Biohack Your Way To Better Sleep
When life is busy, often the first thing we sacrifice is sleep. Sleep or rather inadequate sleep quickly throws our body off balance. This is why its one of the first things our doctors ask about when patients come in for their initial visit. In a small study testing the impact of prolonged sleep restriction, participants that slept only 4 hours versus 10 or 12 hours experienced an increase in ghrelin, a hormone responsible for appetite regulation, alongside a decrease in leptin, a hormone responsible for communicating satiation. For many of us, 10 or 12 hours might be hard to achieve. Thats why here at Parsley we recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night. The benefits of adequate sleep will not only increase your glucose metabolism and leptin concentrations but increase your bodys secretion of growth hormones responsible for cell reproduction and regeneration, which all take place during periods of rest.
About Dr Roohi Jeelani
Dr Roohi Jeelani is Director of Research and Education at Vios Fertility Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr Jeelani earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. She then completed a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, where she was awarded a Womens Reproductive Health NIH K12 Research Grant. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Liver: The #1 Superfood To Balance Hormones
Gram for gram, liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. Due to its unique nutritional profile, liver easily deserves the title, Ideal Superfood to Balance Hormones.
Most importantly, liver provides the highest source of vitamin A, one of the most valuable vitamins to balance hormones. Vitamin A not only improves thyroid function, it improves liver health so we can synthesize and detox hormones well.
Contrary to popular belief, we cannot obtain vitamin A from vegetables , including carrots and sweet potatoes. The beta carotene in veggies must first be converted to vitamin A in the body and this conversion is so poor it is virtually insignificant. Hormonal imbalance further compromises your ability to convert the carotene into useable vitamin A.
Optimally, enjoy 2-4 servings of pastured liver each week. If you abhor the taste of liver, I recommend taking these grassfed desiccated liver capsules daily. 2-6 capsules per day is recommended.
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The Best Supplements To Balance Hormones
#1 Probiotics for Mood and Gut Health
Probiotics can do more than improve your gut health. They also may indirectly enhance your brain, too. Research shows that the gut and brain are connected, a partnership called the gut-brain axis.
Probiotics have become increasingly popular in recent years. You might already eat a lot of probiotic foods, such as yogurt or kimchi, or take a daily probiotic supplement to reap their potential benefits.
Gut bacteria are key players in your mood and mental health. They can relieve the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, but they might also make them worse.
How to Take Probiotics
For best results, take probiotic supplements with meals. When you are selecting a probiotic supplement, choose one with a diverse range of bacteria, a high number of colony-forming units , and also be sure that its either been refrigerated or is guaranteed to be stable at room temperature.
#2 Magnesium for Cramps and Stress Management
When your body does not have enough Magnesium then systemic inflammation occurs. This can result in fatigue, headaches/migraines, aches, and pains.
Magnesium helps keep adrenal stress hormones under control too. This is a big deal, as stress hormones throw everything off whack!
In fact, I find it so helpful for pain management that I also use it as salt in baths and as a spray on my abdomen to reduce cramping.
How to take magnesium
#3 Dong Quai for menstrual cramps and PMS
How to take Dong Quai
#4 Maca for Balancing Hormones
Try Some Of The Strategies To Help You Manage Stress:
Learn to say no
Protein with every meal to stabilise blood sugar and moods
Regular exercise that you enjoy and is not too strenuous
Time outdoors: barefoot on the ground
When it comes to supplementation, ashwagandha is an incredible natural solution. Here at Nourished we have created the purest ashwagandga supplement on the market, our Calm + De-stress vitamin. It is made in the USA, FDA certified and 100% natural.
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Feed Your Gut Microbiome
For hormone production and balance we need to ensure our gut bacteria are flourishing so eating fermented foods daily , prebiotic foods and probiotic yoghurts etc as well as eating as many different foods as possible in a week will help maintain the diversity you need.
If you feel that you could benefit from additional support, they you can learn more by reading my page about hormone imbalance or dont hesitate to contact me using the form below.
Balance Hormones With The Moon: Lunaception
This tip is for girls only. Womens menstrual cycles are wired to be in sync with the moon. In all early societies, before industrialism and processed foods disrupted traditional cultures, women ovulated at the full moon and menstruated at the new moon. This is our default setting, but factors including hormonal birth control, hormonal imbalances, and poot diet disrupt this pattern.
Fortunately, because the female reproductive hormones are so sensitive to light, we can naturally re-train and regulate our menstrual cycle and sex hormones with a simple night lighting technique that mimics the pattern of the moon. I avidly practice this simple routine, called Lunaception, and I explain how to do it here.
