How to naturally balance female hormones
Before starting this article, I'd like to remind you to always check your symptoms and ailments with your primary health care provider. It is important to have the proper tests conducted if needed and to receive a clear diagnosis before starting anything on your own. Your licensed health professional will be able to guide you in the best approach to suit your needs. This article is simply information and knowledge that I wish to share and by no means represent a mean to diagnose or a treatment plan.
What happens when a woman's hormones are unbalanced? When female hormones are out of balance, it can cause symptoms such as difficult PMS, strong pre-menopause symptoms, fertility issues, increased tiredness, emotions that are out of whack and weight gain.
By taking steps to balance your hormonal system, you can also help your general health. Here are 6 things you can do to naturally balance female hormones.
1. Take care of your liver
When balancing hormone, the liver has to be included. The liver is responsible to process ''old'' hormones and other molecules (like endocrine disruptors from plastics) that are not needed in your system anymore. This amazing organ helps to create a balance between hormones that are required to function and hormones that need to go to garbage in other words.
When the liver is overburdened by chemicals, excessive hormones, fats and low vitamin and mineral stocks, it will not function properly and disruption can occur on many levels like your hormonal system.
It goes without saying that eating healthy wholefoods and lowering the junk food will help the liver get the proper nutrients to do its job. By reducing unhealthy foods you end up also lowering your daily fat intake which makes it easier on the liver.
Alcohol should be also kept to a minimum to keep your liver healthy and happy on the long term!
2. Avoid processed sugars and artificial sweeteners
We all know processed sugar is bad but it is important to know that it can have a direct effect on your PMS symptoms! Sugar increases inflammation in your body which disrupts the hormonal balance by increasing destabilizing insulin and cortisol (the stress hormone). When these hormones are high, it disrupts everything else.
So instead of eating chocolate, ice cream, cakes and cookies try healthier options like whole fruits which do not have processed sugars. Fruits have completely natural sugars and contain so many nutrients that are beneficial for the body. Plus, whole fruits come with fibers which help with digestion and elimination of waste through regular bowel movements.
Artificial sweeteners are not that ideal either. They can disrupt your gut flora balance which can cause digestive issues and problem with the absorption of important micronutrients.
3. Eat fiber rich foods
Interestingly, fiber has an important role in helping ''old'' hormones or excess hormones to be removed from the body through stools. The liver basically releases hormones tagged for garbage with the excretion of bile and the presence of fiber will help carry that bile containing hormones throughout the intestines for evacuation.
When they aren't enough fibers, this transit can be affected. Also, fiber is important to keep a healthy gut flora. Some bad bacteria can develop in an unbalanced gut flora that have the capability of promoting reabsorption of ''garbage tagged'' hormones back into your bloodstream. This means that hormones that you are supposed to release are back in your system and your liver has to process them again!
4. Eat cruciferous vegetables
''Cruci what?'' you might say! Cruciferous vegetables are a family of vegetables from the Brassicaceae family. You will find in that family: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, bok choy, arugula and collard greens. So why are those vegetable so special? They contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol that promotes biochemical reactions in the liver in favor of good estrogens, which means better hormonal balance! A lot of studies also show the positive effect of that compound on hormonal dependent cancer such as breast cancer and cervical cancer. So have some cruciferous vegetables everyday!
5. Medicinal herbs for female hormone balance
There are wonderful healing medicinal plants that have an affinity to the female reproductive system that you can take to help balance your hormones.
Here are my favorite herbs for female health:
Raspberry leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a very common and known one. Raspberry tea contains a lot of iron, calcium, chlorophyll and vitamins. Raspberry leaf is really a female tea because it helps with reducing PMS symptoms and menopause symptoms. It regulates and harmonizes the female reproductive system. It also helps kidneys to excrete toxins which is always nice to clean up your system.
Dandelion roots (Taraxacum officinale) is not directly a hormone balancing herb, but it will support liver health and good digestion, which indirectly impacts good hormonal balance. Other properties of dandelion roots are reducing water retention and improving the skin which are common issues in PMS.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is great for digestion but also has estrogen-like compounds that will help female health. Traditionally used to regulate heavy periods, it can also help getting your periods to a normal schedule or in case of menopause help alleviate symptoms. It is important to note that it will reduce milk production so if you are breastfeeding, stay away!
Hops (Humulus lupulus) also contains estrogen-like compounds that will help balance out estrogens and improve libido. Unlike sage, this one helps with lactation for breastfeeding. Finally, it is also a calming plant so if you have a lot of stress in your life and a hard time to sleep, you might be interested in this one.
6. Get good sleep
Sleep is really important in balancing hormones and not only female hormones. When you have regular good night sleeps, your stress hormone cortisol is lower and the insulin hormone for blood sugar is more stable. This is means better mood and weight management which is always a plus!
Like I wrote earlier, cortisol and insulin levels will have an effects on female hormones balance. For instance, high cortisol can lower your libido and alter your menstrual cycle.
In the case of insulin, bad sleep habits can promote insulin resistance leading to high blood sugar, weight gain and inflammation. Weight gain means more fat tissue cells which can also produce estrogen leading to higher estrogen in the body and disruption of the natural hormonal balance.
7. Reduce stress in your life
When you are stressed, your body will secrete a lot of cortisol and adrenaline to keep you alert and ready to face the threat. This is a good mechanism for short term stress, but when it gets to long term stress that's when you are faced with problems.
Stress will affect your eating behavior because your brain will want high calorie foods to sustain your energy demands. Usually that's when we make bad choices because a pizza will be more appealing than a nice homemade vegetable curry with tofu. This leads to weight gain and improper nutrition to sustain the biochemical reactions to metabolize excess hormones and produce new hormones.
Stress will also have an impact on your sleep. High cortisol and adrenaline will prevent proper rest and can promote insomnia. Like we saw earlier, lack of sleep has a big impact on hormonal balance so it's all a circle of interconnected factors that affects hormonal balance.
So, make sure to take proper steps to manage stress in your life! You can reduce coffee and do breath work for example. You might also be interested in an article I wrote on essential oils for energy and fatigue: Essential Oils for Energy and Fatigue Relief
As you read, there are many factors involved in female hormonal balance and thankfully there are a lot of tools you can use to naturally help. I hope you enjoyed and found this informative and helpful!
The information shared on this site is only for general information only and does not constitute a recommendation, an advice, a treatment or a medical diagnosis. All information provided is not a medical advice and cannot replace a medical consultation with a doctor.