It can take you years to figure out a lifestyle that supports your hormones, wellness and beauty and I am still learning every single day!
Looking after yourself to feel your best in a way that works for you is definitely a journey as our body’s change with us as we go through different phases in life. There are no quick fixes or short cuts when it comes to balancing your hormones, it definitely takes time, patience and self love to get where I am today.
So let’s start!
When we experience emotional ups and downs or random unwanted breakouts, we are quick to blame our hormones, or see it like it’s something totally out of our hands.
But one thing we can control is our diet, and since there are a number of foods that can mess with our hormones, it’s important to pay close attention to what you are eating, as foods can affect general areas of your health.
What we choose to eat determines more than just our waistline, which means it’s important to give some thought to the foods we regularly eat on a daily basis.
What we eat determines how our hormones are built, how they are released, how they function and how they control the different processes in the body. Without the nutrient building blocks that food provides, hormones cannot be fashioned or function as they are designed to. Eating the right food can become the number one re-set button for your hormone health.
Although there are other influences on our hormones such as stress, sleep, exercise, and environmental toxins, the food we choose impacts us and can be the first line of defense in achieving the best hormonal balance.
“Making sure that my diet is abundant with vegetables is essential to keep my skin clear and my mental health in good shape, I am sure I don’t need to tell you that vegetables are loaded with vitamis, antioxidants and minerals which are essentially the best beauty/body food out there”
“Another focus of mine was to increase my intake of healthy fats like avocado, nuts and evening primrose oil. I particular pay attention to those high in omega 3 like chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds. Not only do they form part of the skin structure but they also have anti-inflammatory properties. High levels of omega-3 have been shown to plump up the look of the skin as well as the quality, by reducing inflammation as well as supplying the building blocks for healthy skin cells. In addition, omega-3 suppresses a hormone produced by the liver called insulin-like growth factor, which can in turn reduce spots and blemishes”.
Here are foods you didn’t realize can mess with your hormones.
Coffee and Reducing caffeine
Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant and can be really hard on our adrenal glands and can also disrupt our sleep. So if you are looking to support your hormones try to reduce your caffeine intake and maybe drink more herbal teas instead. I try to have coffee six a week maximum and I like to consider it more like a treat than a regular habit.
You know that feeling when that boost of caffeine in the afternoon gives your body a good wake up, but what we don’t know is that it also increases blood pressure and production of cortisol, which in turn can make you feel nervous or anxious. Cortisol is also considered the ‘stress hormone’ and can contribute to weight gain (unfortunately)
Some changes that you could try is cut back on dairy products. There is alot of research that links dairy consumption to skin breakouts and other nastys. Dairy cows are treated with artificial hormones that affect their milk supply, researchers suggest that those hormones may throw your hormones off balance when you consume milk products. This could trigger acne. There is also the theory that the growth hormones already in milk naturally aggravate skin problems like acne, no matter what. That’s if you tend to get bad acne.
Sugar and refined carbohydrates
Cutting out refined sugar from our diets and reducing the amount of sugar in general we consume (maple syrup, honey, dried fruit, confectionery products etc…) can definitely be game changing. Being very careful with your sugar intake definitely can serve you wonder’s, definitely don’t deny yourself the occasional treat your human after all and we all like something naughty to devour..
Its a fact eating alot of sugary foods can result in a spike of the hormone insulin and desensitizes you to ‘ghrelin and leptin’ our appetite controlling hormones, making it harder for you to say no to second helpings. Insulin also instructs our fat cells to store glucose as fat while also preventing the breakdown of fat, spoiling fat loss efforts.
Processed carbohydrates made from refined white flours, including crackers, cookies and breads. The sugar from these products can cause weight gain and raise the level of estrogen, depleting the testosterone levels, resulting in less sexual desires and poor libido.
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts and similar green leaf vegetables are loaded with health benefits, but go overboard with how much of the food group you consume, and it can mess with your thyroid health. This doesn’t mean you should shy away from the vegetables completely as they are low calorie and great for weight loss, as it would take a large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause you health problems.
Most people think hormone health and female hormones, but one hormone people forget about is aldosterone, the hormone that regulates blood pressure, salt can effect blood pressure. A reduction in salt directly lowers blood pressure. Conversely too much salt raises blood pressure.
Not only do most conventionally raised meats contain added hormones, but proteins rich in saturated fats can cause inflammation in they hypothalamus it plays an important role in hormone production and helps to stimulate many important processes in the body, which can trigger overeating, Aiming to consume grass-fed, all natural, organic and free-range animal products can absolutely minimize the effect on your hormones.
Reinforcing Good Habits to keep your hormones in check and you feeling fabulous
It helps to promote restful sleep it helps reduce stress. Vigorous exercise can add stress to our body so don’t over do it! I was never a gym kind of girl, but exercise has proven time over time to be extremely beneficial for my moods and how I feel about myself in general. When I consistently work out my hormones seem to be more in balance. I think the key to make exercise a routine is to find a type of workout that you love, there is really no point in doing something that you hate as you won’t stick to it! I personally love a good high intensity work out, (normally 60 minutes) fast paced, at the end you feel like an olympic champion. My ideal work out is a 60 minute run/sprint and walk combination getting my heart rate up and it does wonders for me!! I also enjoy Pilate’s and light weights.
This is probably the hardest part. You’ve got to arm yourself with the biggest bag of patience because there aren’t (at least in my personal experience) overnight miracles. I believe when you give your body the best support to heal, it will fight its battle to the end. Our bodies want to be healthy, they want to thrive in wellness and sometimes we need to accept that the process will take its time. Its taken me years to finally relatively work out ways to balance my hormones (with life and it’s highs and lows) and to figure out what works for me during this journey I have learned so much about myself and my body more than I ever would have imagined.
Our bodies are incredibly beautiful and I firmly believe they know before we do, sometimes we just need to take a step back and simple listen. I have learned to love myself, my skin and my body beyond my physical appearance. To teach myself how to love my body and skin and health for what it is and nuture it as best I can, flaws and all. It can be a frustrating and liberating process at the same time but so worth it! Ultimately my body and listening to my body has been an incredible teacher, it has taught me to look after myself, to look after this vessel which whether I like it or not will carry me around for the rest of my life, it has taught me to be kinder to myself, to be humble, to practice gratitude and to love myself unconditionally.