It’s easy to assume that hormone disruption is an “old-person” issue.
But really, this is a WHOLE-FAMILY issue and is something that needs to be addressed at a young age.
Why? In today’s world, precocious puberty is becoming more and more common. Girls as young as 8 are now starting to develop breasts and are beginning to menstruate. Boys at the same age are developing underarm and facial hair.
Having balanced hormones is something that every parent should be concerned about. The good news is that there are some real things you can do now to ensure your whole family has this hormone thing under control. 🙂
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers, traveling in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly over time and affect many different processes in the body.
It’s not about perfection. It’s about being conscious of the issue and improving a few areas.
In my experience, being perfect in anything can lead to a stressed life. Which, in a lot of ways, can be worse. In our family, we try our best to eat healthy and do a few things that contribute to our healthy lifestyle. But we avoid the dangerous mentality of perfection. Nobody wants to go through life with anxiety about every little food or toxin, am I right?
The truth is we life in a world with plenty of bad things. But there are also is an abundance of amazing things available to us.
Some of the main things we like to consciously improve are our diets, activity level, sleep, cleaning supplies, and kitchen products. We also like to use herbs and plants to help reduce estrogenic hormones in our bodies. In today’s video, I’ll share my tips on balancing hormones with you. I’ll be talking about my favorite essential oils to use as well, so get ready for some great information!
Balancing Hormones Naturally
Hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. There are multiple functions in your body that use hormones. The main endocrine glands are the pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, adrenal glands and pancreas. When you’re young, your body uses hormones for growing & supporting your metabolism, but as you reach puberty, reproductive hormones come into play.
Your diet, your sleep, your stress, & your body’s toxic load all play a role in how well your hormones are functioning. In my experience, just improving a little bit in each area has improved my symptoms faster than when I’ve just focused on one area, like diet. Making sure I’ve got a few boxes checked has made all the difference!
Part 1: Improve your Diet
It’s easy to say that a real food diet is important, but let’s go over why a real food diet is SO great for your hormonal health!
Reduce your intake of Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fats – Our cells primarily use saturated & monounsaturated fats, and only use a small amount of polyunsaturated fats. Typically, we should eat these fats in the amounts that our body uses them. Therefore, when you eat fat, you should be eating primarily saturated & monounsaturated and only eat a very small amount of polyunsaturated fat. Good fats to use are butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil. Bad fats are vegetable oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, or shortening.
Reduce your intake of xenoestrogenic foods – XENO means fake. When we moved away from real food and towards conveniently packaged modern food, with it, came disease & obesity. We need only to turn back the dial a bit, remember our roots, and rediscover our natural diet. I don’t like to make huge rules about eating this food or that food, but I do try to stick with real, whole ingredients as much as possible. When it comes to hormones, I like to avoid store bought, low-grade meat, eggs, & dairy. Instead, we either raise our own meat, which we feed organically, or we purchase from local farmers who strive to use healthy practices when it comes to raising food. To help your body metabolize excess estrogen, you can eat a carrot a day.
Don’t make carbs the culprit – You’ll see in lots of health circles a vilification of sugar. Things like honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, & fruit are put in the same corner as soda, candy, cookies, donuts, etc. They simply aren’t in the same category. Glucose plays an important role in the body because your liver stores sugar in order to reduce stress hormones & improve your metabolism. So, if you have been reducing carbs in order to lose weight, you may have done so by activating your stress hormones. By limiting your glycogen stores, you make it harder for your body to keep your hormones balanced. Women tend to have the most long-term weight loss and balanced hormones by not avoiding natural carbohydrates found in fruit, potatoes, & dairy.
Part 2: Reduce your Toxic Load
It’s been said that if you’re a woman, you encounter over 500 chemicals from cosmetics & beauty products, not to mention pesticides, plastics & non-stick surfaces can disrupt your hormones. Some ways you can reduce your toxic load are to cook in glass or non-coated metal pans and avoid heating or storing foods in plastic. Find organic produce and meat whenever possible and avoid using chemical pesticides or cleaners.
- Stay away from Aluminum – Aluminum isn’t a metal that should be found in the body, but unfortunately, it’s in a lot of products we use daily. If you use antiperspirant deodorant, cook with aluminum baking pans, or eat canned foods, your body has to work harder to eliminate this heavy metal. Aluminum accumulates in the brain, lungs, & kidneys, and can cause a host of hormone imbalances in the body. Try your best to eliminate this one from your life.
