First I would love to share this free Hormone Balance Quiz (I would always suggest getting professional help with the proper blood tests to find out exactly but sometimes we need a quick answer to ease our mind so make sure to cross reference your results with other resources)
Some other signs include Cravings,Sweating,Digestion problems, Insomnia and poor sleep patterns, Anxiety, irritability and depression, Low libido,
Persistent weight gain, Belly fat and loss of muscle mass.
There are many different types of hormones in the body, which all have different functions, but While hormones are naturally fluctuating, problems start to occur when the fluctuations go out of balance …. this can cause a lot of symptoms in both your body and your mind and are all influenced by each other.
Diet and stress is one of the biggest causes of hormonal imbalance.
I’ve researched a few ways to help restore your bodies natural ability to balance your hormones.
Supplement with these top Ten Adaptogen Herbs
Adaptogen herbs are a unique class of healing plants that promote hormone balance and protection the body from a wide variety of diseases, including those caused by excess stress. In addition to boosting immune function and combating stress, research shows that various adapotogens — such as ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, rhodiola and holy basil — can:
- Improve thyroid function (3)
- Lower cholesterol naturally
- Reduce anxiety and depression (4)
- Reduce brain cell degeneration
- Stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels (5)
- Support adrenal gland functions (6)
Eat foods that balance because you are what you eat.
Ditch The Dairy
Ditching the dairy is important for Your Hormones because ALL cows that produce milk are pregnant, organically raised, fed, etc. or not. It makes no difference that their milk doesn’t have added hormones considering that alone, cow’s milk contains over 60 different hormones without anything being added to it. Now, while all of us have different hormone situations going on, there is no logical research that says we need to take in added hormones from another mammal.
Walk in nature
To balance your hormones, you must address your exercise habits. Chronic cardio – jogging, running, spinning classes and even Cross Fit – places undue stress on your body. Prolonged periods of cardio creates free radical damage and spikes stress hormones. Chronic cardio so impairs balan
ced hormones that those with adrenal fatigue should avoid cardio for a full month.
Walking in nature, on the other hand, provides a restorative yet invigorating exercise ideal for balancing hormones. As a matter of fact, walking in nature has been shown to reduce cortisol levels (a stress hormone) and boost the immune system (3). High cortisol levels create inflammation and perpetuate hormonal imbalance, so reducing cortisol is good news!
Walking also stimulates the lymphatic system to help flush toxins from the body and works a wide range of muscles without undue stress on the body.
Eliminate Toxic Kitchen, Beauty and Body Care Products
Another way to eliminate toxins in your body is to avoid conventional body care products that are made with potentially-harmful chemicals including DEA, parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulfate. A better alternative is to use natural products made with ingredients like essential oils, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil. The Environmental Working Group evaluated over 72,000 products and ranked them in an easy-to-understand guide to make sure you have a resource to keep your family safe. Check out EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” today for recommendations for which products to use and avoid.
Another thing to consider is your use of plastic bottles, aluminum cans and containers. It’s best to replace plastic and aluminum with glass and stainless steel because of the toxic effects of BPA. Another wise precaution is to switch from teflon pans to stainless steel, ceramic or cast iron, which can make a big difference in the amount of chemicals making their way into the food you prepare.
Reduce Stress & Get More Sleep
Unless you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, you’re doing your body no favors. A Lack of sleep or disturbing your natural circadian rhythm can be one of the worst habits contributing to a hormone imbalance. How so? Because your hormones work on a schedule! Case in point: Cortisol, the primary “stress hormone”, is regulated at midnight. Therefore, people who go to bed late never truly get a break from their sympathetic flight/fight stress response.
A lack of sleep, long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are three of the biggest contributors to high cortisol levels. A report published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism stated that “Stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones including glucocorticoids, catecholamines, growth hormone and prolactin”. (11)
Sleep helps keep stress hormones balanced, builds energy and allows the body to recover properly. Excessive stress and poor sleep are linked with higher levels of morning cortisol, decreased immunity, trouble with work performance, and a higher susceptibility to anxiety, weight gain and depression. To maximize hormone function, ideally try to get to bed by 10 p.m and stick with a regular sleep-wake-cycle as much as possible.
