Last updated: February 16th, 2019 at 06:00 pm
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to balance your hormones and manage stress. Exercise burns calories and helps regulate your insulin levels, reversing some of the metabolic imbalances that contribute to weight gain and menopause problems. Furthermore, when you exercise, your body rewards you by releasing a cascade of feel-good hormones (endorphins). These endorphins are Mother Nature’s antidepressants, lowering your stress and boosting your sense of wellbeing.
You can get the positive effects of exercise by just walking for 30 minutes every day. The effect of your workout can be further enhanced by incorporating more activity into your daily routine: try parking your car a few blocks from work or your destination, take stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible, hike, bike, swim.
Chronic stress can have a powerful effect on your body as whole and your hormones in particular. Stress is when you perceive a threat — this can be a negative thought as much as an external danger — and your body releases a cascade of stress hormones, including cortisol, to put you in a flight or fight response. Stress shuts down all non-essential systems and interferes with your body’s ability to respond to hormones. Practices such as qi gong, yoga, meditation, and tai qi are very effective ways to reduce stress and induce deep relaxation.
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food” –Hippocrates- Eating the foods suggested below is the natural way to increase your health and vitality. Supplementation of these nutrients is a reliable way of increasing your intake. Both eating and supplementation together is ideal for ensuring adequate levels of these nutrients.
- Anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help protect your body from free radical damage to the cells in your entire body. Anti-oxidants can help combat negative effects. Food sources: Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, plums, garlic, broccoli, red peppers, kale, brussel sprouts and alfalfa sprouts.
- Amino acids- L-arginine. These are the building blocks of life and are necessary. Food sources: Meats, fish, eggs and dairy produce, lentils, peas, beans, nuts, brown rice, quinoa, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This is important for energy production because Co-Q10 assists with the mitochondrial functions of your body’s cells-this means it provides power to all your body’s functions. It is found in every cell in the human body. It also improves blood flow which is important because your hormones only travel in your blood and you want to maximise everything you’ve got circulating. Food sources: It is extremely difficult to obtain sufficient amounts of Co-Q10 from food sources. Supplementation is a reliable way of increasing your intake.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s: Omega 3 DHA and 6). The EFA’s DHA act as hormone regulators and are very important. Food sources: Mackerel, herring, salmon or sardines.
Advice from a qualified nutritionist should be sought before taking any supplements to rule out contraindications based on medical history or other factors.
Some herbal supplements can mimic oestrogen and progesterone in your body and can stimulate the production of hormones. The symptoms of menopause are often caused by oestrogen deficiency and or progesterone deficiency, so herbal supplements can help balance your hormones and reduce symptoms.
Aromatherapy is a great way to re-set your dial, change your mood, relax and rebalance your body.
You can visit your doctor for blood tests to determine where your hormone levels are at. It can be beneficial to get a baseline scan to determine where you are now so that future tests can be compared to the baseline levels of hormones and you can then see how things progress over time. You can also purchase at home menopause hormone tests for your convenience. You can see home at home hormone tests on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk