5 Ways to Balance Your Hormones Naturally
I have struggled for years trying to balance my hormones. With my disorderly eating background, fast-paced and sometimes very high-stressed lifestyle, and my anxiety, it can sometimes really take a toll on my body and my hormone levels. I noticed especially once I started my recovery that my body was just out of whack!
And it had every right to be! I had mistreated it for years and years, and I think that’s an important topic in terms of this discussion: You have to love yourself to heal yourself.
I had caused some serious damage (praise the good Universe nothing irreversible), but I had been hard on my own body. And a lot of people struggle with that! Whether it be disorderly eating, over-exercising, lack of sleep, constant stress, junky food habits, binge-drinking, and more! We have to both take responsibility for the stress we have put on our bodies and support them with love as we try to help them recover and heal.
So, instead of being angry at my body for this or that, I saw it as an exciting challenge:) An opportunity to learn more in terms of health and wellness; a reigniting of a friendship that had been unhealthy for years; and the belief that I could and would help myself get better since I was the one who got me here in the first place.
But, it takes time.
The good news is you have tons of that! So, forgive yourself and your body for the struggles it may be experiencing. Promise yourself you will support it and be patient with it throughout this healing process. And come on this journey with the positive outlook that in the end, you did something amazing for yourself.
Hormone Imbalances can be genetic! I want to make that very clear! Many people struggle with serious hormonal imbalances that are completely out of their control! These usually need medical attention and proper treatment. I want to say I am not talking about these types! From my experience, I am talking about the hormonal imbalances that can occur from lack of sleep, a poor diet, restriction of food, over-exercising, even taking very high doses of hormonal birth control. The side effects of these cases are less serious, but all the same annoying! I began to experience hormonal imbalances from my eating disorder and when I went on hormonal birth control.
I would argue that my eating disorder had the greatest negative impact on my hormones. Being so thin, I missed my period a lot! I had irregular periods, months with none, then I gained a lot of weight, which through them off more, and the cycle continued! Mix that with a stressful and busy schedule, not the best fitness or sleep regime, and emotions out the wazoo from hormonal birth control and
BOOM: You got yourself an imbalanced Em.
And I’m not alone in this! I think a lot of younger women especially find themselves with low levels of energy, unwanted weight gain, acne, emotional eating, painful/odd/heavy/irregular periods, etc! These could all be side effects of hormonal imbalance and for me, they for sure were!
So, I was faced with the option: continue to ignore my body's signs that I needed to make some serious changes or you guessed it, make those changes!
And with that being said, let’s talk about 5 things I’ve implemented into my life that have helped me slowly heal my hormonal issues naturally.
Tip #1: Maca Powder
Maca is a Peruvian plant that is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. The root of the maca plant is usually consumed in either powder or tablet form. Maca root is what’s known as an adaptogen, which means it’s a natural substance used to aid the body in coping with stress and adaptations in the environment. Adaptogens help support the body during high-stress times.
I have LOVED adding maca root to my oatmeal, yogurt breakfast bowls, smoothies, or most baking recipes! It has a honeycomb type of taste and has really helped support my hormones again! Especially when I am going through very busy or anxious days, I make sure to have this little root to help me support my body as it does the same back!:)
Tip #2: Deep Breathing
This one may seem too easy to be true, but let me tell you, it’s easier to forget to breathe when you are stressed, busy, and exhausted! Taking deep breaths throughout your day can lower your cortisol levels, increase your mood, and better support your body as it deals with stress and healing! Yoga is another incredible tool that has helped me calm down and realign my body into a state of less panic and more peace of mind.
One of the biggest things that can off-balance your hormones is stress and one of the easiest ways to release that is to breathe in and out baby! I make it a point throughout my daily routine to take deep breaths especially when I catch myself running around, focusing on work, or beginning to feel overwhelmed!
Supporting your body will help your body support the re-balancing of your hormones and breathing deeply is the cheapest and simplest way to kick-start this change for yourself!
Tip #3: Leave Dairy Milk & Ice Cream Behind!
A recent study was produced that showed not all dairy brings about hormonal acne or has different hormones in general! When I first started my quest to balance my body naturally, I cut out ALL dairy! However, now I allow myself to eat Greek yogurt and cheese! Both of which, due to the fermentation, actually significantly aid in helping your body balance itself naturally because that fermentation is directly feeding the good bacteria in your gut! And if there is one thing that 2019 has taught us, it’s that a healthy gut biome is essential to overall wellness!
I do, however, still stay away from dairy milk and dairy ice cream for the most part! These two have lots of hormones that well, are not yours! I try not to put other hormones into my body when I am working to balance my own. And in today’s market, there are so many alternatives to dairy milk and ice cream! This tip also improved my skin tremendously! Dairy is a major cause of hormonal acne and cutting this gunk out helped me gut out the inflammatory acne I had been experiencing cuz ya poor girl’s hormones were whacky!
Tip #4: Non-hormonal Birth Control
Another tip when it comes to leaving foreign hormones out of your body is taking a closer look at your birth control, ladies! Now, this tip is for sure a personal choice and something that should be taken up with your doctor big time! But, it is something to think about! When I was trying to realign my hormones I noticed that my birth control had caused me to break out, have mood swings, gain some unwanted weight, and overall made my periods a living hell!
I talked to my doctor about alternative forms of birth control and she suggested I check out a non-hormonal IUD. If you don’t know what a non-hormonal IUD is, it’s an IUD, which is a small piece of copper inserted into your lady area:) and is good for 10 years, however, it can be removed at any point if you find yourself wanting some kiddos! The amazing part of this is: it does not hurt, you don’t have to think about it or remember to take a daily pill, it’s more effective than oral birth control, AND the best part, it's non-hormonal.
The IUD being non-hormonal means that it’s not emitting altering forms of hormones into your body! Birth control is, in essence, a bunch of foreign hormones, which can easily confuse and off-kilter your own natural levels! I love my IUD and my body does, as well! I began to lose the acne, my periods became more regular and less painful, I wasn’t groggy all the time, and I knew that I was bringing my body back to a more natural state of hormonal levels because I left those that weren’t mine out of my system!
Tip #5: Eat them Fats!
First, it’s important to realize that hormones are build from cholesterol, and you guessed it, fat! Without fat in your diet, your body cannot build proper hormones and especially cannot build enough! Fats also help with the absorption of many vitamins, such as, A, D, E, and K. If you don’t have enough fat in your diet, you could also be vitamin deficient, which is also not exactly what we want when trying to balance our beautiful bodies!
Make sure you are eating good, healthy fats and ENOUGH of them! Olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and tahini are all wonderful sources of fat and they will help your body create the environment it needs with the resources it desires to start to rebuild your own hormones and absorb all the goodness you need from your food!
Those are my top 5 tips that have helped me slowly, but naturally, balance my hormone levels and support my body the best that I can, so that in turn, it can support me the same.