RECIPES TO HELP BALANCE HORMONES NATURALLY
Mango Kale Salad
1 bunch of kale*
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, and more for drizzling on the salad
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
1. Tear the leaves of the kale away from the stalks and throw away the stalks or save them for juicing (if you’re into juicing). Tear the kale leaves into “salad leaf size.”
2. Put the leaves into a bowl and drizzle with half of the lemon juice, a bit of oil and season with the salt.
3. With clean hands, massage the oil and lemon juice into the kale working it between your fingers until it is well coated in oil and has started to wilt slightly. This should only take a few minutes but it’s an important, worthwhile step.
4. Combine the other half of the lemon juice with the olive oil and the pepper in a separate bowl. Taste test—this will be your dressing. Add seasoning where needed.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the kale and toss to combine. Add the diced mango and toasted sunflower seeds. Serve with the satisfaction that you are eating a RAW super food salad in a delicious and healthy way. You go girl!
Hormone Balancing Ingredients:
1. Kale, a cruciferous and green leafy vegetable
2. Lemon, a citrus fruit
3. Sunflower seeds
4. Extra virgin olive oil, a healthy fat Recipe Notes *Kale Sometimes kale bunches can be really massive. If that’s all that’s available then that’s fine. The recommendation is to use half of the bunch of kale for this recipe and then save the rest for a Black and Blue Green Smoothie (on page 12) or for juicing or another recipe.
**Toasting Sunflower Seeds To toast the sunflower seeds heat a little bit of coconut oil or olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the seeds and toast for a few minutes until they are nicely browned. Remove from heat immediately and set aside. This recipe is also good with toasted pumpkin seeds.
ALMOND CACAO COOKIES with SALTED MACA CARAMEL
Almond cacao cookies:
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted maca caramel:
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons maca powder
Himalayan pink crystal salt, to taste
3/4 cup water, more or less as needed
Pecan halves, walnut halves and/or almonds
To make the cookies: pulse the almonds into flour in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan and put in the fridge.
To make the caramel: blend all the ingredients until smooth and thick like whipped cream. Put this in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Use a cookie cutter to make your cookies, then scoop a spoonful of caramel on top of each one. Press a walnut, almond or pecan onto the dollop of caramel. Refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours… then enjoy with fresh almond milk!
Tex-Mex Pinto Beans with Fresh Salsa Serves
1 ¼ cup dry pinto beans
About 4 cups of veggie broth (30 ounces)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp black pepper
Water, if needed
1. Soak the Beans: Soak the beans in a bowl and cover with water the night before you want to make the dish. Make sure the water covers the beans at least a couple of inches. The beans will expand as they soak. Soak overnight before you go to bed and you can leave them in the water during the day. This is really important because it helps reduce cooking time and it also helps significantly with digestion.
2. To Prepare the Beans: Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with water. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with chicken broth. Add in the onion, garlic cumin and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. You’ll need to let them cook for at least an hour (it would be 2 ½ without the soaking).
3. Stir the pot periodically in that time to make sure that the beans aren’t sticking to the pan. Add water as needed to keep beans moist. I also added crumbled bacon when the beans were close to being finished. Delish!
4. Once the beans are tender, serve alone or with salsa (recipe below). The salsa is REALLY good with the beans. S
alsa Ingredients 2 tbsp of finely chopped onion 2 small garlic cloves, minced 2 small ripe tomatoes, chopped 2 tbsp of minced cilantro (fresh) 1 ½ to 2 tbsp lime juice Salt and pepper Directions Mix all in a bowl and serve.
Hormone Balancing Ingredients: 1. Pinto beans, legumes 2. Onions and garlic 3. Lime juice, a citrus fruit