This blog post is a little different from food this time!
HORMONES WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME I SWEAR.
This certain area of life has been a consistent battle for me for years. After taking ‘the bar’ out of my arm some years ago, my body is still recovering from the shit that was released into my body.
This has led to horrible cystic acne & scarring, sporadic / heavy periods, depression, mood swings.. the list goes on!
This topic is something I am so passionate about, because I really do understand how much hormones can f*%k your life up. I have been, and still am what seems to be a never ending journey of ups and downs when it comes to my hormones.
My beautiful friend Georgia, is a Sydney based naturopath who has written a few things she wants to share regarding hormones.
Thank you so much for sharing your words lady, I really needed to read this!!
5 TIPS TO FIND HORMONAL BALANCE
Georgia Hartmann - Naturopath
Acne; eczema; dry skin; rashes; irregular periods; painful periods; heavy periods; PMS; infertility; trouble sleeping; poor concentration; fatigue; loss of stamina; crying episodes; anxiety; depression; chronic stress; hair loss; oily hair; weight retention; bloating; poor immune function; allergies; body and joint pain; chronic headaches - if you recognise any of these conditions, it may be a sign that you’re experiencing hormonal imbalance.
See, hormones are chemical messengers in the body that control most major bodily functions – from hunger to emotions to reproductive ability – so we must look after them. And how do we do that?
Well, our hormones are deeply connected to the food we eat, the exercise we do, the toxins we absorb, the weight we carry, and the stress levels we put up with. So it is imperative that we put all of the necessary measures in place to ensure we have happy, healthy hormones.
So, here is my tried-and-tested 5-step process to find hormonal balance. For the next 30 days, implement each of these steps. And if you do so correctly, the above-mentioned conditions can be managed and you will feel more balanced and healthy in your body!
So here we go -
Start your morning with a cup of warm water and half a squeezed lemon
This helps to stimulate the gastric juices in the stomach, which supports healthy digestion, metabolism and liver function. Supporting these processes will assist in finding hormonal balance.
I’m talking 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise 5 days per week. You can walk, you can run, you can do yoga, pilates, HIIT classes. All that matters is that you move. You know, research shows that exercise is just as effective as anti-depressants for improving symptoms of depression – AMAZING, right! So make the time to exercise as regularly as possible!
Adopt a wholesome, clean diet
Completely eliminate alcohol, smoking & sugar
This step is absolutely vital. Each of these habits negatively impacts hormonal balance. For 30 days, see how you go. If you are finding it hard to maintain the willpower, follow these simple steps - Notice how you feel when you want that glass of red; that cigarette; that brownie. Accept that feeling. Then refrain from the habit. Reward yourself with something else – money in a jar for an upcoming holiday; a walk on the beach; something of the like.
Limit coffee intake to 1 per day, before 10am.
Coffee beans are a rich source of antioxidants, however in excessive amounts, caffeine is disruptive to hormonal balance. For the next 30 days, limit your coffee intake to 1 cup per day. Swap your second, third or fourth with a cup of roasted dandelion, green, peppermint or ginger tea.
Eat your greens
Include 1 cup of greens with your main meals. This can include a mixture of spinach, kale, broccoli, broccolini, bok choy, cabbage and brussel sprouts. These vegetables are key for healthy hormonal balance. Note - when eaten raw, brassica vegetables (all of the above, but spinach) contain goitrogens, which are compounds that can compromise thyroid function. So be sure to consume these vegetables cooked.
Consume foods rich in magnesium and zinc
These two nutrients play a vital role in hormone function and are particularly important if you experience anxiety, stress, digestive complaints, acne, eczema or menstrual complaints. Foods rich in magnesium and zinc include spinach, kale, avocado, chickpeas, kidney beans, and raw, unsalted nuts & seeds (almond, walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds).
Create a healthy sleep routine
Ensuring you provide your body with adequate rest will directly assist in balancing your hormones. For optimum health, aim for 8 hours of quality sleep each and every night. If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking unrefreshed, try these simple yet effective tips:
Get to bed at the same time each night;
Wake at the same time every morning;
Exercise in the morning or at lunch;
Be sure to limit caffeine intake to 1 per day before 10am;
Avoid all screen time 1 hour before bed – this means no phones or laptops.
Minimise toxin exposure
When it comes to hormonal balance, the environment plays an enormous, and sometimes destructive, role. Minimising toxin exposure is important in promoting healthy hormones. It is particularly important for women with endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, menstrual problems and thyroid conditions. To do this, swap all plastic tupperware and drink bottles to glass or stainless steel, and swap all beauty and personal products to those without parabens, phthalates, SLS or fragrance.
Georgia Hartmann is a Sydney-based Naturopath who has a strong love for women’s health. You can find more from her at @georgiahartmann_naturopathy