When you’re going through menopause, learning how to balance hormones naturally can be a great way to help you manage the more uncomfortable side effects of this transition.
Menopause can be a really challenging period in a woman’s life.
Hot flashes, weight gain, night sweats, anxiety, mood swings, hair loss, and a decreased sex drive are some of the most well-known symptoms that women, and people with a female reproductive system, may encounter during this critical time.
The physical and emotional changes can sometimes feel like a roller coaster that we can’t wait to get out of.
Hormones are chemical messengers that help regulate multiple vital bodily functions. Estrogen, testosterone, insulin, adrenaline, cortisol, and ghrelin are all hormones that affect everything from your reproductive system, sleep , and energy, to hunger levels.
When hormones are out of balance, even the most mundane tasks can feel huge.
You can feel tired, out of sync, low energy, too hungry, or not hungry at all - you get the gist. Most people go after hormone-balancing medication, but not everyone qualifies for them. That’s why finding ways to balance hormones naturally can be really helpful.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing some of the symptoms of menopause, these useful tips will help you feel better and get back into your personal groove.
Learn how to balance hormones naturally to slay your day and feel like you again.
Menopause is the time when menstruation stops completely. The ovaries stop producing hormones and releasing eggs for fertilization, which means the body’s reproductive years are over.
The symptoms associated with menopause happen before, during perimenopause.
You may notice:
When menopause occurs most -if not all- of these symptoms go away.
Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs throughout the body - not just the ovaries- working together to control, support, and regulate your organism in one synchronized network called the “endocrine system.” The pancreas, pituitary gland, thyroid, ovaries, and testicles, are all part of this system.
When you learn to balance hormones naturally, you get to influence more hormones than the ones secreted by the ovaries, which helps manage these symptoms better.
Perimenopause generally starts around the age of 45, while menopause settles on average at the age of 50. The symptoms come from irregular estrogen levels, as the follicles in the ovaries start to dwindle.
Progesterone decreases, and the pituitary gland steps in and tries to balance hormones naturally by producing more follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
When the pituitary gland fails to regulate estrogen (because it’s naturally running out) an imbalance in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) occurs, which then triggers the typical “menopause symptoms.”
This three-part axis is key in more than just fertility; the hypothalamus works with the pituitary gland and the adrenal system to regulate:
Research shows that women who exercise and are physically active experience fewer body and mental menopause symptoms compared to those who are sedentary.
Our Tip: Help balance hormones naturally doing something you actually enjoy and that doesn’t challenge your symptoms. Maybe skip the Bikram yoga and Five-Rhythms class if you’re struggling with hot flashes a lot.
Separate studies have found that a plant-based diet is associated with fewer menopause symptoms and that an omnivore diet rich in fruits and vegetables is “inversely proportional” to menopause symptoms.
Our Tip: Since the recommended dietary intake for adults in the US is five portions of fruits and vegetables per day, consider drinking vegetable juice to help you get your greens in and balance hormones naturally.
A study of over 2,000 women found that those who consumed coffee regularly experienced more hot flashes and night sweats than those who didn’t consume caffeine. Matcha green tea has caffeine in it, the better solution would be to cut it out completely, but it’s a smaller portion in milligrams per serving than coffee (105 mg vs 185 mg minimum) ad has L-theanine a compound that keeps you calm.
Our Tip: switch to matcha green tea latte when possible and slowly wean yourself off the daily habit.
Consider a hormone balancing diet that includes naturally calming herbs, adaptogen mushrooms, and relaxing root extracts. Some options:
When plastic freezes, it tends to break down into smaller particles that become toxins, our bodies inadvertently consume them when they seep into water or food they contain. The body takes these compounds as “xenoestrogen,” and it adds to the hormonal imbalance, not to mention the strain on your liver for detox.
Xenoestrogens also make it hard to lose weight. Learn more about the female hormone weight loss connection.
Our Tip: Balance hormones naturally by simply ditching plastic! Switch to a reusable glass or metal water bottle.
Xenoestrogens, or foreign compounds that mimic estrogen, are also found in GMO cleaning and beauty products, phthalates, parabens, lead, formaldehyde, are all toxic and affect your endocrine system.
Our Tip: Go for organic, vegan, 5-Free, 7-Free or 10-Free beauty products and makeup. Read the labels and research the ingredients to help balance hormones naturally.
Research shows that phytoestrogens “reduce the frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women without side effects.” Phytoestrogen is plant-based estrogen found in dates, apricots, flax seeds, sesame seeds, chickpeas, and prunes.
Our Tip: Eat more of these foods; they’re healthy and yummy!
In addition to a hormone balancing diet you can help balance hormones naturally with simple lifestyle changes, starting with a sleep routine and schedule that spans over the weekend. There’s a significant relationship between cortisol and sleep, the infamous “stress hormone” can leave your adrenal glands depleted when it’s overactive.
Our Tip: Leave the phone one hour before bed, avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM, and make relaxation time part of your schedule.
Foods high in Vitamin C, E, B, Zinc, and Magnesium, could stimulate or balance progesterone production. You can find them in berries, coconut, wheat bran, eggs, citrus fruits, and some seafood like fish and oysters.
Our Tip: try the Mediterranean diet and our berrylicious superfood drink Red Juice which has types of berries and an 8:1 Reishi mushroom concentration.
Good saturated fats are essential to produce hormones. Have them in avocados, fish like salmon and sardines, nuts, and coconut oil in baked goods.
Our Tip: learn about the benefits of olive oil and other cooking oils, how to read labels, and identify the smoke point. This may help you balance hormones naturally with cholesterol management.
That donut may look like it has your name on it, but the research shows that insulin resistance - a common side effect of diets high in sugar- is directly related to hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
Our Tip: Find a low-sugar alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth, like fresh strawberries or bananas.
Sodium is one of those sneaky ingredients that happen to be in more processed foods than we are aware of, high salt diets are already linked to a greater risk of heart disease and some studies show that it may also be detrimental to bone density for menopausal women.
Osteoporosis, the loss of bone mass and density, is one of the most common side effects of menopause in people with female reproductive systems. To avoid accelerated bone loss, a diet low in salt is recommended.
Our Tip: try to add flavor to food with spices instead of salt, and use as little as possible on each meal to help balance hormones naturally.
It may take time for these tips to have a positive impact, to balance hormones naturally you have to be patient and experiment with nutrition, lifestyle, exercise, and rest. Every human body is different and you may find that some things that work for others don’t work for you.
Although, a healthy balanced diet low in salt, sugar, and unsaturated fats, seems to be the best preventative -and at times corrective- medicine.
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