12 strategies to help you re-balance your hormones Posted on 01 Feb 09:00 , 0 comments
Somewhere after the age of thirty symptoms of hormone imbalances can start to take effect. Your ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and your menstrual cycle may begin to change. If you are trying to work full time and juggle the demands of a family, your adrenals are probably screaming for salvation. If you are lucky you will sail through your thirty’s and forty’s gracefully. The rest of us have to find a way to deal with debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, anxiety, insomnia and lack of sex drive. If this sounds all too familiar, I have some good news. Your waist doesn’t have to disappear and you don’t need to reside permanently in hormonal hell or resort to HRT. Nutrition and lifestyle strategies will go a long way to lessen your adrenal fatigue symptoms.
12 strategies to help you re-balance your hormones
Muscle up your metabolism
Once we reach forty we begin to lose between 0.5% and 2% of our muscle mass per year. This equates to as much as a kilo of muscle a year in some women. No wonder our arms start to jiggle when we wave. Many scientists believe that older adults should eat more protein to compensate for the slowdown in muscle repair that accompanies aging. This makes good sense, as our muscles, hormones, skin, skeleton, thyroid and brain all depend on quality protein being readily available in the diet every day.
Balance your blood sugar levels
A study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing concluded that hormonal symptoms were significantly worse when blood sugar levels were low. Eating regular low-glycemic meals through out the day every three to four hours will help you manage energy levels, fatigue and headaches. A breakfast shake made with whey protein is a great way to give your thyroid and adrenals a boost in the morning. It’s time to ditch those low calorie refined cereals.
Feed your engine
Your body uses the most energy during the day, rushing to work and concentrating on tasks. Breakfast and lunch should provide enough nutrients to keep your body and brain running efficiently throughout the day. Do you return home from work famished? Chances are you have starved all day. This can lead to a vicious cycle between over eating in the evening and your body storing surplus calories because it’s always hungry.
Starve your fat
Carbohydrates are our chief source of fuel, but minimise high glycemic processed carbohydrates and sugar. This includes milky coffees such as trim flat whites and lattes. The milk in two bought coffees can add more than ten teaspoons of sugar to your diet! Eat more of your healthy complex carbohydrates during the day like fruit and whole grains. Utilize more protein and vegetables in the evening. Be sure to include healthy fats like nuts, oily fish and virgin olive oil.
Look after your framework
Prevention is the key when it comes to bone loss. This is an ideal time to begin a regular strength training regime to preserve bone mass. It’s also a good time to ensure you are getting adequate calcium and vitamin D. A study published in 1992 showed that elderly women who took supplemental dietary calcium (with vitamin D) had a 30% less fractures (including hip fractures) than similar women who did not take supplemental calcium.
Eat more fat
Most women do not get an adequate supply of essential fats, particularly Omega 3 oils. Essential fats play an important role in hormonal health. Eat omega rich fish regularly or supplement with a high quality fish oil.
Get off the diet
The D in diet stands for “DEPRIVATION”. Dieting deprives your body of essential nutrients that are crucial to your well being. Low calorie restrictive dietary regimes are often low in vitamins and minerals, which can result in muscle and bone loss. Being at a healthy weight is a really important goal for hormonal health; however before you go on a crash diet seek professional help, as short term diets will do you more harm than good.
Many symptoms may be related to various nutritional deficiencies such as the B family of vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron and essential fatty acids. Taking a good multivitamin is the best way to fill in the dietary gaps. Then use a specific adrenal support supplement containing herbs such as Withania and Ginseng. If you have digestive problems, rule out gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Believe it or not your digestive health is important for healthy hormone balance.
Don’t be a speed freak
Too much coffee or caffeine can play havoc with our moods and create blood sugar highs and lows. Cut your stimulant intake down slowly and see if it makes a difference. Swap your coffee for green tea and increase your intake of vitamin C. Elevated cortisol (stress hormone) lowers your immune system and switches off fat burning. Your body also uses progesterone to keep up with cortisol production. Adrenal support supplements plus L Glutamine powder will help with cortisol control.
Look after your liver
The liver is the largest filter in the body, responsible for processing all of our hormones and toxins. The liver must also deal with thousands of toxic substances that routinely enter the human body. Many symptoms of hormone imbalance begin in the liver; this is why a healthy diet low in sugar, alcohol and harmful fats is important. Supplement with Dim. Dim or di-indolylmethane is a powerful phyto-nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Researchers have long known about its numerous anti-cancer and hormone-balancing effects. To get the therapeutic dose that most health practitioners recommend you’d need to eat more than two kilos of broccoli a day. For women with premenstrual tension, menstrual or menopausal problems, Di-indolylmethane helps to support healthy hormone balance.
Be kind to your adrenals with your diet first.
Stress management strategies are beneficial, as stress can interfere with the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands assist in the production of estrogen, progesterone and DHEA, as we get older, so it is important they work effectively. Bio-identical hormone therapy may help improve symptoms but taking hormones will not correct a deficiency in nutrients, proteins, essential fats or excesses of sugar or refined foods, which help form the underlying problem in the first place.