7 Tips to Maximize Hormone Health

Hormones are often the basis for many of our woes, including weight gain. But outside of puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, many people don’t give hormones much thought or realize how they are affected by diets, exercise choices, and lifestyle.

Today, our hormones are more out of whack than ever due to stress and disruptors such as xenoestrogens in our food and environment. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to help keep your hormone health in order.

Here are 7 of them:

1) Maintain healthy weight. Excessive fat tissue (called adipose tissue) can act as an endocrine organ, producing more estrogen in your body. By maintaining a healthy weight, your body is not stimulated to overproduce certain hormones.

2) Eat thyroid supportive foods. Foods that are rich in iodine such as kelp, Himalayan salt, seafood, organic strawberries can help with this. Try to drink filtered water, as the fluoride in our tap water binds to iodine and prevents our body from using it effectively.

3) Eat healthy saturated fat (such as coconut oil). Cholesterol is needed for the formation of healthy cell membranes and is a precursor to steroid hormones (progesterone, estrogen, FSH, etc.). You cannot have proper hormonal balance without adequate amounts of saturated fats.

4) Avoid refined grains, sugar, and processed foods. These interfere with the hormone leptin, which helps regulate appetite and metabolism. When leptin resistance sets in, you suffer from cravings and your metabolism slows down.

5) Avoid Bispheonol-A and phthalates. Commonly found in plastics and can liners, these endocrine disruptors mimic actual hormones, replacing the benefits with a toxic phony that provides nothing of value to the body.

6) Support your adrenal glands. The adrenals regulate the “stress hormone,” cortisol. To keep them in top shape, limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine, and commit to getting to bed by 10 pm. Your body creates growth hormones while you sleep, so prioritizing bedtime is an important step in staying balanced.

7) Keep stress in check. Take time to breathe fully and relax for a few minutes each day.  This is a big one these days. You can try yoga, meditation, essential oils, fun, laughter, massage, time in nature, journaling, downtime. Whatever works for you!


 

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Omega-3s For Dealing With Hormonal Imbalance

hormonal imbalanceOmega 3 fatty acids fight inflammation in the body. Inflammation is behind many of our “hormone” challenges – such as low moods, cramping, depression, and fatigue.

Omega-3 fatty acids also promote healthy and flexible cell membranes, ensuring hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and prolactin to reach and attach to the right places. This way it reduces the chances of hormonal imbalance. It also helps with issues such as PCOS and PMS.

Sources Of Omega-3 Fatty acids

Good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are eggs and fatty wild caught fish such as salmon and black cod. There are vegetarian sources as well such as walnuts, flax seeds, and hemp seeds.

I recommend animal sources of Omega-3 to my clients, because your body can get EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) directly. Vegetarian sources contain ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which your body has to convert into EPA. It’s less efficient. Also the rate of conversion goes down as you get older.

If you are vegetarian or can’t eat wild caught fish 2-3 times a week – try a fish oil supplement. Make sure you are reading labels. Many fish oils that are cheaper are lower in EPA (and contain higher amounts of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)). EPA is the stuff you care about- when it comes to balancing hormones and fighting inflammation.

Here is a fish oil I use and recommend. It is high quality and has a higher percentage of EPA’s compared to other similar priced fish oils.

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herbs and other tips to lower blood sugar

tips to lower blood sugar

Rich in phytochemicals, many herbs and spices serve as anti-inflammatory. They are my top tips to lower blood sugar in clients naturally.  Here are two of my favorites.

Basil—Basil is commonly used as aromatherapy. Why? Basil has compounds in it that actually reduce stress in the body and normalizes levels of cortisol (your stress hormone). Your blood sugar spikes when you are under stress).

Using basil is one of many tips to lower blood sugar . When you reduce blood sugar fluctuations, you reduce weight gain, sugar cravings, and energy dips. And, when you reduce the effects of stress on the body, you are better able to stave off those nasty winter colds. So before you battle those holidays crowds, eat some basil!

Basil also has potent anti-inflammatory activity when compared to aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Traditional basil contains a compound called eugenol, which eases muscle spasms. Basil can also help relieve gas and soothe a turbulent tummy.

This is one powerful holiday superfood.

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Use it to boost cold weather immunity, to tackle stressful family, shopping, or travel plans, or to soothe your head and aching muscles after a sledding mishap or new year’s eve party.

Ginger—Known most for its ability to help with nausea and motion sickness, ginger increases digestive fluids and absorbs and neutralizes toxins and stomach acid. In addition, ginger helps ease inflammation in the body, with positive effects on arthritis and migraines. It helps with asthmatic symptoms or with severe cough. If you have a stubborn cold you can’t shake – some hot water that has been brewed with ginger can help to get things moving.

Ginger is quite versatile – you can use it in almost everything.

If ginger is not a big part of your diet – start sprinkling a little fresh ginger into your salad or sauces. Ginger is not just for gingerbread!

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