Why do men generally gain muscle and lose body fat more easily than women do? Why do women experience fluctuations in weight, mood, libido and energy throughout the month? Why are sugary snacks so tempting after a sleepless night? Our hormones are the answer to all these questions, and more!
ormones are the body’s chemical messengers that are produced by glands and travel through the bloodstream to our tissues and organs to regulate:
- Metabolism and appetite
- Heart rate
- Body temperate
- Sleep cycles
- Reproduction, fertility and sexual function
- Mood and stress levels
- Muscle development and fat distribution
As they have such an important role in so many processes in the body, even the smallest hormonal imbalances can cause symptoms such as:
- Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
- Low sex drive
- Weak bones
- Dry skin and brittle hair
- Anxiety and Depression
- Conditions such as Diabetes
If you’re keen to avoid the list above, take a look at these 7 natural ways to support your hormonal health!
Get to know your hormones
The biggest thing you can do to support your hormonal health is to take responsibility for your wellness and learn about your hormones. It’s so empowering to understand how your body works, and the more we learn, the more we can make informed and supportive choices around our diet and lifestyle. By reading this blog post, you’re off to a great start!
Sleep and rest should be a top priority
Move your body right
High-intensity workouts can be a fast and exhilarating way to get fit if you’re already in good health, but did you know that intense exercise can make existing hormonal imbalances even worse? If you feel or know that something isn’t quite right with your hormones, find gentle and relaxing ways to move your body for now.
While walking, swimming and stretching are ideal if your body is still trying to find its balance, sleep and rest should be a top priority.
Support your sleep
Do you have a pre-bed routine that supports your sleep? Just as exposure to sunlight early in the day causes the release of serotonin to make us feel awake and happy, darkness in the evening is essential for healthy sleep. Too much light and screen time at night will suppress the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us fall asleep.
When it comes to naturally balanced hormones and high-level health, the importance of sleep can not be overstated. Is it time to work on your sleep strategy?
Sleep Tip: The right herbal tea blend can calm your senses and ease you into a blissful night's sleep. Try a tea with a tranquil combination of organic ingredients like Tropeaka Sleep Herbal Infusion.
Limit caffeine intake
As a central nervous system stimulant, too much caffeine can wreak havoc on your hormonal balance, especially if your mind and body are already under stress. Flooding your brain with dopamine, blocking adenosine and constantly stimulating your adrenal glands can quickly push your hormones out of balance.
Herbal teas are a tasty and caffeine-free alternative to coffee. Unlike coffee, which can hinder your body’s natural functions, herbal teas can support and protect the body’s systems and processes.
Simply do more of what calms you down
By now, you may be familiar with the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. You may also be aware that our bodies don’t know the difference between being chased by a lion and worrying about a work deadline.
Cortisol and adrenaline are great in short-term bursts to help us perform at the gym, deal with an emergency, or escape the jaws of a lion. Long-term stress, however, can result in weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, a higher risk of infection, as well as a variety of chronic health conditions.
The solution? That’s up to you! Whether you meditate, dance, sing, write in your journal, walk amongst the trees, or spend an afternoon baking, simply do more of what calms you down and restores your natural state of inner peace.
Did you know that there are some powerful minerals, herbs and superfoods that can balance and support your hormones? Here are a few of the best supplements for hormonal health:
A tuber in the radish family, maca is a great support to your hormonal system, with a long medicinal history in Peru. A great source of the minerals and essential fatty acids our hormones love, maca is traditionally known to improve fertility, reduce PMS, support healthy skin and hair, and power up energy metabolism and libido in both men and women. For a highly-quality, organic product, try Tropeaka Maca Powder.
Herbs and Adaptogens
Adaptogens function similarly to cortisol. Supplementing with these fantastic herbs and mushrooms will not only lower your cortisol back down to a normal level and give your adrenal glands a break, but they can also strengthen the systems that have been impaired by excessive stress.
Vitex agnus-castus and red raspberry leaf are two medicinal herbs that support the hormones involved in women’s menstrual health. They can be super helpful to anyone experiencing PMS, cramps, period pain or irregular cycles.
Not only does magnesium calm the nervous system to rebalance cortisol production, but it’s also responsible for converting the inactive T4 thyroid hormone into the active form of T3, which is essential for a healthy metabolism. Magnesium the magnificent mineral also helps the body make progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone, and can even be taken before bed to aid with sleep!
Among its many health benefits, this essential fatty acid supports the construction of your hormones, as well as hormone transport and communication. Omega-3 supplements can also help reduce inflammation and counteract oestrogen dominance.
Focus on your gut health
We now know that gut health and hormonal balance are more deeply intertwined than we ever could have imagined. To highlight how much our mental health depends on both our gut health and our hormonal balance, consider this fact: 90% of all serotonin, a key hormonal player in our happiness and wellbeing, is made in the gut.
Poor gut health can also lead to an oestrogen imbalance in women, which can negatively impact the menstrual cycle, and lead to weight gain, loss of libido, acne and hair loss, among other unpleasant symptoms.
A healthy gut microbiome depends on your delicate and unique balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. This balance comes down to whether you’re feeding the good bacteria or the harmful bacteria. Bad bacteria feed on sugar and processed foods, while the good bacteria love to feast on the fibre and polyphenols found in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and teas.
Gut health tip: Approved by naturopaths and nutritionists, Sarah’s Day Body Bloom contains a range of natural prebiotics and probiotics, as well as a blend of fermented plant-based foods to support a happy and healthy gut microbiome.
This tip is more than just a gut health tip! It’s a tip for smooth, glowing skin; strong, shiny hair; and healthy, balanced hormones.
Balanced hormones keep us looking healthy and feeling our best, both mentally and physically. Supporting your hormonal health will not only help you reach your fitness goals faster, but it will also help you enjoy the whole journey!