I’ll just cut to it here. Women that generally have better balanced hormones have less stress, have an easier time losing body fat and are more adapt to change. That’s why we need to talk this.
In this busy world we live in today it is sometimes difficult to simply take a moment for ourselves. It’s so often that we (and today let’s focus on women) sometimes don’t even realize that our hormones are out of whack. And when we do realize it we don’t always realize why. Health and fitness are such a key ingredient to keeping our hormones in check and that is why I am writing this article. I wanted to dig into not only why are hormones are sometimes all over the map but more so I wanted to find what exactly can we do to truly find balance.
First of all, let’s just break down the basics, although you probably already know this it is important to reiterate the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. The problem with today is it’s so easy to get lost in a sea of Internet junk with fitness ‘gurus’ just telling you what they have heard and no backing behind it – let’s avoid that today. So to make it simple I am going to give you the top five things that women can do today to start balancing hormones in a healthy natural way.
#1 Eat beautiful broccoli – veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bok choy have an ingredient named indole-3-carinal which when broken down in the body produces Diindolymethane. Not only are these ingredients have anti-cancer effects especially in breast cancer, but they help keep estrogen levels normal. Eating products natural in their earth form is medicine in and of itself!
#2 Eat phytoestrogen foods – flax seeds, bean sprouts, legumes, sunflower seeds, peas, and garbanzo beans are all plant based phytoestrogens. So what exactly do phytoestrogens do? Exactly what you want them to do, they naturally balance hormone levels.
#3 Exercise regularly – now this may seem obvious as we hear it time and time again but there is a reason exercise is so important. Excess fat actually has the ability to act as its very own endocrine organ, meaning that is has the ability to produce more estrogen in the body then is actually needed and this can have many harmful effects. By simply exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet your body will not produce excessive amounts of particular hormones. Research has found that exercising for 30 minutes a day, three days a week will not only help with weight loss but hormone levels recorded were impressively different.
#4 Just breathe – it’s funny how something so simple can get overlooked. Taking just two five minute sessions a day to be in silence and do controlled breathing exercises will drastically lower stress levels and help keep hormones at bay. Not only will you function at a higher capacity but this technique will in fact raise your level of overall calmness. So take those moments during the day for a little you time in some peace and quiet and just connect with yourself.
#5 Things to avoid – while proper exercise and nutrition are a main part of the equation I feel we need to talk about what to avoid in the process. You should avoid these items as they will only may your hormone imbalances worse – high glycemic foods – sugar, sweeteners, cakes, pastries, candies, etc.; simple carbohydrates – white rice, white pasta, white flour; caffeine – sodas, energy drinks; alcohol and animal fat – full fat dairy and fatty red meat (lean meat is fine).
So the last part of good news is that women who have been following proper nutrition and eating nutrient dense foods to balance their hormones noticed one other thing, they lost body fat easier than before. So all the way around it is a winning combination for your health, overall fat loss, and balancing your hormones.
Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and the owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.