An imbalance in the hormones can impact your mood, appetite as well as your overall health quite significantly. Some factors, such as aging, are actually beyond the control of an individual. However, there are some factors that can be managed such as stress and your diet which also result in influencing the levels of your hormones. In this article, we will take a look at various ways to balance hormones naturally.
14 Natural Ways to Balance Hormones:
Hormones in our body have profound effects on our mental, physical as well as emotional health. Even a small change in the hormone levels could cause several adverse effects. Symptoms of hormonal imbalance can grow worse over time and can lead to chronic issues. So, it is better to find out various ways to balance hormones naturally. Let us take a look at them here.
1. Get Enough Sleep:
Sleep is really very important for balancing hormone levels naturally. Levels of specific hormones might rise and fall all throughout the day in response to various issues like sleep quality.
So, getting a full, uninterrupted sleep every day could help the body regulate the levels of the hormone.
2. Manage Stress:
Excess of stress can cause an imbalance in your hormonal levels. Two major hormones that are generally affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline, which is also known as epinephrine.
Cortisol, or the “Stress hormone” helps your body to cope up with stress over the long term. Adrenaline is known as the “Fight-or-flight” hormone that offers your body a surge of energy for responding to an immediate danger.
Chronic stress causes the levels of cortisol to remain elevated, which can result in excessive intake of calorie and obesity, including increased fat in the belly region.
Research shows that you might be able to lower your levels of cortisol by engaging various stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, massage, and listening to relaxing music.(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
You must devote at least 15 minutes per day to several stress-reducing activities, and help yourself to have a balance of the hormones naturally.
3. Do Regular Exercise:
One must note down that physical activity can significantly influence the hormonal health. One of the major benefits of exercise is its ability to reduce the levels of insulin and increase insulin sensitivity.
We already know that a high level of insulin is linked to diabetes, heart disease, inflammation, and even cancer. So, we need to maintain the balance of insulin level in the body. There are several types of physical activities that have been found to increase insulin sensitivity and also reduce the levels of insulin.
Apart from this, being active physically might also help to boost the levels of several muscle-maintaining hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, IGF-1, and growth hormone that start declining with age.
It is good to go for a combination of aerobic and resistance training for getting the best results. However, any type of exercise would be beneficial when done on a regular basis.
If you are not able to perform vigorous exercise, you can also go for a regular walk and that might increase the levels of these hormones, and potentially improve the strength as well as the quality of life.
4. Eat Enough Of Protein At Every Meal:
Among the various ways to balance hormones naturally, one is to consume enough of protein at every meal. Dietary protein offers essential amino acids that our body cannot make on its own and that must be consumed daily so as to maintain bone, muscle, and skin health.
Additionally, protein influences the release of hormones that are known to control appetite and food intake.
Research has shown that consuming protein rich diet reduces the levels of Ghrelin or the Hunger Hormone and stimulates the production of hormones that help you to feel full, including the PYY and GLP-1.
In order to optimize hormonal health, it is recommended by experts to consume at least 20-30 grams of protein at every meal.(9) This can be easily done by consuming protein-rich foods in your every meal.
5. Consume Lots Of Fiber:
Fiber is known to play a crucial role in improving your gut health. It is also known to help in regulating hormones, such as the insulin level.
A study published in the journal “Obesity” notes that certain types of fiber work in balancing levels of other hormones as well, which in turn might help an individual to maintain a healthy weight.
So, start consuming lots of fiber-rich foods to balance hormones naturally.
6. Consume Healthy Fats:
One more way to balance hormones naturally is to consume healthy fats. Including high-quality natural fats in a regular diet might help in reducing insulin resistance and appetite.
MCTs or the Medium-chain triglycerides are unique fats that are directly taken up by the liver for immediate use as energy.
These MCTs have shown to reduce insulin resistance in obese and overweight people, and also in those suffering from diabetes.(10, 11)
MCTs are present in palm oil, coconut oil, and pure MCT oil.
Dairy fats and monounsaturated fats present in nuts and olive oil are also known to increase insulin sensitivity. This has been shown from studies in healthy adults and also in those with diabetes, fatty liver, and elevated triglycerides.
In addition to this, there are studies that have shown that taking healthy fat at every meal triggers the release of hormones that make you feel full and satisfied and these hormones include GLP-1, PYY, and Cholecystokinin.
So, for optimizing hormone health, you need to consume a healthy source of fat in your meal.
7. Quit Smoking Tobacco:
Tobacco smoke might disrupt levels of various hormones.
For instance, as per a study in the International Journal of General Medicine, the tobacco smoke might alter the levels of thyroid hormone, stimulate pituitary hormones, and also raise steroid hormone levels, like the levels of cortisol, which is associated with stress.
So, it is essential for you to quit smoking tobacco.
