The definition of a hormone is, "any member of a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multi cellular organisms to regulate physiology and behavior." Hormones are produced by the glands in the endocrine system, which include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, ovaries, testes, hypothalamus, and the adrenal glands. We will make hormone health easy to understand by just sharing our top 10 tips on how you can support your hormone health.
1. Make Sleep A Priority
Lack of sleep can have a profoundly negative effect on the endocrine system. Getting the amount of sleep that your body needs every night will promote health and keep your hormones working as they should.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet Full of Nutrients
Eating a diet that is full of nutrients is one of the most beneficial things for your body when it comes to hormone health. For example, a deficiency of iodine and selenium is a common factor in hypothyroidism, a condition in which there is a deficiency of thyroid hormone being produced. Making sure that you are eating many servings of fruits and vegetables a day is a great way to support your hormone health.
3. Minimize Sugar
Because sugar spikes the hormone insulin, which can prevent estrogen and testosterone from balancing correctly, it is best to keep sugar to a minimum and opt for natural sources of sugar like the sugar found in fruit. Try to stay below 30 grams of natural sugar per day for optimum hormone health.
4. Avoid Toxic Household Cleaning Products/Toiletries
Many conventional household cleaning supplies and beauty products contain endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the body's natural hormone responses by mimicking testosterone and estrogen. Look for household products and personal products that contain no added fragrance, and that also uses natural sources of surfactants, like coconut or that utilize essential oils.
5. Eat Healthy Fat Sources
Fat is crucial for hormone health, but the wrong kinds of fat can cause harm to the endocrine system. Anti-inflammatory fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and raw nuts and seeds are beneficial for hormone health and preferable over canola oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, and soy oil.
6. Aim for Organic Food if Possible
Many non-organic foods contain pesticide and fungicide residue, which can act as endocrine disruptors. Buying organic produce, or soaking produce in white vinegar to remove the chemical residue is necessary for hormone optimization.
7. Eat Plenty of Fiber
Fiber helps the body remove excess estrogen, which can help testosterone levels normalize and improve many of the symptoms of estrogen dominance. Eating at least 30 grams a day of fiber from natural sources, like broccoli, asparagus, avocados, kale, acacia fiber, beans, and legumes, can enable your body to carry out excess estrogen and also improve GI health by encouraging regularity.
8. Supplement if Necessary
Some supplements like DIM, evening primrose, DHEA, probiotics, and magnesium have shown to be very helpful when it comes to supporting hormone health. Talk to an integrative doctor or a nutritionist about what supplements you should be taking.
9. Exercise Regularly
Having a lower amount of body fat and an adequate amount of lean muscle mass is very helpful when it comes to hormone health. More fat can mean that there is more estrogen circulating through the body, and a disproportional amount of estrogen in the body can imply estrogen dominance. Exercise helps balance the endocrine system, and lifting weights is especially beneficial for hormone health.
10.Have Bi-Annual Blood Testing
Keep an eye on your endocrine system by having bi-annual or annual blood testing. Knowing if you are either vitamin deficient or if your hormones are out of balance can be very helpful in getting your health on track. A blood test can also help you keep an eye on the health progress you have made.