There is, and I don't think we, as women, really take into consideration that lifestyle and what we eat can have an impact on whether our hormones are settled or whether they're 'raging', so to speak.
By 'raging' I mean having skin breakouts, being bloated, experiencing pain and mood swings. This can happen during our reproductive years or when we're menopausal. We can get into the 'driver's seat' and help alleviate some of the discomfort we experience.
As The Vital You will be holding a Happy Hormones workshop on Saturday 22 August, I thought I'd ask Emma to give us some tips on how to manage our hormones naturally with a view to minimising the physical, mental and emotional fluctuations.
Emma suggests you can do the following through nutrition:
- Avoid, or reduce, foods that promote calcium excretion, such as soft drinks, caffeine and alcohol.
- Identify which foods best supply calcium. Milk products may not be suit everyone.
- Increase foods that optimise nutrients for bone building and minerals that support bone health.
- Add foods to promote digestive health, stimulating digestion e.g. watercress, apple cider vinegar, and increase natural fibre and fermented foods.
- Choose whole foods, and learn to make them a part of everyday.
- Identify foods which help relieve mood disorders and menopausal symptoms such as phytoestrogen foods (linseeds, sesame seeds, oats).
- Reduce inflammation within the reproductive system and help regulate its workings, by decreasing pro-inflammatory foods (deep fried, fast foods) and increasing anti-inflammatory foods such as omega 3 oils.
- Am I stressed?
- Am I exercising to keep myself strong and fit?
- Do I need time-out?
- Can I relax?
I am a great advocate of finding ways to ensure you are looking after yourself in all of the above areas. It's so important to start when you are young, so that you're maintaining your body rather than wearing it out.
My regime includes:
- eating whole, natural that foods nourish my body and balance my hormones
- regular/daily meditation. This includes a sleep meditation, if I find myself awake at 3.00am
- daily exercise, either a brisk walk, yoga or pilates which helps me build strength and balance
To keep you well, balanced and to reduce the severity of hormonal imbalance or depletion, various foods and the way they are combined make the difference. It’s about trialling and finding out what works for you. There’s no simple recipe, so some guidance in helping you to find your balance really helps. Emma will help us do that in the Happy Hormones workshop.
Taking on some of these practices will also help you if you are of reproductive age and will help balance your menstrual cycle.