Hormonal imbalances can affect anyone and can be caused by both hereditary factors as well as lifestyle choices. Luckily, there are ways to balance hormones naturally. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Know the Symptoms
If you're experiencing one or more of the following symptoms and don't know why, a hormone imbalance could be the culprit.
- Acne breakouts and/or itchy and flaky skin
- Feeling depressed or moody
- Feeling overtired
- Unexplained weight gain and/or increased appetite
- Lack of sex drive
- Irregular periods
- Migraines and/or frequent headaches
Write down your symptoms and how frequently they occur in a journal, and then discuss with your doctor before taking action.
Eat More Whole Foods
If you think you could have a hormone imbalance, focus on eating whole foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy saturated and unsaturated fats, and a few whole grains. You'll not only experience an increase in energy, but these nutrient-packed foods will also help balance your hormone levels. A diet like this limits excess sugars, processed foods, and alcohol in order to help your estrogen levels stay balanced, while also keeping your gut healthy and avoiding weight gain, according to Mark Hyman, MD.
Staying physically active is one of the most effective ways to combat stress and depression, and it provides quick changes to your overall mood in as little as a few days after you start exercising regularly. You should aim to vary your workouts. One or two cardio or high-intensity workouts per week—think spinning, running, or boot camp class—can be balanced with three to four lower-intensity workouts, such as barre or yoga classes. The variety of high and lower intensity physical activity will not only keep you interested and engaged in your routine, but it will also help regulate your level of the stress hormone, cortisol. A study found that high-intensity exercise raises cortisol levels, while lower-intensity exercises lower it, so it's best to have a variety of the two sprinkled throughout your weekly fitness routine in order to keep this hormone at a healthy level.
Practice Daily Meditation
It might surprise you, but simply practicing mindfulness, stillness, and deep-breathing exercises for as little as 10 minutes a day can positively impact your health and help balance your hormones. Dr. Valencia Porter, director of integrative medicine at the Chopra Center, recommends practicing deep-breathing meditation twice a day to reduce night sweats, hot flashes, and reduce stress.
If you're looking to try some natural remedies to balance hormones naturally, consider adding these helpful tips to your daily routine. Just make sure to talk to your doctor before taking action.