How to Balance Your Hormones in a Week? | Herbs, Food and Supplements
Hormones are tiny chemical messengers that carry signals from one organ to another in the body or from the body to the brain. They control essential processes such as growth, energy levels, mood and emotions, metabolism, and reproductive function.
The term hormone is commonly used to describe any substance that controls these functions. Some hormones, like insulin and glucagon, are produced by the body and act on cells in other parts of the body; they are called endocrine (endo=within) hormones.
Rebalance estrogen dominance
Estrogen dominance happens when there is an estrogen imbalance concerning progesterone. Both are considered female sex hormones, but it’s not their sex that determines whether or not they’re problematic. Women naturally produce estrogen at specific points during their menstrual cycle.
After menopause, these levels decrease as progesterone becomes more dominant as our primary female sex hormone. Progesterone is also produced naturally within us by our adrenal glands. Estrogens exist within us and in external sources: foods we eat such as dairy products (primarily commercial ones), alcohol, plastics, and synthetics used in everything from sunscreen to bug spray!
Rebalance progesterone levels
Pregnancy increases progesterone levels naturally, which has many positive effects on moms-to-be. However, when it comes time to deliver (and after), groups can crash. This can cause fatigue and irritability during breastfeeding and lead to postpartum depression. If you’re experiencing these symptoms while nursing (or if they strike postpartum), consider upping your progesterone intake.
The easiest way is through supplements—your doctor can prescribe one specifically for you—but there are plenty of non-pharmaceutical routes. Eat more beans, nuts, and leafy greens like spinach or kale; try taking some vitamin B6, or drink milk thistle tea. You could also use progesterone cream topically. Finding what works best for you might take trial and error, but getting back those happy pregnancy vibes shouldn’t be too hard!
Rebalance testosterone levels
Your body’s testosterone production rises during puberty, peaks around age 20, and declines slowly. The average man has between 5–10 milligrams of testosterone per deciliter of blood. Anything below that range is considered hypogonadal (below average) and should be checked by a physician. Low levels can lead to decreased sex drive (libido), increased fat accumulation around the abdomen, osteoporosis, muscle loss, and lower bone density.
To maintain proper hormone levels, you’ll need adequate nutrition, exercise, and rest. A high-protein diet will help publicize muscle growth while avoiding sugar and alcohol utilization. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night and 30 minutes of physical activity daily for optimal results.
Supplements such as Tongkat Ali may also help balance testosterone levels but always consult with your doctor before adding anything new into your diet or supplement regimen. Tongkat Ali doesn’t even have any harmful side effects. Still, it does interact with other medications, so check with your doctor first if you’re on any medication or have any medical conditions before taking it or any other supplement.
Rebalance cortisol levels
Cortisol is one of those topics we don’t talk about nearly enough—but it’s essential for our health. Cortisol is known as even the stress hormone because that helps regulate the fight-or-flight retort, activated when we are in danger. But when our cortisol levels are too high for too long—like when we’re stressed out all of the time—we can run into trouble.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels can lead to anxiety, weight gain, and other issues. How do you know if your cortisol levels are too high? Suppose you routinely have trouble waking up early or staying asleep through the night. In that case, you might be dealing with an excess cortisol level. Here are a few ways to rebalance your cortisol levels
Rebalance thyroid function
The thyroid gland produces several important hormones that help regulate metabolism, including T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). When one or both of these are low, you could suffer from lethargy, cold intolerance, depression, constipation, and weight gain. Low thyroid levels are often associated with extra body fat—particularly around your middle—and elevated cholesterol levels. There’s no need to pop pills; there are natural ways to improve thyroid function.
For example, try eating foods rich in iodine, such as kelp, dulse, and sea vegetables. Or take an iodine supplement if you prefer. Just consult your doctor first because too much iodine can cause serious health problems. Other foods high in nutrients that support healthy thyroid function include broccoli, spinach, kale, and carrots.
Try juicing them for a quick way to get all their nutrients at once! Another option is to eat more cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and cabbage since they contain phytochemicals called indoles which have been shown to inhibit thyroid cancer cell growth. Finally, avoid soy products since they can disrupt average hormone production.
Rebalance blood sugar regulation
Blood sugar imbalances can lead to a hormone imbalance called insulin resistance. This makes it hard for your body to utilize glucose—the energy source you get from carbs like bread, pasta, and candy. Glucose that is not used gets stored as fat in our bodies. But when you eat more protein (not meat but plant-based proteins like nuts) and healthy fats (like avocado), carbohydrates will break down slower, giving you steady energy levels throughout the day.
One such aids in preventing blood sugar spikes but instead crashes, which have been common symptoms of hormonal imbalance. Along with eating these foods, try supplementing daily with maca powder or drinking macaroni tea each morning for breakfast.
Maca root powder supports balanced blood sugar by balancing insulin production and supporting adrenal health, making you feel less stressed out during stressful times. Macaroni tea is a delicious way to start your day by balancing blood sugar and adding extra fiber into your diet, which has been shown to reduce belly fat over time!
Rebalance insulin resistance
When you have too much insulin in your body (this can happen for several reasons), it turns on appetite signals that lead to overeating. So when you try to lose weight, insulin levels make it harder for you. Adding green tea extract or taking a supplement called alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) may benefit.
ALA is an antioxidant that improves insulin sensitivity and can block some of those pesky hunger signals caused by too much insulin. In a small study, women who took 900 mg of ALA daily lost 2 pounds more than women who didn’t take it—without changing their eating habits! Women with PCOS should also consider adding chromium supplements.
Chromium helps insulin work better, reducing cravings and improving blood sugar control. You can get chromium from broccoli, beef liver, whole grains, and brewer’s yeast; don’t overdo it because high doses are toxic.
Not every hormone imbalance can be treated with lifestyle changes. Suppose you’re suffering from hormonal imbalances (hypothyroidism or excess testosterone, for example). In that case, it might be worth consulting a doctor about treatment options.
If you suffer from PCOS or other metabolic disorders like diabetes, treat these conditions first with diet and exercise before trying herbs or supplements. Moreover, seek medical advice if you’re pregnant; some supplements may interfere with prenatal nutrition. Finally, while there is no scientific proof of an effective quick fix for hormonal imbalances caused by chronic conditions like obesity and depression, plenty of companies are willing to sell you products that make such claims.