• Gareth Sturch

Top 3 Healthy Habits To Help Regulate Your Hormones.

When you think about your hormones, what's that first thought that pops into your head?

Do you think about the chemical messengers that help us digest our food and moderate our metabolism? Perhaps you think of the chemicals that help us sleep and wake up? Or do you picture the hormones that help us cope with stress and anxiety?

The answer is probably "No".

Often we can become very narrow minded when we think about our hormones - sometimes only relating them to functions like sex and reproduction or aging.

The truth of the matter, though, is that our hormones play an integral part in our everyday life.

The endocrine system and the hormones it produces are responsible for very precise, controlled action in the body.

In fact, the endocrine and nervous systems form a symbiotic unit of communication and control within the body, relaying all the necessary information from the various parts of the body back to the brain. The brain then takes this information and uses it to effect any necessary changes.

So, with that in mind, I'm sure you will agree that ensuring that your hormonal system is as healthy as possible should be a real priority! As such, here is my list of the top three natural healthy habits you can adopt to ensure your hormonal health is at its best.

Before we dive into the list though, I would like to mention that, as an Iridologist and natural health care practitioner, I have personally seen how, by adopting these habits, my patients' hormonal balance has improved.

If you feel that you need something a bit more intensive and hands-on than the list to follow, please feel free to book a consultation with me, here.

Right, let's dive in!

1. Eat properly!

This first habit CANNOT be overstated when it comes to having healthy hormone function.

What exactly do I mean by eating properly?

Well, there's that one tip you probably know but find it a struggle to apply: avoiding sugars and refined carbs.

While difficult to do, no other healthy habit is going to affect the health of you hormonal system more than this one!

Not only are high amounts of sugar in the diet clearly linked to diabetes, heart disease and obesity, but also a whole host of endocrinological disorders and diseases. Included among these are reproductive and sexual issues ranging from infertility to chronic period pain and severe PMS.

So, if you are going to get one thing on this list right, make it to substantially reduce your sugar and refined carb intake. Leave treats for special occasions.

Now that we've covered the "don't", here is a list of the "do's":

- Protein

(Ladies, listen up)

Consuming an adequate amount of protein is extremely important. Dietary protein provides essential amino acids that your body can't make on its own and must be consumed every day in order to maintain muscle, bone and skin health.

The consumption of protein also influences the production of hormones that control your appetite.

What that means is, not only will eating adequate amounts of protein help balance your hormone and insulin levels, it will also help you stay fuller for longer and curb any snacking habits you may have. Just by-and-by, excess insulin is the hormone responsible for weight gain, so eating enough protein to stabilize insulin levels won't cause you to gain weight - it will actually help you lose it!

- Healthy Fats

The fats found in nuts, olive oil, avocado, dairy and fatty fish such as salmon benefit your gut, brain and nervous systems tremendously! These fats will also help stabilize your hormones and promote healthy cholesterol levels within the body, so try to include a serving of one of these healthy fats in each meal.

- Avoid overeating or under-eating

The effects of overeating are well documented when it comes to messing with your hormones. However I, in particular, want to talk about under-eating.

Here's what your body does when you under-eat as a habit:

Eating less than your required calorie intake slows down and damages your metabolism. It puts your body under stress, and leads to the overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol, leading to leptin and insulin resistance.  This causes your body to store fat and hinders weight loss indefinitely.

Low calorie dieting and low body fat lead to infertility and amenorrhoea in women, as well as insomnia, and hypoglycemia. This is because under-eating impacts your thyroid negatively, which is an essential aspect of your hormonal system. Other effects include hair loss and the shut down of sex hormone production.

Under-eating causes glucose levels to drop, all thanks to the insulin imbalance from your pancreas (another key player in balanced hormones) and since red blood cells are fueled by glucose, to maintain minimum glucose levels the body starts breaking down muscles and organs to keep you alive. Under-eating basically causes you to consume important muscle tissue and organs to fuel your body.

When the body is breaking down tissue it doesn’t distinguish between essential tissues (kidney and blood cells), and less essential tissues, and so under-eating ends up weakening and damaging vital organs.

This doesn't create a good looking picture, wouldn't you agree? I cannot stress enough the need to eat a diet that provides you with the necessary calories you need.

2. Get Some Sleep

High quality adequate sleep is a vital aspect of having healthy hormone levels.

In fact the International Journal of Endocrinology suggested that the effects of sleep disturbance on hormones may contribute to: obesity, diabetes and problems with your appetite.

Not only should you aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, you should also consider the quality of your sleep.

Deep restful sleep is a very important factor. If your body is not allowed to go through the five stages of sleep, the necessary brain detox and hormonal regulation processes cannot take place.

Here's one BIG thing that may be affecting the quality of your sleep: Too much blue light before bed time.

The blue light from our electronic devices tricks the brain into thinking that it's day time.

This causes the body to respond by adjusting our sleep hormone levels, thus disrupting our natural circadian rhythms. This then leads us to battle to fall asleep and when we eventually do, we sleep very lightly - so try to limit your late night Instagram browsing in exchange for a good book.

3. Manage your stress

Heightened stress levels have been shown to impact our hormonal levels in a big way. And when we recall that the endocrine system works hand in hand with the nervous system, this is not surprising.

Two major hormones affected by stress are cortisol and adrenaline. These two hormones help us cope with and alleviate stressful situations.

However, in today's fast paced world, these two hormones are often far too active. The stress hormone cortisol helps us cope with anxiety and stress, however prolonged cortisol production can lead to depression, jittery-ness and adrenal fatigue.

To combat this try these tips:

Listen to calming music

Music has been linked to reducing stress in a major way, especially when that goal of listening to the music is to relax.

Get a massage

A 2005 review of studies found that massage therapy not only reduced cortisol levels by an average of 31%, but also increased levels of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin by 28% and dopamine by 31% on average.

Get some exercise!

Regular exercise is by far the most effective way to deal with stress, plus exercise itself has a fantastic effect on your hormones.

Increased production of hormones such as testosterone not only lessen the effects of aging, but also help control excessive estrogen and progesterone levels in woman. This aids in healthy periods.

So there you have it! Those are my top 3 healthy habits to help you regulate your hormones.

I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. You can also subscribe to my site and receive all my latest blog posts and treatment specials.

As always, I sign off by wishing you a healthy, happy life.

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