5 Natural Ways to Balance Hormones
Get more sleep
Eat more healthy fats and avoid less unhealthy carbs
Supplement with Electromagnetic Nascent Iodine
Understand medications and birth control
Get more sleep. If you're not getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you may be putting your body at risk. Lack of quality sleep can disrupt natural 24 hour internal clock which can contribute to an imbalance in hormone levels. How can sleep really mess with your hormones? Well, because hormones work on a time schedule. For example: Cortisol the body's main "stress hormone", is regulated at midnight. So if you're not getting to sleep until very at night then your body never has an opportunity to destress and relax. (1)
There's evidence that a lack of sleep can also lead to changes in the blood serum levels of many hormones like growth hormone, prolactin, glucocorticoids, and catecholamines.
When we sleep our bodies get an opportunity to keep hormones balanced, rebuild the body to recover efficiently and to build energy for the next day. Poor sleep and too much stress are linked to high levels of cortisol in the mornings, as well as poor work performance, decreased immunity, higher susceptibility to anxiety, depression, and weight gain. For best hormone function, try to get to bed by 9 or 10 p.m. and stick to a regular sleeping schedule.
Eat more healthy fats and less "bad carbs". Increasing your consumption of healthy fats like, medium and long-chain fatty acids can be the secret key to keep your hormones in order. Unlike refined carbohydrates, which lead the way for inflammation and unbalanced hormones, healthy fats have the opposite effect by promoting good overall health. Both saturated fat and cholesterol are needed for you're body to create hormones. These essential fats are not only the chief corner stones for hormone production, but they also work to keep inflammation levels low, and boost the metabolism to promote weight loss.
The best anti-inflammatory foods high in healthy fats are avocados, grass-fed butter or ghee, wild-caught oily fish, and coconut oil. Coconut oil has numerous benefits, but two of the best are it's anti-bacterial and fat-burning effects. Avocado is an amazing superfood rich in potassium and healthy fats. Eating more avocados has benefits like lowering inflammation, improving heart health, and appetite control.
Wild-caught oily fish like sardines, anchovies or salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower inflammation, promote good heart health, and improve cognitive functions. A recent study in 2013, shows that omega-3 fatty acids has shown protection against several neurologic disorders and reduces inflammatory responses. (2)
Avoid oils and foods cooked in oils rich in omega-6 fats like: cottonseed, sunflower, canola, soybean, peanut, safflower and corn. Instead consume more healthy omega-3's like: wild caught oily fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, avocados and grass-fed beef. Use coconut oil or grass-fed butter to cook with instead of canola or vegetable oils.
Supplement with Electro-Magnetic Nascent Iodine. Iodine is an essential trace mineral that is used by every cell in the body but is especially important for the thyroid gland. The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Hormones like T3 and T4 help control growth, repair damaged cells and support a healthy metabolism.
There’s a reason that iodine supplementation, in addition to an overall healthy lifestyle and diet, is being called the new essential breakthrough in the wellness community. Many people's iodine levels are dropping at an accelerated rate... and it’s not being replaced in the standard western diet.
As we age, our bodies’ begin to dramatically get depleted of vital vitamins and minerals. Are you over 25? Your body is probably not getting enough iodine as quickly as you are losing it, since it depletes with age.
Normally iodine is found as 2 molecules of iodine paired together and this is called “I2”. Unfortunately I2 has been shown to be difficult for the body to process and as a result, doctors in that past have used potassium iodide with I2 to supplement iodine with limited success. In fact, iodized salt is table salt in which potassium iodide is added in small amounts. The problem with potassium iodide is that it can cause an inflammation in the thyroid.
The word “nascent” means newborn. Nascent iodine is a special form of iodine that is made by taking molecular iodine, I2 and exposing it to a strong magnetic field. This form of iodine does not cause congestion in the thyroid gland like other forms of iodine and because it is very bioavailable, you will only need to take it in small amounts. The body can easily eliminate this form of iodine through the kidneys if you take more than your body needs and it is not toxic.
An electromagnetic nascent iodine is superior to any other form of iodine because it creates the only consumable form of iodine which can be taken internally to provide iodine to the entire body. Other non-consumable forms of nascent iodine have very short lifespans and have limited uses, mostly for external uses.
Exercise Regularly. To maintain proper health, and optimal hormone levels, your body needs to exercise regularly. Light exercise can help lower cortisol and may even help regulate hormones inside the body. Exercises like swimming, walking, hiking, pilates or yoga are great choices for lowering the "stress hormone" cortisol.
There's also evidence to suggest that higher intensity workouts like HIIT, resistance training and long distance running may raise cortisol levels. If you're looking to lower stress hormones, choose light exercises instead of highly intense workouts. Another study found that exercise can help hormones level improve for those with an under-active thyroid. (3)
Understand your Medications and Birth Control. Did you know that some medications can disrupt your natural hormone production? It's true, they can even lead to fatigue, depression, affect sleep patterns, and even trigger low libido. Some of the medications linked with a hormonal imbalance are stimulant, statins, dopamine agonists, corticosteroids, and glucocorticoids. Take caution when using medications, and always consult with your doctor about the negative side effects and when possible research natural wholistic approaches.
Birth control drugs are another medication that can actually change hormone levels and should be used with caution. Some birth control pills can raise estrogen to dangerous levels which can cause many complications. Instead, explore other ways of preventing pregnancy like abstinence or condoms. Data suggests that long-term use of birth control can include:
- Increased breast cancer
- Weight gain
- Back pains
- Mood Changes
- Benign liver tumors
- Breast tenderness
- Increased blood pressure
- Bleeding in between cycles
- Increased uterine bleeding, blood clotting, heart attack, and stroke