How Do You Know If You Have Hormonal Imbalance
Ive lived my life with chronic fatigue, mood swings, depression due to endometriosis, and also with huge and regular crashes in energy all day every day.
Our hormone health is really important.
The signs of hormonal imbalance:
- PMS mood changes and irritability, sadness, or anger
- Hormonal migraines or headaches
- Hair thinning or loss
- Depression and anxiety
Get Off The Sugar Roller Coaster
Eating significant amounts of sugars and refined carbohydrates like cakes, pasta, bread, cookies, and soda wrecks hormonal balance. Eating these foods often creates abrupt highs and lows in blood sugar that not only promote body fat storage, but they can increase inflammatory markers that interfere with hormone communication.
Instead, aim for balanced meals with proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and minimally-processed whole grains like quinoa or oats.
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Eat Your Veggies Especially Broccoli
The amazing nutrients in plant foods deserve their own special mention for balancing hormones. Among the benefits of vegetables, theyre a good source of fiber to help balance estrogen levels. Fiber helps you have healthy bowel movements, which gives excess estrogen a healthy way to be eliminated from your body.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale also contain a beneficial phytonutrient called diindolylmethane that helps break down and detox estrogen before it can recirculate and worsen issues like PMS, estrogen dominance, and certain estrogen-sensitive cancers .
My favorite types of fiber-rich plant foods are:
Types Of Hormone Imbalances
Estrogen Dominance Estrogen dominance is a quite common cause of hormone imbalance that occurs when estrogen levels are too high relative to progesterone levels. This can happen in a few ways:
Symptoms of estrogen dominance include: Tender breasts, irregular cycles long or short, bloating, acne, breast cysts, PMS, headaches, anxiety, weight gain, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, hair loss, and difficulties getting pregnant. However, this is not an all-inclusive list.
The graphic above shows a healthy pattern and 3 patterns of estrogen dominance. Please take note that all of the unhealthy patterns are still within a typical lab reference range. Your hormones will come back normal. Its the ratio between the hormones that are important! Adding a healthy pattern to the previously mentioned reasons for Estrogen Dominance leaves us with the following patterns for your hormones.
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Get The Right Nutrients
Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy hormones. A holistic practitioner can help you determine which supplements work well for your needs, but there are a few basics that work well for most women. These include vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and a bioavailable B complex vitamin.
For women: Get the fully-activated B vitamins you need.
Balance Hormones With A Carrot A Day
Raw carrots contain a unique fiber that helps detox excess estrogen from the body. Both men and women of all ages benefit from this practice, since estrogen dominance or too much estrogen in the body is nearly always a component of hormonal imbalances in both sexes. Dr. Ray Peat created this Carrot a Day practice to help naturally balance hormones for women who were suffering from PMS:
Several women who suffered from premenstrual symptoms, including migraine, had their serum estrogen measured before and after the carrot diet, and they found that the carrot lowered their estrogen within a few days, as it relieved their symptoms.
The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.
Just be sure to follow these few important guidelines for using carrots to balance hormones. Also, if you are struggling with severe PMS, this daily carrot is very helpful but I would also recommend the entire protocol outlined in my book Quit PMS here.
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Get That Protein In There
Protein-rich foods provide our bodies with numerous nutrients, such as amino acids, which are used in the production of hormones and in regulating several physiological processes. Experts recommend that you should consume at least 20-30 grams of protein with each meal.
Eggs, chicken, lentils and fish are all protein-rich foods. However, if you think youll struggle with this, you can always add protein smoothies to your diet.
Herbs Nutrients And Nutrition Options For Hormone Balance
As a Naturopathic Physician, I am lucky to have so many tools in my toolbox to provide treatment options to my patients having hormonal balance issues! Depending on symptom severity and patient preference, I can choose between a variety of options that will work best for them. This is one of the many reasons that I love Naturopathic Medicine and one of the reasons I often use supplements to balance hormones.
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How Long Does It Take To Balance Hormones
As you can imagine, this varies. However, research shows that by taking a holistic, well-rounded approach, you can balance your hormones in less than four months. In fact, you can significantly reduce the amount of chemicals and pesticides in your body, in one week. How so? Switch to an organic diet. And in less than 10 days, you can improve your blood sugar by eating less sugar . By incorporating more fermented foods and a potent probiotic, women can more easily detox estrogen, which helps balance hormonesin less than two months. By four months, eating a hormonally-supportive diet makes an impact, slowing the aging process and protecting fertility.
How Menopause Disturbs Our Hormone Balance
Wondering how hormones send their messages to different parts of the body? Heres a rundown of the process!
