Updated: Nov 24
Women's hormones, a crucial aspect of overall health, can be a challenge to manage, especially in times of stress or as we age. Conditions such as Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and menopause, along with everyday life stressors, can all impact our hormonal balance, often leading to hormone imbalance. This can leave many women, regardless of age, feeling out of sorts. Hormonal imbalances may manifest in various symptoms like weight gain, mood changes, and hair loss. However, finding balance, while it may seem daunting, is achievable. There are easy and natural ways to support your hormones, including lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments, aimed at maintaining hormonal health and preventing hormone-related issues.
With all the content, coaching and workshops I do, I often get the same question from women: "where should I start?" I know this stuff is overwhelming, so I have put together a list of ten simple steps you can take to maintain balance and well-being in your body. This is a great place to start if you're feeling confused or stuck. Read on to learn more!
1. Get Adequate Sleep For Hormone Balance
Getting enough sleep is absolutely vital for maintaining hormonal balance and overall well-being. Seriously, y'all, it's a game-changer. Your body utilizes this rest time not only for essential repairs but also to regulate hormone production, including key hormones like thyroid hormone and stress hormones. Aiming for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night is crucial (personally, I find I need at least 8 hours, and closer to 9 during my menstrual cycle, when hormone levels fluctuate more). To enhance your sleep quality, which directly impacts hormone levels and can help with symptoms of hormonal imbalances like weight gain or mood swings, consider establishing a calming bedtime routine. This could include practices like:
Taking a warm
Immersing yourself in a good book
These activities can significantly aid in winding down and preparing your body for a restful night, contributing to healthy hormone production. If you're finding it challenging to maintain good sleep hygiene, which is a common issue for many women, especially during stages like perimenopause or menopause, I highly recommend checking out my blog post "7 Steps to a Better Sleep."
2. Reduce Stress Helps Achieve Hormonal Balance
Chronic stress can lead to hormone imbalances and damage to your adrenal glands, which are essential for hormone production. Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing into your daily routine. I know this can be tough, especially if you have a job, financial responsibilities, children or elderly parents to care for, etc.... but you MUST do everything in your power to manage your stress levels and keep your nervous system regulated. Everyone can find 5-10 minutes per day to breathe and connect to their body, at a minimum. Read my blog posts about how to reduce anxiety and how to prevent burnout for simple tips on how to manage stress/anxiety.
3. Exercise Regularly to Combat Hormonal Imbalance
Exercise supports hormone balance by reducing insulin resistance, regulating cortisol levels, and improving circulation. Incorporate activities that you enjoy, such as swimming, walking, or cycling, for at least 30 minutes per day. It's very important to move your body daily to help balance your hormones. Try to work up a sweat daily.
4. Maintain Healthy Gut Flora
Good gut bacteria can help regulate hormones. Include probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut to optimize your gut health. Additionally, consume plenty of fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support healthy digestion. If you need support with your gut microbiome, check out my blog post, 5 Ways to Restore Your Gut Microbiome.
If you're struggling to figure out what to eat to improve your gut health or really need some type of structure, check out my 10 Day Gut Reset!
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for hormone balance. Avoid processed foods, refined sugars, and caffeine, and consume healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds, and lean proteins like chicken, fish, and eggs.
6. Seed Cycling
Seed cycling is a natural way to support hormonal balance. It is a process of eating specific seeds during different phases of the menstrual cycle to help regulate estrogen and progesterone. Flax seeds and pumpkin seeds are consumed in the follicular phase, while sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are eaten in the luteal phase.
7. Manage Your Blood Sugar
Blood sugar fluctuations can impact your hormones' health by triggering the release of insulin. To manage your blood sugar levels, eat meals and snacks that balance protein, carbs, and fiber, and avoid skipping meals. Eat your protein, fats and fiber FIRST, carbs LAST.
8. Optimize Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D regulates hormones such as insulin and may reduce the risk of PCOS. Spend time outside each day and consider taking a vitamin D supplement if you are deficient.
9. Support Your Liver
The liver plays a critical role in hormone metabolism. To support liver function, avoid alcohol, drink plenty of water, and include liver-supportive foods like beets, carrots, cilantro, and dandelion greens in your diet.
10. Consult an Expert
Seeking advice from a trained healthcare practitioner can be beneficial if you are experiencing severe hormone imbalance symptoms, or if you want to optimize your hormonal health. Learn more about hiring me as your private health coach here.
In conclusion, there are simple and effective ways to balance hormones naturally. Prioritize sleep, stress reduction, exercise, healthy gut flora, a balanced diet, seed cycling, blood sugar management, vitamin D optimization, liver support, and working with an expert. By making these small changes to your lifestyle, you can support your hormones, improve your overall health, and feel your best every day.