3 Ways to Naturally Balance Hormones
By Marilee Nelson |
Today we are excited to welcome Caroline Potter, NTP, of Flourish to share her healthy lifestyle tips to help naturally balance hormones and ones that you can easily incorporate into your day!
Hormones—one word that can bring both joy and despair to many women. I know what it is like to fear the dreaded word hormones or adrenal fatigue, shrug it off, pour another round of coffee and keep on hustling through life. After miscarriage, adrenal fatigue and checking myself into the ER for excruciating PMS symptoms, I decided I had enough and had to do something about it. This was no way to live.
Hormones are master communicators and the good news is, they LOVE to work effectively for you. They simply need some love, time and nourishment to heal.
3 Ways to Naturally Balance Hormones
1.Work to navigate and remove stress: realize YOU are enough.
Taking can of yourself allows you to be a better human (insert mom, dad, wife, friend, employer or ____________). Stress is the number one cause of hormone imbalances today. But you see, stress is not always so apparent. Yes, stress comes in the form of having a stressful job or not getting enough sleep, but also in some not so apparent ways like negative words or relationships, inflammatory foods, toxins, self-doubt or worry, and most importantly for many of us, “trying to do all the things.”
In this hustle, go-go-go modern world we live in, we never allow our bodies to truly rest—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Chronic stress and stimulation puts our body into a stressful or resistant state often referred to as adrenal fatigue or exhaustion and can have devastating effects on the entire endocrine system, especially the thyroid and sex hormones.
When your body is in a constant state of stress, your cortisol (adrenal hormones) work overtime attempting to keep up with your stress demands. But just your phone will eventually run out of battery, your adrenal glands will eventually say enough, “I’m exhausted and give up.” When your adrenal glands do not function efficiently, they put other body processes on the “backburner” so to speak. And your hormones, those are some of the first to get de-prioritized.
Adrenal fatigue is a lengthily topic and not one I can fully cover in this blog post, but here are a few of my top recommendations for combating adrenal fatigue:
Avoid high intensity exercise (running, heavy weight lifting, cross-fit): These workouts spike your cortisol and could only prolong or worsen your adrenal fatigue symptoms. Walking, stretching, yoga, pilates, rebounding and swimming are all great ways to get your movement in without stressing your adrenal glands.
Increase your pure salt intake: One of the functions of the adrenal glands, specifically aldosterone, is to control your sodium-potassium levels, fluid balance and blood pressure. My favorite is pure Celtic Sea Salt.
Add a Vitamin C supplement daily: In periods of stress, vitamin C is used up more rapidly to make cortisol and the stress related hormones. For adrenal fatigue, often we can’t get enough simply from food sources, so I recommend supplementing. My favorite is Pure Radiance C.
Yes, life gets busy, but it is up to you to choose that who you are today and what you have to give today is enough. When you intentionally nourish your body and heart with nutrient dense real food, sunshine, positive thoughts and quiet time, you will gain that time and energy back and be much more productive and loving throughout the day.
And no, taking care of yourself is not selfish or not about making a monthly spa date, it comes from deep inside you—learning to prioritize your health, setting boundaries, saying no and focusing on what truly matters most in life. This mental switch will have so many positive effects over your entire health, especially your hormones,…and happiness I might add!
2. Increase your intake of healthy, quality fats
Yes, one of the best things you can do to help your hormones is increase your intake of healthy, quality fats.
Why? Two reasons. First, not only are your cell’s outer membranes composed of fats (think of fats as the pretty wrapping paper covering the package, your cells) but second they are the building blocks for certain hormones and hormone precursors (which are the initial building blocks for hormones). Providing your body and hormones with the raw materials they need to function is key. So, healthy, quality fats mean sturdy cells and happy, efficient hormones.
Remember quality matters: toxins are more effectively stored in the fatty tissues, meaning when it comes to the nourishing animal fats, organic, grass-fed or pasture raised are so important. We know that toxins are a major cause of endocrine disruption and those not so fun hormone imbalances you might be experiencing and you want to make sure the foods you eat nourish, not destroy, your hormones.
My favorite nourishing fats? Grass-fed butter/ghee, unrefined coconut oil, coconut butter, whole eggs, raw or grass-fed cream, avocados or avocado oil, duck fat, extra virgin olive oil, and macadamia nuts.
So load up on grass-fed butter and feel free to eat spoonfuls of pesto or Hollandaise sauce too.
3. Eliminate what toxins you have power to remove
Well, since you are already a Branch Basic’s fan, you probably already know this one! But how do toxins actually affect our hormones? Enter endocrine disruptors.
According to the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences: “Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption.”
Endocrine disruptors may be found in many everyday products—including plastic bottles, food cans, laundry detergents, flame retardants, your mattress and pillow, food, toys, cosmetics, sunscreens, pesticides and so many more.
Endocrine disruptors disrupt our delicate hormone balance in two ways:
Mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body, potentially producing overstimulation or under stimulation.
Bind to a receptor within a cell and block the hormone from binding to that cell and doing its job—hormones are messengers and signal a reaction in the body, thus the message is not received or confused and cascade of body processes fails.
My best advice? Don’t be overwhelmed—remove what toxins you have control over (laundry, cleaning products, skincare and makeup) and incorporate natural detox methods into your daily life. Simple ways you can encourage your body’s natural detoxification methods? Walking, stretching, dry brushing, lymphatic massage, sauna or steam room not only help your body detoxify but also are calming activities that can help you de-stress and restore your adrenal glands.
Want to learn more? Join Caroline’s FREE 4 Day Hormone Refresh Challenge: Bring Balance Back Into Your Daily Life!
As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and health living advocate, Caroline was “doing everything right” but still experiencing some pretty awful symptoms. It took brain fog, panic attacks, miscarriage and ending up in the hospital ER with painful PMS symptoms for her to realize she majorly needed to work on a key component of her health—HORMONES! The great news? With a few tweaks and consistent little changes, Caroline watched her health radically transform! Caroline and her husband are currently stationed overseas in Spain and recently welcomed their sweet daughter Remington into the world!
Marilee Nelson is an Environmental Toxins expert who has spent nearly 30 years advocating for the chemically-sensitive and chronically-ill. She is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Certified Bau-Biologist and Bau-Biology Inspector and specializes in Food As Medicine. She has helped thousands of families and individuals identify, heal and recover from toxic exposures and is on a mission to revolutionize the way American families view their health.