to regulate and balance female hormones, so are especially beneficial to include as a daily part of your diet!
Stress has a huge impact on our hormones. Everything in our bodies is connected, so up regulation of the stress hormone, cortisol, in turn effects the production and regulation of other hormones, from insulin to reproductive hormones, and tends to throw everything out of balance (stress can even make our bodies more resistant to the effects of certain hormones!). And stress is highly associated with dysmenorrhea (irregular periods).
Reduce stress as much as possible by doing things to unwind and relax on a regular, preferably daily, basis. That could be going for a walk, reading a book or listening to music, yoga and meditation, exercise, catching up with a friend...anything that gets you feeling good! Even just a few minutes each day makes a big difference, trust me!
Consider taking a herbal supplement that supports hormonal balance. I love herbals because, being a natural, plant-derived 'medicine' (with no chemicals or other nasties!), they work together with our bodies in a gentle manner to help bring them into balance. It also means that herbs are never a 'quick fix' but instead something that takes effect over a more longer time period, in a sustainable and supportive way, without any side effects.
For hormones and hormone balance, I really love the Femulate herbal by Herbanica, which is an all organic, Australian grown and natural herbal tincture of Lady's Mantle, a herb used traditionally in Western Herbal Medicine to support a healthy and regular menstrual cycle, and relieve symptoms of PMS.
Lady's Mantle (or Alchemilla vulgaris) is especially helpful for those who have an irregular cycle, to help promote more regulatory through hormone balance and regulation, as well as those who are experiencing heavy or painful periods, and even those going through menopause, as the symptoms related to the menstrual cycle, including cramps, moodiness, cravings and hot flushes, are all related to hormonal imbalances.
I've tried a few of the different herbal tinctures from Herbanica (which you can find at GoVita stores across Australia) and, to be honest, I was a little skeptical at first, but they've really made such a difference to how I feel that I now swear by them! Personally, I've found the Femulate really helps balance out my mood and energy levels, as well as reduce bloating and water retention. These are all typical signs to show that it's having a hormone balancing effect on the body, working together with the body to restore balance and harmony.
This one goes hand-in-hand with stress, as not getting enough sleep is a huge stressor on our bodies, even if we don't realise it! Ensuring you a getting enough, and good quality, sleep each night is so important for hormonal balance, with most people needing between seven and nine hours per night.
If you have trouble sleeping, establishing a good sleep routine is. great place to start. Make sure you turn off all bright screens and get off social media at least thirty minutes to an hour before you go to bed, instead read a book! Also make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature. Those little differences can do wonders!
Since they affect everything from our mood, energy levels and hunger, to our reproduction, fertility and bone health, it really is so important to take the time to do those extra little things for our body, mind and soul to help create balance within ourselves.
I hope you found this post helpful, and if you have any questions or experiences you'd like to share, let me know by leaving a comment, I would love to hear them! xx
This post is a collaboration with Herbanica, however all views and opinions are my own. I only ever promote products that I truly love!