Hormonal decline is common among ageing people. But it can be delayed, if not prevented. Whilst there are medical treatments that make it possible to restore our hormonal levels quickly, these approaches have potential side effects. There are however, natural ways to balance your hormone levels for as long as possible. Here they are:
Consume Iodine-rich Foods
Often, hormonal imbalance results from having a weak thyroid gland. This is the small organ located in front of your neck and just below your larynx. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate vital processes in the body, such as metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood circulation. One way to boost your thyroid health is to eat iodine-rich foods such as seaweed, organic cultured yogurt, beans, and strawberries. Iodine also comes in supplements.
Choose Cruciferous Vegetables and Whole Grains
Broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables release phytonutrients that help your liver break down excess hormones that your body is no longer using. You also want to increase your consumption of foods made from whole grains. Refined grains and sugar block the production of Leptin – a satiety hormone that lets you know if you had enough of food. This causes some people to overeat and consequently, gain weight. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand, or whole grains, are rich in essential nutrients and enzymes that promote hormonal health. Whole grain foods include brown rice and bread, bran, oats, etc.
Increase your Omega-3 Levels
Reduce your consumption of foods that are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. It is true that our body needs fats. But polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and get easily oxidised in the body. Fat oxidation may cause inflammation and cell mutation that can disrupt hormonal balance in the body. As you reduce your omega-6 levels, increase your omega-3 fatty acids. These are healthy fats that are good for your health. Food sources of omega-3s are flax seeds, hemp seeds, fish oil, olive oil, and more.
Another great way to restore hormone balance is to exercise regularly. Aside from doing light cardio, you may want to add weight training in your workout routine. Short bursts of heavy lifting can be specifically beneficial because they trigger a cascade of beneficial hormone reactions.
Get Enough Sleep
Researchers at John Hopkins University found that healthy sleep cycles seem to balance hormones responsible for food craving and overeating. So make sure you get enough sleep, at least 7 or 8 hours every night. Quality sleep also promotes heart and brain health.
Consume a Little of Coconut Oil
Next to olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil is a great choice for healthy cooking. It also helps balance hormones, and at the same time, stabilise blood sugar levels and boost repair of cellular damage. Coconut oil may also assist in weight loss, fight certain microbes, and reduce inflammation.
Keep Your Stress Levels Low
A 1997 study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that women who meditate or perform yoga workouts daily are less vulnerable to hormonal swings. Relaxation is critical for hormonal balance so make sure you schedule a time to chill, forget about your worries, and recharge your batteries.
Can you cite other ways to balance hormones naturally? Feel free to post a comment below.