Learning how to balance your hormones can make the difference in whether or not you experience the ups and downs of your monthly cycle.
Hormones are the body’s chemical messengers and they impact everything from growth and development to reproduction. Imbalances in the hormones can cause fatigue, skin issues, weight gain, trouble sleeping, and most notably, mood swings.
It’s these mood swings that are associated with the varying cycles of estrogen and progesterone that cause premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Dealing with your hormones not only helps you to look and feel better, it also improves your quality of life by evening out your moods.
How to balance your hormones
1. Cut down on caffeine.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, coffee increases catecholamines. This causes an increase in the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which increases the production of insulin and causes the inflammation that makes you feel crappy.
2. Avoid hormone disrupting chemicals.
Hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as endocrine disruptors, are environmental toxins found in household cleaners, personal care products, plastics, and pesticides. Many of them mimic hormones in the body like estrogen which can throw your hormones out of whack. The best way to reduce this disruption is by removing as many as possible from your daily routine. Avoiding these toxins is an easy method for learning how to balance your hormones.
3. Get enough sleep.
One of the biggest problems with imbalanced hormones is that they keep you from getting enough sleep. And it’s this sleep that maintains a good mood. To ensure you’re getting enough sleep, cut the caffeine, don’t have more than one glass of wine or beer, and tire yourself out during the day. You can adequately tire yourself out by getting exercise and waking up early.
4. Add in phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens balance your hormones naturally. They’re found in plant-based substances like whole soy, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, bean sprouts, and garbanzo beans. Make sure that you eat whole soy found in tofu, miso, tempeh, and edamame rather than processed soy.
5. Soak in magnesium.
Magnesium can be helpful for balancing your hormones and one of the easiest ways to get it is by soaking it up. Epsom salts not only relieve stress but they regulate the enzyme that makes cholesterol. And ultimately the body’s hormones are made from cholesterol. That’s why it’s worth taking a soak.
6. Get centered.
According to Dr. Valencia Porter, deep breathing works to help balance your hormones. It’s also been shown to reduce night sweats and hot flashes related to menopause. Take about 15 minutes per day to do some deep belly breathing. Or consider adding in a daily meditation practice. Roll out of bed and start your day by sitting for a quick meditation.
7. Get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiencies can cause low estrogen in women and low testosterone in men. This not only impacts your sex drive, it also impacts your mood, so it’s best to make sure you’re getting enough. The best way to get your vitamin D is to sit in the sun for 15 minutes per day. In the winter, take cod liver oil to both amp up your vitamin D and to ensure you’re getting enough omega 3 fatty acids, which are also important for the production of hormones.
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