Dr Simoné Laubscher gives us 8 simple ways to balance our hormones.
A hormonal imbalance will affect you from PMS to Infertility to Menopause and everything in between, hormones can make us feel like life is enjoyable and beautiful or dark and challenging. Regardless of age, you’ll always feel well when your hormones are in balance.
Deal With Your Inflamation.
A diet high in animal fats, processed meats and grains, dairy and sugar will increase inflammation and cause hormone imbalance. These inflammatory foods increase your risk of disease and obesity and are a significant cause of hormone issues. Excessive alcohol also increases inflammation and reduces immune function, and has a knock-on effect on your endocrine system.
For women, heavy drinking increases the risk of ovulation disorders. For men, it lowers testosterone levels, causes erectile dysfunction and decreases sperm production, so stick to a few glasses of organic red wine a week. Caffeine can cause hormonal imbalance and dehydration and lead to mineral deficiencies. High consumption of caffeine can also interfere with fertility.
Lowering your caffeine to one cup per day, or giving it up entirely, is a good idea when you’re trying to get pregnant.
Eat more plants, less animal protein, cut dairy and go more pesca vegan for three months to combat your inflammation and hormonal imbalance. Ideally, it is best to eat 3 cups of green veggies per day, but if you find that a little tricky, fast track like I do with WelleCo The Super Elixir.
Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels.
Blood sugar spikes will directly impact your hormones and cause them to peak, creating hormonal imbalance, particularly oestrogen, leaving you feeling mentally and physically out of sorts. The sugar rush will also kick start your fight or flight/stress response surging adrenaline and cortisol creating a vicious cycle leading to fatigue and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Good quality protein at each meal from fish, nuts, seeds, organic eggs, or a vegan protein powder such as the Welleco Nourishing Protein will provide easily absorbed essential amino acids to balance your blood sugar levels and hormones.
Adding Omega 3’s from oily fish, avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut oil will also help regulate your blood sugar levels. Research shows this will also help regulate ovulation, improve egg quality and even delay the ageing of the ovaries. Just be mindful of increasing fish high in mercury. If you don’t like to eat fish, add a good Omega 3 supplement.
Do your best to opt for organic foods with lots of green vegetables, as pesticides can affect oestrogen and other hormones and worsen your hormonal imbalances.
Move Your Body.
Exercise is also crucial for the hormonal balance to support your mental and physical health. Choose an activity you love that brings you joy, spend time in nature, get your barefoot on the earth, breath and choose to respond rather than react to your environmental triggers. The sea is also wonderful to balance your nervous and hormonal systems, and if that is hard for you, opt for Epsom salt baths or foot baths.
As an act of self-love, I move my body each day, even if just for 30 minutes. I also stay present and use this time to embrace prayer and affirming, positive statements over my life.
Research has shown that stress directly impacts both male and female hormonal levels, and with such a difficult few years for many and stress levels at an all-time high, we are seeing a massive rise in hormonal imbalance related issues in our clinics.
As stress increases, fertility also tends to decrease, with one study measuring the levels of an enzyme linked with stress in women’s saliva trying to get pregnant for over one year. The enzyme tested is alpha-amylase, which helps the body digest carbohydrates linked to the fight-or-flight stress response.
Stress also increases heart rate and vasoconstriction, triggering hot flushes and increasing period paid. Blood circulation is also reduced, causing fatigue, body pain, and mood disorders: low libido and PMS and Menopause symptoms.
Adopting mindfulness and daily stress-reducing techniques will have a substantial beneficial effect.Getting your stress under control is vital to calm your nervous system and, therefore, your hormones.
I love Chinese & Ayurvedic herbs, and I have been using them for most of my career with great success. Traditionally taken as a tea, these herbs can be pretty arduous for the taste buds and tough to endure, not to mention the many hours to boil them up.
For this reason, helped formulate two new wonderful Elixirs for WelleCo – The PMS and Goddess Elixir (for Menopause). Always keep your Super Elixir as your foundational base and then you can add either of these as a booster.
The PMS Elixir is great for teenage girls right up to women who are still menstruating to reduce all symptoms of PMS from water retention, sore breasts, sugar cravings, mood swings and period pain.
The Goddess Elixiris to help you elegantly move through menopause, reduce symptoms such as low libido, hot flushes and mood swings and realign you so you catapult into this amazing new season of feminine flow.
Adding seaweed to your diet is also a tremendous hormonal balancer, particularly for the thyroid, for it is high in iodine, and you can buy dulse and seaweed flakes to add to salads and stir fry. You can also make yummy homemade sushi rolls with fish and avocado, swap the rice for quinoa, or opt for black or brown rice to keep your GI index down.
Improve Your Sleep.
Low quality or limited amount of regular sleep is linked to inflammation, and hormonal imbalances can reduce the body’s ability to heal during the night, leading to excessive stress, a natural enemy of hormonal balance.
Over many years, I have seen sleep as a significant catalyst in reducing the endocrine system’s entire function. So how much is enough? We are all different, but the classic 8 hours is a great start and keeping the temperature cool at around 17-20 degrees celsius.Ultimately you need to wake up feeling refreshed, and you need to work out what is your optimum, but most need 6-10 hours a night to feel well.
I love wind-down rituals like an Epsom salt bath, essential oil and the Sleep Welle Calming Tea I formulated for WelleCo, to support deep restorative sleep.
Use Less Plastics.
Plastics are hormonal disruptors, so increase your green vegetables and reduce exposure to plastics from water bottles and storage containers. I recommend to never use plastics when serving or warming food. Using glass, ceramic or stainless steel is best. Sometimes, especially with kids, plastic water bottles are necessary, so choose the PBA and toxic-free varieties but still keep them out of the direct sun and heat.
Broccoli, Cabbage and Brussel Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that contain Indole-3-Carbinol, which helps the liver metabolise oestrogen. It’s best to steam cruciferous vegetables, avoiding the goitrogens present in their raw state.
Increase Foods High in Vitamin C.
Plant-based Vitamin C helps with wound healing if you have hormone-related acne and is excellent for fertility. It triggers regular ovulation in women and can increase sperm quality in men.
Plant-based vitamin C with Citrus Bioflavonoids has been shown to reduce menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, leg cramps, sexual and mood disorders, and hair and memory loss.
Vitamin C foods also help your body absorb iron, an essential nutrient for women. Grapefruits and other citrus fruits, kiwis, guava, cherries, berries, and kale are excellent sources. Pumpkin Seeds are also high in Vitamin C, and as a bonus, they are anti-parasitic and even increase in zinc, an essential nutrient for reproduction in both men and women.
If you want to add a plant-based Vitamin C, be very careful not to buy synthetic Vitamin C which flushes out of the body. Opt for a whole food Vitamin C which is found in all WelleCo products including the PMS and Goddess Elixirs.