If you are always sluggish, lethargic and just plain tired; chances are your hormones are not balanced. Let me also say that these symptoms will arise even if you are maintaining a healthy diet.
Hormones are produced using good fats and cholesterol and it’s imperative to include these as part of your daily diet. The lack of them will create an imbalance and hormone problems because the body doesn’t have the building blocks to make them.
There are many hormones in our bodies – estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, testosterone and the list goes on. Rather than share information that can be very complicated medically and otherwise, I want you to truly understand that you can balance your hormones naturally and don’t have to reach for OTC (over-the-counter) medications.
Before you reach for those ‘magic’ pills, try the tips I’ll share below. You may be pleasantly surprised that perhaps a change in diet or introduction of some foods will actually help with the symptoms and help to balance your hormones.
1. Control your stress levels – this may be easier said than done, but honestly you are the only one that can control your stress. Many times it is due to over committing or simply doing too much. Understand that stress will increase the cortisol levels in your body and throw all your other hormones out of whack. (ohyes, don’t you love my medical terms..lol) But seriously, cortisol levels will increase with stress and although many have thought that increased cortisol levels are seen in over weight individuals, many that are thin will experience these heightened levels because of stress. Learn to say ‘no’ and let go of the many obligations you have over committed to and help to keep your cortisol levels in check. ( here are more ways to reduce your stress )
2. Limit your caffeine intake – oh my I can actually see you shaking your head, but hear me out. Remember how I mentioned in the first tip that stress can increase your cortisol levels? Well, excessive caffeine will do the same. It will raise your cortisol levels and slow down your thyroid. Instead of having multiple cups of coffee a day, consider limiting your intake to one cup and drink water the rest of the day. As difficult of a change as that may sound, it’s actually going to help balance your hormones and make you feel human again.
3. Add Omega-3 fatty acids – perhaps one of the easiest ways to balance your hormones is by introducing more polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. This can be done by adding more oily fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna and lake trout into your diet. For those that don’t eat fish you can achieve the same results with chia seeds, flax seed and walnuts. The seeds and nuts contain alpha-linolenic acid which is an essential omega-3 fatty acid and organic compound found in seeds, nuts, and many common vegetable oils.
4. Reduce carbohydrates – what this means is that you must limit your intake of ‘white’ foods such as sugar, bread, white rice, muffins, bagels, pasta and anything that is made with white flour. These foods may be causing the symptoms of fatigue and weakness and slowly introducing them back into your diet may help you to determine which foods are the culprit. Substituting the ‘white’ foods with those made with wheat may help but again, eliminating them first and re-introducing will help you determine if they are the cause of the imbalance of your hormones.
5.Sleep – yes, you read that correctly – SLEEP is essential to your over all well-being and with out it your hormones will surely go off the charts. It’s important to get the right amount of sleep that your body requires; every person is different however at least 6 hours is necessary for your body and mind to function at their optimum levels. I share some suggestions on getting quality sleep in this article –> Help! I Can’t Sleep .. read this article and apply some of those tips to help you get a good night’s sleep
6. Eat Coconut Oil – if you have read any of my information in the past or know me personally, you know that I am a huge advocate for coconut oil. Not only can it be used in a vast amount of ways it is a healthy source of saturated fat. Cholesterol is needed for the formation of healthy cell membranes and it is a precursor to all steroid hormones such as progesterone, estrogen and FSH. Along with coconut oil, avocados also contain healthy saturated fats which will help in the balancing of your hormones. We use coconut oil not only on our skin but also use for cooking since it can withstand high temperatures. I also enjoy it in my one cup of coffee a day and spread on toast. This is the highest quality coconut oil I have found.
7. Exercise Lightly – physical activity is something that is necessary for the balance of your body and mind. Although you may be tempted to go for a run or some other form of high intensity exercise; it’s important to note that high intensity exercise may cause hormone issues short term. Light exercise will help with the balance of your hormones, so it is best to choose a physical activity that is more relaxing such as swimming, walking and yoga.
Try implementing some of these tips to help in the balancing of your hormones.
Dr. Daisy Sutherland is the Founder/CEO of Dr. Mommy and Friends . She is a doctor, author, speaker, social media strategist, brand ambassador, wife & mom to 5 children. Dr. Mommy's mission is to ~ Help Busy Women and Men with her 'Get Real' approach to living a happier and healthier lifestyle. Don't forget to grab your FREE gift... 7 Simple Ways to Stay Motivated