Hormones! Let’s face it, these chemical messengers have been messing with us women for years. From your first menstrual cycle to menopause and beyond, your hormones support incredible functions like reproduction, metabolism, mood, bone health, and more.
But when your hormones are out of balance—look out! Mood swings, weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, hot flashes, lack of sex drive, the list goes on. It can start to feel like you’ve lost control of your life.
I’m going to give you the same advice I give my patients on how to cope with hormone havoc. Our hormones are greatly influenced by the environment, and there are some simple changes you can make that can really help with hormonal health. Follow my top 10 recommendations on how to balance your hormones naturally, and I promise it will change how you feel.
1. Hormones and Sleep—Get Plenty of It!
Be sure to check your "sleep hygiene." Aim for at least 7–9 hours of sleep a night. Dimming the lights before bed, disengaging from technology, and sleeping in complete darkness helps support your melatonin production and circadian rhythm. And if you can get to sleep before 10:30 pm, you will be resting during the critical time that your body is undergoing physical and psychological repair.
2. The Best Diet for Balanced Hormones
Choose organic produce whenever possible; especially avoid the dirty dozen and aim to eat the colors of the rainbow in the form of fresh fruits and veggies daily. Eat plenty of brassicaceae (cruciferous) veggies (brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, cabbage, and bok choy). They help your body produce more gentle-acting estrogen vs. stronger-acting estrogen that is associated with negative hormonal symptoms.
When eating meat and animal products, choose organic, grass-fed, and pasture-raised. Avoid GMO foods, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils. Instead choose olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and ghee.
To get plenty of the beneficial essential fatty acids in my diet, I eat lots of nuts, seeds, and small wild fish. I also recommend fiber from fresh veggies, complex carbohydrates, and ground seeds such as flax. It acts as a beneficial phytoestrogen, which helps support hormone levels when your estrogen is high or low. Plus, it helps bind any excess estrogen in your gut to help your body clear it out.
3. Move Your Body Daily
Moving your body daily in a way that you enjoy is incredibly beneficial, whether it’s walking, dancing, swimming, the list goes on. Resistance and/or weight training is wonderful for strength, balance, and bone health. You’ll even burn extra calories for a duration of time after your workout is over.
4. Go Outside
I love spending time in the great outdoors with my family. It’s a great opportunity to connect with nature—to breathe fresh air and soak in the sun for optimal vitamin D production. I highly recommend experimenting with earthing or forest bathing.
5. Breathe Clean Air
Our air is full of pollutants, especially if you live near highways, airports, industrial plants, or major cities. Our homes can also be a major source of toxic air. And mold and mycotoxins from water damage can infiltrate our bodies and negatively impact our endocrine system. To improve your indoor air quality:
- Use an air purifier
- Investigate all water leaks and musty odors and get them remediated by a professional
- Remove artificially scented products
- Use clean building supplies and formaldehyde-free furniture
Water should be your primary liquid. Choose filtered or reverse osmosis water to avoid impurities and contaminants.
7. Lower Your Stress Hormones
Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, relaxing with a good book, enjoying a bubble bath, doing something creative that you love—singing, dancing, painting, playing a musical instrument—are all fantastic ways to relax and minimize stress.
8. Minimize Plastic Exposure
Plastic acts like xenoestrogens, chemicals that mimic estrogen in your body and can wreak havoc on your endocrine system. Instead, use stainless steel or glass when serving food and avoid heating anything in plastic.
9. Use Natural Personal and Household Products
I recommend using the EWG Skin Deep database to check your products and choose the cleanest options.
10. Take Daily Supplements for Hormonal Balance
Supplements and herbs are extremely important to help balance your hormones. I recommend taking a multivitamin with methylated B vitamins and mineral support, fish oil, probiotics, vitamin D, and magnesium daily. I’ve also recommended maca and chaste tree to many of my patients to help support cycle regularity and healthy progesterone. Also consider DIM (diindolylmethane), I3C (indole-3-carbinol), calcium d-glucarate, and sulforaphane to support healthy estrogen metabolism.
This may seem like a lot, but you can start small. Add two or three of these tips to your daily routine to help balance your hormones naturally and notice how it changes how you feel. Then gradually add more.