Hormones are chemical substances released by certain specific group of cells (endocrine glands), that regulate functions of the body. Hormones play an important role in growth, development, reproduction and metabolism. Hormones are made up of fats and cholesterol. Due to improper nutrition, obesity, over/under functioning of other essential glands may result in hormonal imbalance. This leads to unwanted weight gain, pigmentation, facial hair growth etc.
During pregnancy, the estrogen and progesterone hormones surge as fetus growth takes place. These trigger weird pregnancy cravings, bloating, mood swings etc. Some obstetricians may prescribe medicines to balance hormonal levels, thyroid ones are quite popular! Well, you can attempt to balance hormones at home, naturally without resorting to medicines. Sounds tempting, eh?
Since you can work at home itself to correct hormonal imbalance, why not try it out? Below set of instructions are very simple to follow and require a bit of self control, is it too much? When it comes to your baby, nothing is too much. Read the following and see for yourself how easily you can manage hormones:
Certain substances and man-made chemicals such as those present in cosmetics, plastics, artificially processed food and cleaning agents have the ability of mimicking the hormone estrogen. So when these products come in contact with your body, they start creating hormonal imbalance. These substances are called xeno-estrogen. Ultimately, it’s in your hands to how much chemicals you want to deal with in your daily life. Stick to organic, natural products and food too!
Unfortunately the maximum sources of fat we consume are rich in Omega 6 fatty acids, whereas the one which is beneficial to us is Omega 3. What actually happens is, that hormones are made up of cholesterol and fats. If we provide our body with polyunsaturated fat and omega 6 fats (all bad fats), then how can the resulting hormones be healthy?
Therefore, avoid Omega 6 sources such as soybean oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil, conventional meats, grains etc.
Opt for healthier options such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter and munch on walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds etc. Non-vegetarians can include fish such as salmon and tuna or fish oil supplements
Our body works on a schedule. We eat – work – sleep. Similarly the hormones also function as per the schedule. The stress hormone cortisol is particularly regulated at night. Experts suggest going to bed by 10 pm. Lack of sleep or going to sleep at wrong times contribute to hormonal imbalance. If you are not getting enough sleep, your hormones will never be balanced. Distress yourself. Sometimes, just strolling in the nature works as a fine workout. Hitting the gym or huffing, puffing too much on weight loss may unduly create more stress. The fresh breeze, pure oxygen and sunlight will all affect the pituitary gland in brain which will help in regulating hormones. Research indicates that exposure to natural sunlight has the ability to regulate hormonal imbalance created by xeno-estrogen
You can easily control your diet. In order to achieve optimum hormonal functioning avoid extra sugary stuff, fried foods, alcohol (anyway, alcohol if off the list during pregnancy, and caffeine – this one is known to interrupt the thyroid functioning and increase cortisol. Red meat and processed foods such as white bread, rice and pasta should also be avoided. The more you consume natural products, the greater the chances of improving hormonal balance. Try herbal teas, include fresh fruit juices or prepare concoctions using holy basil and ashwagandha. These are particularly known to regulate thyroid functioning, balance sugar level of the body and promote healthy weight. Stock up on foods high in flavonoids such as fruits, veggies and pulses. These also help in balancing estrogen levels in the body
It is equally important to maintain healthy weight during pregnancy. Pregnancy does not mean eating anything and everything in tremendous amounts. Excess fat stored in the body also causes hormonal imbalance as it starts producing estrogen. Therefore, you can stop this source of hormonal imbalance by exercising and eating with caution. Light and relaxing exercises such as swimming and walking will help balance your hormones. Short bursts of heavy lifting can also serve as useful for releasing good hormones
See, the above doesn’t sounds tough to do? All you need is a firm determination and will to get your hormones sorted naturally. It may take time but you will definitely notice difference if you follow the above protocol.
Stay active, stay happy and have a happy baby!