Let’s talk about something we’re dealing with each day: hormones. We all experience hormonal effects daily, some more than others. And even when we don’t realise it, they are still there working hard for you!
Want to find out how to reach that happy hormonal balance and upgrade your overall health?
Hormones are very powerful things
Hormonal issues can be a real struggle, though we don’t have to suffer when we learn how to treat our hormones the right way. Hormones are the chemical messengers in the body that are driven by the endocrine system. Due to our daily stressors (think financial stress, work stress, over eating, under eating, genetics..) this balance can get disturbed, leading to all sorts of discomforts.
Some examples of hormone related health issues are:
skin breakouts / rashes / uneven tone
However, we can influence this more than we think. Our lifestyle and environment are important factors that we must consider; here are some ways to support your hormones:
1. Manage your stress
The number one thing that contributes to hormonal imbalance is stress. Stress can occur in all sorts of ways. Too much of the stress hormone cortisol has many unwanted effects.
Prolonged stress can in fact wreak havoc on your body and impact your digestive system and your skin directly. Practicing mindfulness has helped me so much for reducing my stress. Some of the easiest ways to build time for relaxation into your day include regular exercise to release endorphins, taking a lunch break away from the computer and outside in the fresh air, or trying meditation to focus on deep breathing and calming the mind.
Note: distraction is not relaxation, so put down the electronic devices! Here's exactly how stress affects the skin.
2. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods
I can’t tell you enough that we should be feeding our body, rather than just filling it. Healthy food is important to nourish hormones the right way. Focus on foods that have been shown to minimise inflamation:
Less (empty) carbs like sugar, white rice and bread to reduce the load of the “sugar hormone” insulin
More healthy fats like walnuts, coconut oil and avocado to control hunger and reduce inflammation in the body
Enough protein which work as building blocks for many hormones
More fibre (such as fruits and vegetables) and fermented food to improve the gut health and digestion for happy hormones
3. Move your body
Regular exercise can’t be forgotten either. Being active has lots of benefits for the body, and for a good hormonal balance we need that physical activity in multiple ways. Try to find a good mix of cardio, strength training and daily movement.
4. Reduce your toxic load
You probably know harmful chemicals are found pretty much every where; in pesticides, plastics, household cleaners, and of course in skin care, and may contain hormone disrupting chemicals that mimic hormones in the body and keep the body from producing real hormones. We can avoid these unneccessary chemicals by choosing to avoid heating or storing foods in plastics (use glass), and choosing natural cleaning products.
Beauty products are a source of chemical exposure for many people. There are tens of thousands of chemicals in the personal care products we encounter daily, and most of these chemicals have not been tested for long-term safety. Avoiding these products can make a tremendous difference in achieving hormone balance. Start by making simple switches with the products that remain on your skin (and aren't washed off) such a moisturisers. To learn more check out this article on 6 easy ways to switch to natural skin care or perhaps make our DIY room spray.
5. Get good sleep
Last but not least I want to highlight the importance of a good night’s sleep for hormonal balance. We really need those recommended hours of sleep each night to give our bodies the time to recover. At night our hormones work hard for you to get relaxed and regrow again. We all know how much of an issue lack of sleep is on our mental health, so make sure to improve your sleep cycle by going to bed and waking up on set times, plus implement an evening ritual to prevent lying awake.
So know you know that hormones can affect our body and mind, though it doesn’t have to be negative. It’s important to realise that you can influence this with your lifestyle. Be good to your hormones and they will be good to you.