Finding Balance: Understanding Your Hormones
Hormone Imbalance. It’s been a big buzzword in the health world lately, especially for young women + for good reason! Hormones play a key role in so many parts of our everyday life — from our mood, energy to focus + mental clarity.
We have SO many hormones in our body that all work together in a perfect dance, but sometimes this dance isn’t so perfect + the system gets out of whack. Estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, cortisol, + more need to be released at the right times ++ the right amounts in order to experience your healthiest self. These chemical messengers can be affected by stress, food, sleep, synthetic hormones, + exercise. There are 3 main factors to understand your hormones:
#1] Heal your gut
The first thing to understanding how these hormones work is knowing your gut. Read out more about how to heal your gut here. Getting a lot of probiotics [check out this CHAARG blog post all about them!] + limiting foods that bring inflammation is a great place to start. Some digestive health-boosting foods include:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Ginger [try it in a tea or smoothie!]
- Bone Broth
- Check out more digestive health-boosting foods here!
#2] Pay attention to your stress levels
Stress is not always a bad thing – it helps to motivate us + let us know what is important. But when we have too much stress, however, our body releases hormones in a way that ultimately does more harm than good. We know midterms aren’t as dangerous to us as being chased by a bear, but our bodies don’t always understand that difference! When our bodies react to the stressors in our lives, they sometimes get stuck in *on mode* + don’t know when it’s safe to turn the stress response *off.*
So, how can you manage stress when you still have so much going on? One way to combat stress is, of course, through exercise! Check out this blog post for some of our favorite yoga poses to help relieve stress + calm you down.
#3] Limit hormone disruptor exposure
Hormone disruptors are chemicals that interfere with your regular hormonal functioning + make the system out of whack – which can cause major damage to your health. The unfortunate truth is that hormone disruptors are everywhere [check out this article about some that you are likely exposed to!]. Despite how common they are, so many people are not aware of where they can be found + the effect they have on our systems. A few simple lifestyle changes can help limit your exposure to these hormone disruptors + make a big difference. Some of these changes include:
- Opt for BPA free cans + bottles over plastic — choose glass water bottles + BPA free products instead
- Check the ingredients of beauty products + toiletries for harmful parabens, petroleum + other harmful chemicals. Not sure what to look for? Download the app, Think Dirty [it is free in the App Store!] + type in or scan your product. The app will give you the rating of your product + tell you which ingredients are good//bad for you + give you other, healthier alternatives!
- Buy + eat organic foods to limit contact with pesticides + herbicides. Visiting your local farmer’s markets during the summer can be a great way to get access to organic produce + support your community as well!
Your hormone system is complex, but understanding how to keep it healthy doesn’t have to be. Simply being aware of what you bring into your body physically + mentally can make a huge difference in balancing your hormones! Of course, always consult your doctor if you have further questions about a potential imbalance.