What Are Hormones? 

Hormones are chemical messengers created by the endocrine glands. They are released into the bloodstream and carried to organs and tissues to perform certain functions in the body. Hormones control many functions, including our metabolism, reproduction systems, and even our emotions. Hormones have a major impact on our mental, physical, and emotional health. This means that it's very important to get rid of any imbalances you might have, so that you can look, feel, and perform at your best! When even one hormone is out of sync, it can throw off all your other hormones. You can balance your hormones easily and naturally by making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle! 

Do You Have A Hormonal Imbalance?

Alex Frank

Having a hormonal imbalance has become very common because of today’s modern lifestyle. Here are some typical symptoms and causes of hormonal imbalances, as listed in MindBodyGreen's article, 9 Signs You Have A Hormonal Imbalance + Easy Ways to Fix It: 

1. A poor diet  

2. Dry skin or chronic acne

3. Feeling irritable or having anxiety and depression

4. Irregular or heavy periods

5. Bloating and headaches

6. Trouble sleeping

7. Chronic stress

8. Malnutrition

9. Not exercising regularly

10. Trouble remembering things or concentrateing

11. Believe it or not, taking birth control actually creates imbalances because it causes estrogen dominance due to the high estrogen levels that the medication releases into the body. 

These are just a few of the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, there are many more!

If You Have An Imbalance, Try Changing Your Diet!

What we eat has a huge impact on our bodies and overall health. Changing your diet may be the best cure to treat the symptoms and causes of hormonal imbalances mentioned earlier.

vegetable, tomato, carrot, pepper
Christin Urso

1. Eat real foods. Try avoiding processed foods as much as you can. Limiting these foods from your diet and only enjoying them in moderation will surely help you balance those hormones! If your diet doesn't supply your body with enough of the nutrients and energy that it needs, you will produce excess stress hormones for survival. Processed foods do not supply your body with the nutrients your body needs. This article explains more about the importance of a healthy diet for balancing your hormones. Also, try eating organic foods when possible. If this is too expensive, go for organic when eating the Dirty Dozen, which are the foods most heavily exposed to toxic pesticides. 

Torey Walsh

2. Support your digestive health. Your body’s health all comes down to your gut. A healthy digestive system is crucial for balanced hormones and overall health. A poor diet, birth control, antibiotics, stress, lack of sleep, and parasites are just some of the things that disrupt our digestive systems. Stay away from foods that you have an intolerance to (for many people, this is gluten and dairy). Digestive problems cause many hormone issues, such as imbalanced gut bacteria, chronic inflammation, a lack of nutrient absorption, and low serotonin production. Read this article for more information about how your digestive system effects your hormones. To optimize your gut health, eat fermented food and drinks, like probiotic yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Also, try cooking as much of your food as possible - this makes it easier to digest. 

avocado, vegetable, sweet, guacamole
Jessica Kelly

3. Eat more healthy fats. Foods like avocados, omega-3 fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), nuts, seeds, egg yolks, and unrefined oils (such as olive or coconut oil) are loaded with the healthy fats our bodies need for many functions, such as reproduction. According to the article, Healthy Fats for Happy Hormones, good fats also rebuild the lining of our intestines. They are very important for our health and hormones, especially in women.  Don’t be afraid to eat good fats!

tacos, vegetable, beans, salsa
Katherine Baker

4. Make sure you’re eating enough protein. You should limit your red meat intake and try eating leaner and digestive-friendly proteins such as chicken, turkey, and fish. Also, make sure to include plant proteins in your diet such as legumes, quinoa, chia seeds, and broccoli. Protein is crucial for hormones because it influences their release and controls appetite, which can reduce overeating, as explained in this article. 

5. Avoid sugars and refined carbs. According to this article from Women's Health Network, eating too much of these foods can cause excess insulin to be produced, which in turn causes your body to produce extra estrogen. 

sweet, Whole Foods Market, Whole Foods, Fruit, mango, orange, kiwi, blueberry, jar of fruit, strawberries, strawberry, grape
Shelby Cohron

6. Eat lots of fiber. Filling up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes will make a significant impact on your digestive system. Fiber helps food to move along in our guts and aids our liver function. 

7. Avoid inflammation-causing foods. Alcohol, sugar, processed snacks, trans fats, and dairy products are all things that can cause inflammation and excess stress on your body and hormones. Read this article for more information about how inflammation can reek havoc on your hormones. 

Mackenzie Huggins

8. Limit caffeine. Try substituting coffee or energy drinks with green tea or other herbal teas. Also, try to drink tons of water throughout the day.

vegetarian, Herbs, cauliflower, Roasted cauliflower
Matthew Wenger

9. Cook with herbs. They make your food taste incredible and have natural healing benefits that are great for hormones! According to this article by The Nourished Kitchen, cooking with sage is excellent for improving appetite and lowering inflammation. 

10. Avoid overeating and under-eating. Malnutrition can really damage your hormones. Both overeating and under-eating can contribute to malnutrition, so be sure to practice moderation in your eating habits. 

You Can Help Balance Your Hormones By Making Some Lifestyle Changes, Too.

This includes:

1. Exercising regularly. Try relaxing exercises like yoga, long walks, swimming, and weight lifting, rather than lots of long cardio sessions. Excessive amounts of this type of exercise can put extra stress on your body.

fitness, Sneakers, running, Tennis shoes, Yoga, water bottle
Jocelyn Hsu

2. Managing stress. According to the article, How Chronic Stress Leads to Hormonal Imbalance, having high cortisol levels causes damage to your hormones and excess weight gain. Try to find time to relax everyday and make self-care a priority.

vegetable, cucumber, cucumber eyelids, happy girl, smiling girl, smile, happy, Relax, relaxed, zen, Spa
Julia Gilman

 3. Sleeping more! Getting enough sleep is vital to maintain good health and regulate our hormones. Your body rids itself of toxins and produces a lot of hormones while you are sleeping. Enough sleep is also important for maintaining a healthy weight and for blood sugar regulation. Read the article, A Hormone-Balancing Action Plan for Better Sleep, for more information and how to balance the hormones that specifically impact sleep. 

4. Avoiding harmful chemicals in plastics, cleaners, beauty products, and pesticides. Eating organic foods when possible, not storing your food in plastic containers, and using natural cleaners and beauty products are all ways to avoid toxins. 

The Benefits Of Balanced Hormones

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for! What will happen when you change your diet and lifestyle to balance your hormones? 

According to the article 7 Steps to Balancing Hormones Naturally, there are so many benefits to having balanced hormones! Your skin and hair will be glowing and you'll have tons of energy. Your body will be relieved of a lot of stress, which will ultimately put you in a better mood and help get rid of feelings of anxiety and depression. You'll also sleep so much better and get rid of brain fog, which means you'll be able to think more clearly and stay concentrated. Balancing your hormones can also help reduce your chance of having irregular and heavy periods, as well as PMS. As if all those reasons weren't enough, balanced hormones also help you maintain a healthy weight! Whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, improve your mood, or just achieve a feeling of balance in your body, balancing your hormones naturally will definitely help you reach your goal.