To keep the body balanced and allow it to function at its optimum here are the top ten tips for naturally balancing your hormones:
1. Eat plenty of fresh foods
Include as many organic vegetables, fruit, eggs and meat and fish to reduce consumption of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Eat more high fat foods such as avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and fatty fish. Also increase the amounts of superfoods such as beets, chlorella, spirulina, maca powder, chia seeds, cayenne pepper and curcumin to boost nerve function, increase metabolism, and regulate cell regeneration. Limit your sugar intake to 20 grams (5 teaspoons) of natural sugars daily and don’t eat any processed refined foods that contain additives, chemicals, and hydrogenated fats
2. Keep your weight gain in pregnancy under control
By eating well and exercising 3-5 times a week for 30-45 minutes. Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress, balance hormones, sleep better and aid normal metabolic functions (like balancing blood sugar levels. It is important to avoid overtraining and overexerting yourself, which can actually cause even more cortisol to be released. Aqua aerobics, swimming, exercises using weights, brisk walking, and yoga and core exercises are all ideal for pregnant and postnatal mums. Being overweight (a BMI of 26 or more when not pregnant) leads to increased oestrogen production which can lead to breast, bowel, and uterine, liver and pancreatic cancer.
3. Drink filtered tap water or mineral water instead of plain tap water
Tap water contains toxic compounds such as lead, arsenic and perchlorate. The latter can affect the thyroid (the growth gland in your neck that regulates your metabolism and digestion of proteins). There is also a lot of debate on tap water containing oestrogens from the female contraceptive pill, antibiotics and other medicines that aren’t removed when water undergoes its filtration processes although the local water authorities dismiss this claim.
4. Reduce the amount of food you buy that is contained in tins, plastic and Tetra Pak cartons
BPA’s are another potential hormone disruptor, they are responsible for making plastics hard and transparent, used in reusable water bottles, metal tins and cans. The toxic elements in BPA’s (mercury, cadmium and lead) mimic hormones such as oestrogen so when they get into your body, they create an imbalance interfering with body functions. BPA levels can alter egg DNA so if you do choose to use plastic products or tin cans, check BPA content. Never heat up food in plastic and don’t drink water from a bottle if it has been in a hot car as the toxins leach into the food and water. BPA is also contained in till receipts so don’t handle these for long.
5. Move to natural skin, makeup and hair care products
This will help to reduce toxicity to your body. There are lots of chemicals added to the products we typically use, with really harmful effects as these accumulate in our body’s cells. Check out the table below for some of the ingredients to watch out for.
|Ingredient||Found in:||Harmful because:|
|Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLS)||Found in foaming products such as shampoos and body-washes but they are often present in skin creams too. Also an insecticide.||They are known cancer-causing ingredients. Also causes liver damage, skin rashes, depression, diarrhoea and eye damage.|
Fragrance of any kind isn’t good. They can cause dizziness, headaches asthmas and allergies. It clogs the lymphatic system and induces major organ system toxicity. Also causes endocrine disruption.
|Found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, and shampoos.||Carcinogen and irritant.|
|Lead||Found in lipstick and hair dye.||Known carcinogen but is not usually listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.|
|Mercury||Found in mascara and some eye drops.||Known allergen that impairs brain development.|
|Mineral oil |
|By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturisers, styling gels.||It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.|
|Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens.||Accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.|
|Used as preservatives, found in many products.||Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive toxicity.|
|Present in many soaps, toothpastes and mouthwashes and home care products.||Can accumulate in our fat cells and keep our body in a state of toxicity. It causes irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs, and causes hormone disruption and organ system toxicity.|
|Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)||Found in conditioners.||PEG contains dangerous dioxin levels, often found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process in manufacturing. Dioxins have a direct link to cancer, and also cause organ system toxicity.|
6. Practice meditation or “mindfulness” and deep breathing exercises
You can attend a class or download a meditation body scan from YouTube. This practice has been shown to help train the brain and body to turn off the stress response and promote more relaxation to reduce cortisol and boost your immune system. Taking deep breaths into your lungs helps turn down the sympathetic nervous system and stimulates the body’s natural calming response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system reducing anxiety and muscles tension.
7. Keep away from technology and devices (phone, laptop, Tablet, TV) and spend more time in nature/outdoors
Mother nature plays a role in stress reduction, and being in nature is a well-documented way to promote relaxation. Try going for walks or runs outside – especially barefoot running or walking, a practice called “earthing“ -, spending time at the ocean, walking through forests, gardening at home, or doing other things outdoors and away from technology to reduce anxiety.
8. Use essential oils
They are helpful for fighting stress and balancing hormones. Essential oils, including lavender, myrrh, frankincense and bergamot, contain potent, active ingredients that have been shown to naturally lower cortisol, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and help with sleep and digestive functions.
9. Get an early night at least 3-4 times per week
This helps to regulate your endocrine system and regenerated your body cells and allow your spleen and liver to help to detoxify your system. Cortisol is regulated at night which is why sleeping well is very important. Sleep helps to control cortisol production. With normal circadian rhythms, cortisol levels rise during the early morning hours and then drop very low at night prior to sleep and during sleep. People who develop high cortisol levels can wind up feeling the opposite: wired and anxious at night, but then fatigued during the day — thus, they can’t sleep well at the times they’re supposed to. Ideally, you should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to reset your circadian rhythms and bring hormones back to balance.
10. Re-mineralise your body in an Epsom salt bath 3 times per week
Magnesium, the main mineral found in Epsom salts is responsible for a whole host of body functions including improving the absorption of nutrients, stimulation of the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants. Blood circulation and heart health is improved as well as improved ability to use insulin. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation.