Today I’m sharing all about 7 ways you can help to balance hormones naturally in your body and boost hormone balance for the future! Sometimes hormone balance can seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be! Simple, actionable steps can truly make a big difference.
This post has been created in partnership with iHerb.
Over the course of my career and even in my personal life I’ve had a lot of conversations about hormone balance, how to balance hormones or why one might experience hormonal imbalance and what symptoms can occur as a result. It’s something that for a good part of my early 20’s and teen years I wouldn’t have even thought about, yet hormone imbalance played a big role in how I felt physically, mentally, and in general.
When I began nutritional consulting I started to see similar scenarios in my female clients and so much of it boiled down to off-kilter hormones. The imbalance was typically a result of several factors and while nutrition does play a role, there was so much more we could dive into (what was out of my scope I always referred out).
Before trying to conceive with Hemsley I had been “loosely” diagnosed with PCOS and knew I needed to dig deeper. I benefited from professional support and bio-identical hormone therapy but also addressed several lifestyle factors that helped me get my body on the right track for a healthy pregnancy. Now, as my hubby and I begin the conversation on having another child, I’m being proactive to do all that I can to balance my hormones and prime my body for the amazing feat of pregnancy and beyond. Today I’ve partnered with iHerb to share my 7 sure-fire tips for boosting hormone balance and how these key lifestyle factors and some great Swisse supplements can really help in the process. Whether you are planning to get pregnant or not, hormone balance is still so important when it comes to overall wellness and feeling great from day to day.
1 Get Your Stress Levels In Check
Stress is definitely what needs to be assessed, addressed, and tackled first and foremost when working on healthy hormone balance. Stress plays a role in 99% of health issues so it’s no wonder it’s a biggie when it comes to hormone health. High and chronic stress increases cortisol levels in the body (cortisol is known as the body’s “stress hormone”) and high levels of cortisol impact the production and balance of other hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and even testosterone. If you experience high stress levels for a longer period of time from things like a constantly overwhelmed schedule, relationship issues, financial stress or even physical stress (such as too much exercise), you may experience low progesterone or estrogen dominance which can cause a whole host of symptoms. It’s important to remember that stress also comes in many forms including emotional, physical, and environmental. If you are experiencing hormone imbalance related symptoms, take an overall assessment of your stress levels in all of these areas. It may be a great idea to reduce commitments, take more time for yourself, and seek help from a professional to learn sustainable stress management techniques. If you feel you have a hard time winding down and relaxing, you can try Swisse Ultiboost Relax & Sleep which contains lemon balm, passionflower, and hops, traditionally used to support the body during mental stress, relieve nervous tension, and reduce restlessness and irritability. You can also work on your body’s ability to tolerate stress by supporting your adrenal glands….which brings me to my next point!
2 Support Your Adrenals
When I was going through a particularly stressful period in my life, I remember experiencing a whole bunch of symptoms that ended up being related to a case of what my Naturopath coined as “adrenal fatigue”. I had pushed my body and mind too much and my little adrenal glands were pooped. I first had to peel back several layers and bring my life back down to a calm unstressed place and then I had to give my adrenal glands the support they so badly needed after being taxed for so long. Our adrenal glands are two specific glands in your body that produce a variety of hormones. When our adrenal glands become “fatigued” due to lots of stress, it can directly impact our hormone balance so supporting the adrenals goes hand in hand with getting stress levels in check. To support your adrenals you can reduce refined sugar and caffeine from your diet, take adrenal supporting supplements (Swisse Ultiboost Relax and Sleep is one!) or adaptogenic herbs, and prioritize self-care (taking time for you, reducing commitments, etc.). Dr. Axe has a great free resource here all about adrenal support!
3 Prioritize Quality Sleep
This is my biggest struggle personally when it comes to boosting hormone balance, I’m such a night owl and sometimes sleep simply evades me! While my quality of sleep is quite good, I do find I’m often on my computer late at night and it sometimes takes me a while to shut off my mind and fall into a deep sleep. Getting adequate sleep (7-9 hours of quality sleep each night) is essential for healthy hormone balance as research shows that a lack of good sleep leads to imbalances with insulin, specific hunger hormones, cortisol, and even human growth hormone. It’s best to aim to get to bed around the same time each night, preferably before 11pm, and waking up 7-9 hours later most nights of the week! If you need help with improving your quality of sleep, taking a supplement like Swisse Ultiboost Sleep which contains magnesium and herbs to relieve nervous tension and assist natural, restful sleep can definitely be helpful (FYI: always check in with your doctor before starting a new supplement, especially if you are on medication, pregnant, or breastfeeding!).
4 Assess Your Digestion
While you may not think that digestive function has an impact on hormone balance, it sure does! How well your digestive system does it’s job has a direct impact on your hormonal balance. In fact, women who and chronically constipated are at a higher risk of becoming of estrogen dominant (too much estrogen in the body) because excess estrogen is eliminated in the stool with regular bowel movements. If you deal with digestive issues including constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and or gas the best place to start is with a high quality probiotic as this can alleviate symptoms and improve digestive function and include digestion-boosting seeds in your diet such as chia seeds, hemps seeds, and flax seeds. However, if your digestive systems are persistent, definitely visit a naturopath or general practitioner to dig deeper and get the issues resolved.
5 Love Your Liver
An organ part of the digestive system that needs it’s own little bullet point is the liver. The liver is your body’s detoxification powerhouse and a big hormone regulator. When it’s not working up to par, hormone balance can definitely be affected. One of the key functions of the liver is to break down and remove excess hormones from the body. If the liver is overburdened by stress or toxins (coming from alcohol, processed foods, refined sugar, long term prescription or OTC medication use, etc.), it isn’t able to efficiently remove excess hormones and this can lead to hormonal imbalance. Supporting the liver with a whole foods based diet, limited alcohol intake, regular exercise, and supplements like Swisse Ultiboost Liver Detox is very helpful in boosting hormone balance. While I don’t believe supplements can replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, they can definitely be supportive. The Swisse Liver Detox from iHerb contains gentle herbs like artichoke, turmeric, and milk thistle extracts traditionally used to help support liver function.
6 Ditch The Dairy
While certain dairy products like natural yogurt, cheese, and milk are not inherently ‘unhealthy” foods, dairy intake has been linked to hormone concerns in humans as dairy can lead to inflammation in the body and all dairy (even organic dairy) contains hormones. I recommend limiting dairy products if you suspect you have hormonal imbalances. Luckily there are so many great dairy alternatives around these days, dairy free cheeses, nut milks, coconut yogurt, plant-based protein powders (to replace whey), and more! The sky’s the limit when it comes to dairy free (I have a ton of dairy free recipes on the blog if you need some inspiration!).
7 Reach Out To A Pro
Lastly, If you experience any symptoms related to hormone imbalance (see a full list here) you can begin by addressing the points in my post, starting first with stress and see if your symptoms subside over time, however it’s never a bad idea to reach out for professional help from a naturopath or GP if you need the added support or specific testing done. Every now and then I pay a visit to my doctor who will send me for a blood test to see where my hormones are at and if we need to take specific action. If you are currently dealing with hormonal imbalance, believe me when I say there is light at the end of the tunnel, trust me, I know! The added support of a professional can be incredibly helpful to inform you and keep you motivated to reach healthy hormone balance!
Day to day I do my best to manage stress, get quality sleep (well, I’m working on it!), eat fibre rich foods and take a good quality supplements. One of the Swisse supplements I haven’t mentioned yet but is worth the praise is the Swisse Women’s Ultivite which contains a combination of 50 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and herbs tailored specifically for women, which definitely includes healthy hormone balance. Swisse also carries daily multivitamins for men, Swisse Men’s Ultivite, and children, Swisse Children’s Ultivite. A daily multivitamin specific for women, along with lifestyle factors and aiming to eat a whole-foods diet most of the time really will boost healthy hormone balance. Each aspect on their own may not do the job but together they can have a profound effect. It’s cumulative like many things are when it comes to our health!
More About iHerb!
A special thanks to iHerb for sponsoring this important conversation on healthy hormone balance. If you aren’t already familiar with iHerb, you should be! I have partnered with iHerb in the past and am always impressed with the fantastic product selection they have as well as the very fast and affordable shipping they provide (duties included if you live in Canada!). iHerb carries over 30,000 brand name natural products and offers a triple guarantee: value, quality, and delivery. Here in Canada there are lots of brand names I just can’t get at local stores or even online Canadian retailers so having iHerb as a go-to option is great because there’s so much more available at my fingertips. All of their orders are shipped from climate-controlled distribution centres which ensures the quality of what they ship and they also offer a 24/7 customer service in 10 languages if you need to contact them!
If you haven’t checked out iHerb yet I highly recommend you do. Go peruse their products and you can even check out their Women’s Health specific section which has products specifically formulated to support women’s health and yes, hormone balance! Don’t forget that new customers get a discount on their first order (with no minimum purchase) by clicking this link!
How do you help to keep your hormones in balance? Tell me about it in the comments and be sure to pin the photo below to save this post for later and of course, share the love!
Have a wonderful Sunday,
Christal // NITK