5 Ways To Cope With Hormonal Imbalance
As a team of mostly women, we UNDERSTAND the struggle when it comes to hormones! 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80’s…. You get the point. ALL of us can struggle with hormonal imbalances and it is never fun!
Of course we are grateful for Western Medicine but we are huge believers in root cause-- meaning get to the root cause to help what is going on!
There are many ways to copy with hormonal imbalance but we wanted to narrow it down to FIVE that you can start implementing today!
1. Avoid white sugar + overly refined carbohydrates
The problem with white sugar is that it spikes insulin and this can cause a myriad of problems. Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down and often come with tons of other antioxidants and vitamins. Those are great for us! It’s the simple sugars we want to avoid, especially with hormonal problems.
Simple sugars are carbohydrates with molecules that contain either single or double sugar molecules. These are referred to as saccharides. They are four calories per gram. What we often see is the singular sugar molecule. Our body cannot properly break these down. Disaccharides (two molecules) must be broken down in order to be absorbed.
Simple sugars are found in sodas, candy, processed baked goods, common cereals, store-bought desserts, and in things with added sugar in them- like bread, tomato sauce, etc. Unfortunately, these are everywhere. High fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, and agave is another example. What can be tough is the many names processed sugars can be found under.
A sign of hormonal imbalance can be insulin resistance. Eating too much white sugar can cause this.
What is a better swap is again, natural sugars! We highly recommend swapping out your sugar for lucuma! It is such a great swap.
Lucuma has both insoluble and soluble fiber which is what makes it a complex carb. A serving of Lucuma is one tablespoon, and one table has 2g of fiber! Fiber is GREAT for hormones!
Insoluble fiber is linked to your digestive system which is also tied to hormones. Insoluble fiber helps bulk up stools so that it passes more smoothly through your system.
Soluble fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Again, digestion health and hormones can go hand in hand. This, in turn, produces beneficial short-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acids are a big source of energy for our colon cells. Those who have hormonal issues know we are in need of extra energy. Peruvian superfoods are energy providers!
Given Lucuma's unique nutritional profile, using it consistently in your diet --instead of your typical table sugar-- will help promote gut and digestion health and thus can help with hormones if you regularly replace table sugar with it.
2. Find what works to lower your stress levels
If you are extra stressed, it is bound to cause some hormonal issues, and stress itself can wreak havoc on your hormones.
Typically, it’s two groups of hormones that are extra affected by stress and that is cortisol and adrenaline. Together we can think of this as epinephrine. We already know cortisol is the quintessential “stress hormone” because it helps our body cope with stress in the short and long term. Adrenaline is more of our “fight or flight” hormone aka the hormone that can put us into a sympathetic state, which is the opposite of rest and digest.
As we have evolved, humans are more stressed than ever these days and consequently, we are seeing way more hormonal issues than ever before.
The research that is the strongest around bringing down stress levels is meditation, yoga, listening to soft music and getting massages. We also recommend looking into breathwork!
The good thing here is that you can immediate control over your stress levels. You don’t have to pay good money to lower your stress and you can start immediately on this step.
Health, at the end of the day, will always go back to the basics.
3. Take your Maca daily! And be diligent about it.
Our organic, gelatinized Peruvian maca powder is our prized possession. Maca is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is similar in appearance to the common potato and is a cruciferous vegetable with adaptogenic properties- meaning it helps the body adapt to and deal with stress.
One of the main reasons people are drawn to Maca is that it may help support hormones. A 2005 study showed that 42% of post menopausal women supplementing with maca experienced a decrease in menopause symptoms (which is huge!)- This included bringing up low mood and bringing up energy levels. Many women with hormonal issues battle low mood and low energy and maca is shown to really help. More research is needed but multiple studies are popping up around Maca and hormones.
Another study was done on rats (both male and female) to figure out just how much of a physiological effect Maca can have on certain bodily processes. They wanted to determine if it was worthy of further studies. Their conclusion was heavily pointing toward: Study more people! There is something here! Particularly they noted that after 90 days they saw mood increase, cortisol stable out and a lowering of the blood pressure.
Women report it is so easy to take their Maca daily as it goes into so many different things. It is great as a latte, in coffee, in tea, in smoothies. Some people even bake with it! Typically one teaspoon a day is enough to make a difference.
4. Learn how to balance your blood sugar
It is pretty amazing how balanced blood sugar can lead to a balancing of hormones. Blood sugar (like nearly everything else in the body) is tied to how well you are doing hormone wise!
Many people are eating and not really thinking about what is on their plate. They may have a plate full of vegetables, but the plate may be very little in both protein or fat.
One of the best things we can do is to make sure our plates are balanced in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Of course, everyone is different and these ratios may skew a bit but for the majority of us with hormone issues- looking to the perfect ratio of ⅓ ⅓ ⅓ of protein, fat and carbs is one of the best things we can do!
Something you can consider is going for foods that have good amounts of each of them. And bonus if that food also includes fiber!
Here at Shop KB, we are HUGE on chia seeds. We put them on salads, we snack on chia seed pudding, we put them in breads and oatmeal and smoothies and… you name it! Chia seeds make you feel so good because they have so much fat, fiber, protein AND carbs in them!
They really are the perfect food. Another reason to think about blood sugar when your hormones are off is that you are likely experiencing low energy. Balanced blood sugar helps sustain your energy levels! Chia seeds + maca is a wonderful combo. Throw in some cacao for good measure- it’s great for boosting the mood. ;)
5. Get in more Omega 3s
Did you know there have been studies that show that consuming enough Omega 3s can have positive effects on mental stress tests and can also significantly impact the amount of cortisol and epinephrine that gets let out? Aka it can decrease it. Omega 3s are MASSIVELY important when it comes to hormones. And yet, so many people are deficient!
There are also studies that show that increasing the intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids may reduce insulin resistance, and as we stated in the beginning of this, insulin resistance can be a huge player in a reason why someone may be experiencing hormonal imbalances!
Not to brag about chia seeds again, but…. We’re going to brag about chia seeds. ;) Chia seeds are packed with Omega 3 ALAs. The benefit, besides helping hormones, is that ALA Omega 3s are really great for the skin. In case you needed some extra reasoning to eat chia seeds every day.
When it comes to Omega 3s, there are three different kinds. EPA, ALA, and DHA. One serving can help increase the amount of EPAs and ALAs in the body. This is great but make sure to supplement with DHA as well. (Source)
You got this! Your health is worth it and small changes each day can add up to BIG things!