A number of factors can cause a hormone imbalance, including stress levels, lack of sleep, under or over-eating, blood sugar levels, over-exercising, nutrient deficiencies or being on a form of hormonal contraception.
These are our top JSHealth tips to support healthy, happy and balanced hormones through diet and lifestyle practices.
Limit Processed/packaged foods
What we don’t realise is that there is often hidden salt, excess refined sugar, flavourings and thickeners/emulsifiers hidden in packaged foods that you find in the supermarket.
Enjoy one coffee per day
Excess caffeine can wreak havoc on our hormones, by increasing cortisol levels. Aim to enjoy 1 coffee per day, prior to midday. Enjoy alternatives such as herbal tea and dandelion chai tea.
Reduce alcohol intake
Did you know that the liver is the same site that metabolises both alcohol and our hormones? So it’s important to take good care of our liver. Enjoy alcohol in moderation, and alternatives such as lime and soda, kombucha or a delicious mocktail.
Greens, greens, greens
Dark leafy greens specifically contain potent antioxidants that assist the liver with the metabolism of oestrogen. Think spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, silverbeet, rocket and zucchini.
Omega-3 fatty acids
These help to nourish our hormones and protect our cells. They are also anti-inflammatory, so can help to manage painful menstrual symptoms. Enjoy oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), eggs, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds and extra virgin olive oil.
Aim for 2-2.25L of water per day, an extra if exercising. Maintaining hydration levels are important for nourishing our cells and for the detoxification processes.
Enjoy magnesium-rich foods
Inadequate intakes for Magnesium may be contributing to PMS symptoms. Increase intake through banana, avocado, black beans, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, nuts, oats, wild rice, fish and dark green leafy vegetables.
Consider supplement support
A quality supplement with hormone-loving herbs and nutrients can provide additional care when you need it. Speak to your health professional to find one that is right for your individual needs.
Get moving, yet also know when to rest!
Exercising increases the feel good hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. It helps to release endorphins. However, it’s equally as important to know when to rest. Over-exercising can cause our cortisol levels to go into overdrive.
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Inadequate sleep can affect the ability to regulate stress hormones and impacts the hormones that control appetite and blood glucose levels.
Reduce use of BPA plastics
BPA plastic is a synthetic compound used to make certain plastics that can disrupt hormonal pathways. Everyone is exposed to BPA through skin, inhalation and the digestive system. Serve your food onto a plate or aim to store your food in glass containers or BPA-free plastic.
Set boundaries for screens
Too much screen time can suppress melatonin production, impact sleep and essentially increase cortisol levels. Enjoy alternatives such as colouring in, reading, going for a walk or listening to music.
Switch to all natural household cleaning and beauty products
Many household cleaning and beauty products contain chemicals to make them last longer or function a certain way. However, these can interrupt the function of our hormones as they enter through inhalation or through the skin.
Know that it’s okay to say ‘No’
It’s time to prioritise your downtime and put yourself first. If it doesn’t serve you or lift you up, or you’re simply too tired, just say ‘no’.