- Purchase non-toxic cleaning products – There are so many great choices for natural cleaners today that there really isn’t an excuse to not purchase them. Even if you can’t front the cost, there are a lot of homemade cleaning products to make yourself. Stop buying cleaners to stop exposing your body to harmful chemicals.
- Switch to an organic, non-toxic makeup – This is something I’ve been doing for a long time now, and I’m really happy I made the switch, because I can’t believe how many chemicals I used to apply to my face daily. My favorite non-toxic, organic makeup is the Beautycounter Brand.
- Slowly switch to non-toxic lotions, shampoos, etc. – It’s tough to overhaul your entire beauty routine, so just start small and go from there. When you find yourself writing shampoo on your shopping list, make a commitment to search for a new, non-toxic one. Little steps over time can begin to produce big results.
Part 3: Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep deprivation is so damaging to the body that it is used in war as a form of torture! Isn’t it amazing that we spend so much time analyzing our diets, yet we forget about the quality and quantity of our sleep? Are you torturing your body during the night, but expecting it to perform miracles during the day?
Here are some tips to make your sleep better than ever.
- Reduce your blue light exposure after the sun sets. “Short-wavelength blue lights”, a type of light emitted by televisions, cellphones, & computer screens, have been shown to cause melatonin suppression. By using these devices after sundown, you are effectively suppressing the production of melatonin and setting yourself up for a bad night’s sleep. Don’t worry; there are some great solutions to this! You can install a free program, such as f.lux on your computer & cellphone to help dim your screen at the start of sundown each day. It is synced with your local time- zone, so it automatically turns down the screen for you.
- Keep your room cool and dark. You’ll want to focus on 3 things – a cool, dark, & quiet bedroom. Optimal temperature is 76 degrees. To make your room dark you can either buy blackout curtains or wear a sleeping mask. Even something like a blinking phone or an alarm clock should be covered! For a quiet room, try ear plugs. You should still be able to hear your children and carry on a conversation, but all the little sounds of the house like the ticking of a clock or the creaks in the night can be blocked out.
- Use essential oils at bedtime to help you sleep deeply. Some of the best essential oils to use for sleep are Lavender, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, & Marjoram. I apply 2 drops of Lavender every night to my jaw to do two things — relax my jaw muscles so I don’t clench & help me sleep deeply.
- Try magnesium at bedtime. Magnesium is the “feel-good” mineral. It is essential for over 300 different chemical reactions in the body, including maintaining your energy level, relaxing your muscles, regulating your blood sugar, and sustaining the health of your heart and blood vessels. A deficiency can lead to a HOST of problems and is often triggered by carbonated beverages, sugar, & stress. Nearly half of the population is deficient! Using a magnesium spray (like this one) at bedtime can help you sleep a lot better.
Signs your hormones are improving
- Clear skin
- No digestive issues
- Minimal moodiness
- Steady energy throughout the day
- Restful sleep
- Minimal PMS or menstrual symptoms
Essential oils for hormone support
There are some essential oils that can really help when you’re trying to balance those hormones. Coriander, Lavender, & Citrus oils have high amounts of Linalool, which help the body metabolize estrogen. Clove, Basil, and Cinnamon help the body naturally release estrogen, so they can help for reducing estrogen levels. Clary Sage, Lemongrass, Fennel, & Geranium all have phytoestrogenic properties with help increase estrogen levels during menopause or during your menstrual cycle.
When it’s my time of the month, I like to apply the Monthly blend, which is a blend of the essential oils clary sage, lavender, bergamot, roman chamomile, cedarwood, ylang ylang, geranium, fennel, carrot seed, palmarosa and vitex. This reduces cramping & hot flashes, and helps me feel more balanced in my moods as well as feel more energy.
Other essential oils to help manage symptoms of essential oils are:
- Wild Orange, Lime, Lemon, & Tangerine – Citrus oils are uplifting to the mind and body.
- Ylang Ylang – Promotes healthy skin and hair and lifts mood while having a calming effect.
- The Serenity blend – The serenity blend is a blend of the essential oils lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla bean. This blend helps promote relaxation and restful sleep. It also helps lessen tension and calms emotions. For me, it helps reduce worry & stress, which is always a good thing!
- The Elevation blend – The elevation blend is a blend of the essential oils lavender, tangerine, elemi, lemon myrtle, melissa, ylang ylang, osmanthus, and sandalwood. This blend helps elevate your mood. It’s really energizing and helps to lessen sad and anxious feelings. I always feel more positive when I’m using this blend!
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