8. Avoid Too Much Light At Night:
Being exposed to blue light, like those coming from computer screens or cell phones, can disrupt your sleep cycle. Our body responds to the blue light as if it was the daylight and adjusts the hormones of the body in response.
One study in Chronobiology International has noted that exposure to any bright artificial lighting during the night might confuse the body, and causing it to suppress the melatonin hormone, which can affect various functions in a negative manner.
So, you need to avoid artificial lights that might regulate hormones and restore your natural circadian rhythm.
9. Avoid Sugar And Refined Carbohydrates:
Sugar and refined carbohydrates are known to be linked with a number of health issues. In fact, avoiding or at least minimizing these foods might be beneficial in optimizing hormone function and avoiding diabetes, obesity and various other diseases.
Studies have shown consistently that fructose can increase the levels of insulin and also promote insulin resistance, especially in the case of obese and overweight people with diabetes or prediabetes.
Most importantly, fructose makes up to half of most types of sugar and this includes various natural forms, such as maple syrup and honey, and also refined table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
In a study, it was found that individuals suffering from pre-diabetes experienced similar increases in the levels of insulin and insulin resistance, whether they took 1.8 ounces or 50 grams of honey, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup.
Additionally, diets which are high in refined carbohydrates such as pretzels and white bread might promote insulin resistance in a large portion of adolescents and adults.
So, following a moderate or low-carbohydrate diet that is based on whole foods might reduce levels of insulin in case of obese and overweight people having diabetes and other insulin-resistant conditions such as PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome.
10. Choose Non-Toxic Body Products:
You need to choose non-toxic body products so as to maintain a balance in hormones naturally.
Most of the personal care products contain parabens, phthalates, and many other hormone-disrupting chemicals. These toxins get absorbed into our skin, where they could enter the bloodstream and cause a serious imbalance in the hormones. You need to get rid of any such toxic products that contain these hormone-disrupting chemicals.
11. Eat Lots Of Eggs:
You need to consume lots of eggs to have a balance in the hormones naturally. Eggs are in fact one of the most nutritious foods. They have been known to affect hormones that regulate food intake, including the lowering of insulin levels and levels of Ghrelin, and increasing PYY.
A study has shown that consuming whole eggs as a part of a low-carbohydrate diet had increased insulin sensitivity and improved various heart health markers more than a low-carbohydrate diet that mainly included only the egg whites.(13)
12. Drink Green Tea:
Green tea is considered one of the healthiest beverages found. It has metabolism-boosting caffeine and also contains epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, or an antioxidant which has been known for its numerous health benefits.
Research has suggested that taking green tea might increase insulin sensitivity and lower the levels of insulin in both, healthy individuals as well as in those people with diabetes, obesity, and other insulin-resistant conditions.
In a detailed analysis of 17 studies, it was found that green tea has significantly lower fasting insulin levels.
So, you need to drink 1-3 cups of green tea every day.
13. Avoid Overeating And Under-eating:
One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind so as to maintain a balance in hormones naturally is to avoid overeating and under-eating. Eating an excess of food or taking too little food might cause hormonal shifts that result in weight issues.
Overeating is known to increase insulin levels and also reduce insulin sensitivity; particularly in the case of obese and overweight people who are insulin resistant.(14, 15, 16, 17)
In a study, insulin-resistant obese adult individuals who consumed an 1300 calorie meal had experienced nearly twice the increase in their levels of insulin as a lean individual and the “metabolically healthy” obese individuals who ate an identical meal.
On the other hand, it is found that if you cut your calorie intake in excess then the levels of stress hormones like cortisol could increase, which can promote weight gain.
A study has shown that restricting food intake to less than 1200 calories per day resulted in increased levels of cortisol.
So, consuming within your own personal calorie range could help you in maintaining hormonal balance and healthy body weight.
14. Stay Away From Sugary Beverages:
One of the most important things that you need to note down is to stay away from sugary beverages. It is known that sugar in any form is quite unhealthy. However, the liquid form of sugar appears to be the worst.
There are studies that suggest that large amounts of sugary beverages might contribute to insulin resistance, especially in the case of obese and overweight adults and children.
In a study, when few overweight individuals consumed 25% of their calories in form of high-fructose beverages, they started experiencing higher levels of blood insulin, a reduced level in insulin sensitivity, and also an increased belly fat storage.(18)
In addition to this, research has also shown that drinking sugary beverages result in excessive calorie intake as it does not trigger the same signals of fullness that consuming solid food does.
So, it is better to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages in order to maintain a balance in the hormone levels of your body.
Our hormones are very much required for our overall health and we all need them in very specific amounts in our body to function properly. Any imbalance in the hormones can result in several conditions including the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, and various other health issues. So, it is important for us to maintain a balance in the hormone levels and this can be done naturally in various ways that we already discussed above. So, why not try out some of these ways and help yourself in improving your hormonal balance and hormonal health?
NOTE: Talk to your doctor in case you have serious issues of hormonal imbalances.