The whole process begins when hormone production takes place in your glands. Your hormones travel via your blood to the different cells and organs in your body. When they reach their destination, they knock on your cellsgatekeepers, called receptors, where they will relay their message.
If your receptors feel like your cells need them, they allow entry to dock into your cells, and they will turn on a specific function. This is how your hormones keep the body balanced. But
During menopause, your hormone production changes big time. In the early stages, your ovaries start to falter, but they will still produce normal amounts of estrogen. On the other hand, progesterone production reduces. This causes an imbalance called estrogen dominance where estrogen is higher relative to progesterone. In the later parts of menopause, you experience declining hormone levels, which can make you deficient.
As the receiving end, your receptors will accept whats coming to them. Excessive estrogen in your body will hyperactivate your organs and the lack of progesterone may affect some body functions. Hormone deficiencies on the other hand slow down the majority of your body functions and you may experience symptoms such as:
- Changes in your monthly periods
- Slow digestion
- Sluggish metabolism
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Lower Your Sugar Intake
Minimizing added sugar intake may be instrumental in optimizing hormone function and avoiding obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.
The simple sugar fructose is present in many types of sugar, comprising up to 43% of honey, 50% of refined table sugar, 55% of high fructose corn syrup, and 90% of agave .
In addition, sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugars in the Western diet, and fructose is commonly used commercially in soft drinks, fruit juice, and sport and energy drinks .
Fructose intake has increased exponentially in the United States since around 1980, and studies consistently show that eating added sugar promotes insulin resistance regardless of total calorie intake or weight gain .
Long-term fructose intake has been linked to disruptions of the gut microbiome, which may lead to other hormonal imbalances .
Whats more, fructose may fail to stimulate the production of the fullness hormone leptin, leading to decreased calorie burning and increased weight gain .
Therefore, reducing your intake of sugary drinks and other sources of added sugar may improve hormone health.
Diets high in sugar have been shown to promote insulin resistance, disrupt your gut microbiome, and reduce leptin production. Thus, lowering your sugar intake may aid hormonal health.
Best Foods To Balance Your Hormones
Your hormones are your body’s control system. But in an age when hormone-disrupting chemicals lurk in processed foods, shampoos, and even scented candles and air fresheners, it doesn’t take much to throw off that delicate balance. And out-of-whack hormones could affect almost every facet of your health, making it really hard to lose weight, have babies, and even feel happy. Unhealthy hormone levels can even increase your risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
We turned to Natasha Turner, ND, author of the best-selling book, The Super-Charged Hormone Diet , to help ID the best hormone-balancing foods nature has to offera snapshot of nutritious foods and drinks that can help you achieve hormonal balance, feel satisfied, fight disease, and lose fat. ” rel=”nofollow”> The Thyroid Cure!)
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, including indole-3-carbinol, which helps break down a harmful and potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. In 2008, researchers at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley showed that indole-3-carbinol halts the growth of breast cancer cells and may also offer protection against the spread of cancer. Just 2½ cups of broccoli a week is all you need to reduce your risk of several cancers, particularly those of the breast and prostate.
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Be Mindful Of Your Gut Health
As we mentioned, following a hormone-balancing diet is crucial for optimal health. Since your gut contains over 100 trillion good bacteria, youll want to be mindful of the foods you consume for a healthy gut microbiome. Try to eat a diverse range of nutritious foods, consume plenty of veggies, beans, fruit, legumes , and fermented foods . Fermented foods are important for good health, as they are rich in lactobacilli, a bacteria type that aids gut health.
What Is The Endocrine System
The endocrine system is in charge of coordinating the relationship between different organs and hormones, which are chemicals that are released into your bloodstream from cells within your endocrine glands.
Hormones are secreted by various glands and organs, including your thyroid, adrenals, pituitary, ovaries, testicles and pancreas. The entire endocrine system works together to control the level of hormones circulating throughout your body, and if one or more is even slightly imbalanced, it can cause widespread health problems affecting growth, sexual development and function, sleep, metabolism and hunger.
Once your hormones are in circulation, they target specific tissues or cells by binding to receptors that are located inside the cell or on its surface. These hormones work as chemical messengers and play a key role in your bodys daily functions.
The endocrine system is made up of many glands, including the pituitary gland or master gland thats responsible for sending information from your brain to other glands in your body. The pituitary gland also produces many hormones that travel throughout the body and have different important functions.
The pituitary gland is made up of two different tissue types: the anterior pituitary that synthesizes and releases classic hormones, and the posterior pituitary gland that secretes neurohormones that are made in the hypothalamus.
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