New Delhi: Hormones have profound effects on your mental, physical and emotional health. These chemical messengers play a major role in controlling your appetite, weight and mood, among other things. A hormone-balancing diet includes the right foods to steady your blood sugar levels and optimize insulin levels. When you support a healthy diet with the right nutrients and lifestyle factors, you can dramatically improve hormone levels. These 7 strategies provide a solid starting point.
Reduce or eliminate sugar and other food sensitivities
Sugar keeps insulin elevated, knocking other hormones out of balance and paving the way for insulin resistance. Food sensitivities, including gluten intolerance, can also increase inflammation and contribute to hormonal imbalances, including elevated cortisol. Research shows that a healthy gluten-free diet can reduce inflammation and insulin resistance. Consider working with a chiropractor or other healthcare professional to develop an elimination diet to see if your symptoms improve.
Balance stress levels.
Chronic stress is all-around bad news for hormonal balance, as it can create or exacerbate hormonal imbalances. Research has shown that six months of practicing biweekly (2 times per week) meditation could improve insulin levels, while also improving stress levels. If meditation sounds boring to you, the good news is, research has shown that what really matters is what helps you de-stress. That could be yoga, deep breathing, or taking your dog for a walk. De-stressing is not a cookie-cutter process that will work the same in every person, so feel free to explore your options and see what works the best for you.
Hormonal imbalances can increase inflammation, which in turn can further disrupt hormone production. When your adrenals over-secrete cortisol, other hormones, including insulin, become disrupted, leading to chronic inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet, rich in wild-caught fish and high-fiber plant foods, is your best foundation to lower inflammation. If you aren’t regularly eating fish, consider a quality fish oil to get those crucial anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
Get great sleep
Your circadian rhythm impacts many hormones including cortisol and ghrelin. Sleep disturbances can contribute to numerous problems including hormonal imbalances. Getting optimal sleep levels can be a challenge in today’s plugged-in society. Sleep hygiene can help — turn off electronics an hour or two before bed, unwind with an Epsom salt bath, and consider a supplement that naturally helps you fall and stay asleep.
The right amount and kind of exercise can positively impact nearly every hormone, including positively influencing insulin levels. Exercise can also boost growth hormone, your “fountain of youth” hormone that keeps you lean and energetic. While many studies have looked at the benefits of higher-intensity exercise for hormone balance, what matters ultimately is what you actually do. Follow our tips to start exercising more, no matter what your current physical condition, and learn more about MaxT3, our research-based workout program.