Hormones could be often the reason why you gain weight even when following a diet or why you feel sluggish all the time. Hormonal imbalances affect millions of people worldwide, in the forms of diabetes, thyroid disorders, menstrual irregularities, infertility, low testosterone, and estrogen dominance. This article is all about your hormones and how to balance them!
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
The symptoms of hormonal imbalance can be chronic fatigue, feeling anxious, depressed, gaining or losing weight, decreased libido, increased appetite and issues with sleeping.
In most cases, the causes of hormonal imbalances are an unhealthy diet or lifestyle, health problems, inflammation, stressful lifestyle, genetic susceptibility, and toxicity.
Hormones such as cortisol, estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline or insulin are extremely important for controlling your appetite, weight, and mood among many other roles they play in human bodies.
How do different hormones work and how to balance them naturally?
This is the main female sex hormone, but men also have it. Estrogen is responsible for bone building and mineral absorption, as well as women’s menstrual cycles. Estrogen is also important for the health of the skin, brain, and cardiovascular system. Nearly 80% of all women have an estrogen dominance, which is often a result of too much alcohol, red meat consumption, or environmental compounds such as phthalates or parabens. Signs of estrogen dominance include cellulite, water retention, excess weight carried in the hip and thigh region, an increase in breast size, irritability, and ovarian cysts. Estrogen deficiency can cause irregular menstruation, lack of menstruation, mood swings, decreased libido, difficulties to become pregnant, and early menopause.
How to balance estrogen:
- Estrogen dominance can be best controlled by limiting the consumption of red meat, alcohol, and caffeine.
- To lower estrogen levels naturally, eat more veggies and high-fiber foods. The fiber will help remove the estrogen from your body.
- Eliminate convenience and highly-processed foods, e.g.chips, soda and microwave, and ready meals, etc.
Known as the main male sex hormone, however, is also present in the female body. Testosterone contributes to the libido and is responsible for many of the changes women go through during puberty, including acne.
Low testosterone in women is most commonly identified by a lack of libido, physical inability to become aroused, abnormally dry skin, and increasingly brittle hair.
How to balance testosterone:
- Include more zinc in your diet which is known to support the testosterone’s production. Foods high in zinc are pumpkin seeds, meat, dark chocolate, oysters. You can also try our Women’s Best Zinc capsules.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid sugar, caffeine and excessive dairy consumption.
Insulin is a hormone created by your pancreas which helps regulate the level of sugar in your blood. The more sugar in your diet, the more resistant your body becomes to the action of insulin, which means you store more calories as fat. Storing fat in the belly, love handles, and upper arms is a telltale sign of insulin resistance, as are intense cravings for sugary foods. Avoiding foods made with refined sugar and flour will definitely help you to balance this hormone.
How to balance insulin naturally:
- Get enough protein and healthy fats in your diet.
- Eat regularly and don’t snack in between your meals!
- Eat low-glycemic carbs (whole grains, beans, non-starchy veggies).
- Try to avoid high-glycaemic foods (processed foods, sugary drinks & starchy foods).
- Eliminate added sugars from your diet.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Craving for snacks? If you can’t avoid having snacks between meals, try to find healthy alternatives. Women’s Best sports nutrition has low amounts of fat and carbohydrates and just tastes delicious!
If you are stressed, your body produces cortisol to regulate the response to stressful situations. Unfortunately, too high level of cortisol puts you at increased risk of heart disease, and it also causes you to store visceral fat around your internal organs, which often is stored around the belly. The so-called stress hormone can create all kinds of trouble for women who want to lose weight. When cortisol rises, it encourages the conversion of blood sugar into fat for long-term storage.
How to balance cortisol naturally:
- Reduce your stress level!
- Avoid coffee, energy drinks or any sort of caffeine and switch from coffee to tea.
- Eat slower and chew thoroughly.
- Start meditating.
- Consider taking a magnesium supplement or vitamin B. Our ZMA capsules can help you to balance your hormones as they include zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6.
- Remember to get enough quality sleep every day.
Leptin is produced by the body’s fat cells and its primary function is to tell a part of our brain (the hypothalamus) that we’re satiated, or full. Our modern diet is saturated with a type of sugar called fructose, found in many processed foods (everything from pasta sauce to salad dressings). When too much fructose floods your body, your body stores it as fat. This leads to an excess of leptin; when one has too much leptin it’s possible to become leptin resistant, meaning your body no longer can tell if you’re full or not—and you keep eating and gaining weight.
How to balance leptin naturally for weight loss:
The most important point about balancing your leptin level is getting enough sleep. When you don’t sleep enough, the hormone level is lower, and you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Harvard studies show that sleep deprivation reduces leptin levels and actually increases your body’s desire for sugary and fatty foods. Therefore, to better regulate your hormones, make sleep a priority, just like eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Summary of 12 ways how to balance your hormones naturally:
- Be aware of the side effects of hormonal birth control. That pill and all other forms of hormonal birth control create a cascade of hormonal imbalance in your body by creating nutritional deficiencies and disrupting gut bacteria.
- Start the anti-inflammatory diet which focuses on replacing sugary and refined foods with nutritious products.
- Get enough sleep and avoid too much light at night.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid stress.
- Eat more high-fiber foods like veggies and complex carbs.
- Take Omega 3 supplements (like our Omega 3 capsules!) or eat more Omega 3 rich foods such as fish, grass-fed meats, and chia seeds.
- Add herbs to your diet.
- Eat probiotic foods or take a probiotic supplement.
- Decrease the amount of your sugar, glucose and fructose consumption.
- Avoid harmful chemicals found in pesticides, plastics, household cleaners, and makeup.