From hot flushes to fiery mood swings, hormones can wreak all kinds of havoc when they get thrown off balance. The chemical messengers are produced by endocrine glands and play a key role in maintaining emotional, mental and physical health. They influence things like appetite, metabolism and skin complexion, as well as sexual development, reproductive processes, stress levels and other important functions.
Ideally, endocrine glands produce the perfect level of each individual hormone needed to carry out body processes. However, as your body ages, certain hormones can decline and leave you out of balance. That’s why taking a proactive approach to resetting your hormones can be a powerful way to take charge of your body and live your best life. Here are a few all-natural ways to get you started:
Load up on protein
As well as maintaining muscle, skin and bone health, getting enough protein ensures your body has access to the amino acids it needs to release appetite-controlling hormones that help you feel full, including GLP-1 and PYY. This means loading up on protein-rich foods like lean meat, nuts and seeds, chickpeas, lentils, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and chia seeds.
Work up a sweat
Getting your daily dose of physical exercise is a key factor in maintaining hormonal health. Working up a sweat actively reduces insulin levels and heightens insulin sensitivity, which helps cells extract sugar and amino acids from the bloodstream and use them to generate energy and repair muscles during the ageing process.
Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
Detoxing from sugar and refined carbs can be an effective way to minimise insulin resistance and help your body stay balanced. Sugar is also directly linked to estrogen, an important female hormone that supports processes like sexual and reproductive development. When estrogen is tipped out of balance it can cause a host of health and wellness issues, including bloating and toxic fat gain. With so many delicious sugar substitutes and sugar-free recipes out there, making the switch to a low-sugar diet doesn’t have to be a chore.
Nothing messes with your hormone balance like an overload of cortisol, aka the stress hormone. Chronic stress causes an increase in cortisol levels which can cause issues like weight gain, muscle weakness, diabetes and other health conditions. Adrenaline, a hormone that triggers a ‘fight or flight’ response in the body and releases a surge of energy, is also associated with stress. Combat imbalances of cortisol and adrenaline by prioritising relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, and massage.
Enjoy fatty fish
Love ocean delicacies like salmon, swordfish, mackerel, trout and sardines? Rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, these types of fatty fish not only have fantastic anti-inflammatory properties but are also shown to improve hormonal health. Primarily, studies show they reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, as well as prevent hormone-related health issues like menopause symptoms, thyroid dysfunction and adrenal deficiency.
Embarking on a journey to reset hormones isn’t just for women going through menopause. On the contrary, proactively retuning your hormones can be incredibly empowering for teenage grandkids battling with period drama, thirty-something-year-old daughter in-laws coming off the pill and any other woman who is feeling a little off balance.