Believe it or not, hormonal imbalances are somewhat the norm in African American communities. It’s why we have so many related problems — acne, obesity, fatigue, insomnia, PMS, infertility, PCOS, endometriosis and stomach fat that’s hard to get rid of. As soon as we hit puberty, these issues start and that’s because our hormones are starting to kick in.
But when they aren’t balanced, it can cause any number of these problems — for me, it was acne and oily skin. Whether you are witnessing symptoms like mood swings, poor bowel health or weight issues, you can do something about it by balancing out your hormones. So how does one go about doing that?
The role hormones play in your body
Before getting into how you can fix your hormones, it’s good to know what they do in the body. This could also help you to figure out which areas of the body are having problems, such as your adrenal or thyroid glands.
Your hormones are responsible for multiple functions, including growth and development, sexual function, metabolism, mood, energy and reproduction.
These hormones are created in your endocrine glands, which are groups of cells that release hormones throughout your system. The major players include thyroid, adrenal, pineal, pituitary, thymus glands and the pancreas. In the female body, the hormones are produced in the ovaries and in the male body, it’s produced in the testes (why it’s important to focus on improving the health of these areas as well).
When your body isn’t getting the right nutrients or is being filled with toxins, it can cause disruption or overproduction of certain hormones. For example, if you consume toxins that mimic certain hormones, such as estrogen, it can cause issues in your body when it tries to use that hormone in place of or in conjunction with the natural one.
What you can do to balance out your hormones
There are some things you’re gonna have to do and not do to help restore your body’s natural ability to balance and produce hormones. You don’t have to take any drugs or undergo any hormonal therapies because your body will do it on its own. All you need to do is eliminate the problems and start giving your body what it needs to do its job right.
Stay away from high omega-6 polyunsaturated fats
I can go into detail why you should, but in short, eating these type of fats can cause cellular mutations, clog arteries, cancerous skin growths, PCOS and endometriosis.
So where are these fats found? Inside of your peanut oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, shortening, margarine and other fats that have been chemically altered. Instead, you should consume olive oil and coconut oil. It’s also important to have a balance of omega 3s and 6s, like what you’ll find in hemp milk or protein powder.
Chuck out coffee and caffeinated teas
Some people believe that coffee is healthy and those who know better typically resort to what they think are healthier options — teas made up of caffeine.
There’s no greater caffeine — they’re all bad. So ditch the green tea and other caffeinated teas, which can cause all sorts of problems for your endocrine system, especially if you are consuming toxins, are stressed, pregnant or overweight. Instead, you should resort to herbal teas like lemongrass, red raspberry leaf (especially for women), lavender, pau d’ arco, moringa and chaga.
Avoid all forms of toxins
And I don’t just mean in your foods. I also mean chemicals that are found in plastics, household cleaning supplies, paint, mattresses, rugs and so on, which may contain hormone disrupting chemicals. You should obviously eat organic to get away from the pesticides as well. And if you’re on hormonal birth control, consider switching to one that is non-hormonal, such as the copper IUD.
If you have been struggling with having children, you’ll find this tip to be very, very important. Instead of using plastic and coated pans, switch to glass and stainless steel pots that are non-coated. There are plenty of natural cleaning supplies you can replace your chemicals ones with as well (look up the Seventh Generation brand).
Stay away from hormonal animal products
The meat and dairy sold in stores today are pumped with all sorts of chemicals, including hormones and antibiotics (plus, they eat feed that’s filled with herbicides and pesticides). I found that eliminating these from my diet helped improve my skin problem drastically, which meant that my hormones were beginning to balance out.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep
If you’ve been having issues with falling asleep at night, you can use essential oils and teas to help. Lavender and chamomile are excellent teas to drink before going to bed. You can also use an essential oil diffuser for these essential oils to help relax you at night. Try to get in bed at a decent hour and avoid bright artificial lights.
Include nutritional herbs in your daily diet
Taking in enough nutrients daily is important for your overall health. So rather than focusing on which vitamin or mineral your body is lacking, give it everything!
One great way to do so is to consume high-nutrition smoothies that are made with Irish moss, bladderwrack, kelp, moringa, baobab and spirulina. You can also add in hemp milk or hemp protein powder and coconut oil. You should also use herbs that nourish the female or male reproductive system.
Working out lightly (swimming, biking, walking) and doing some heavy lifting can both help to balance and trigger hormone reactions. You want to start off with low reps with weight that challenges, but doesn’t break you. Get help if you are new to weight lifting to make sure your form is right and prevent injuries.
Detox your entire body
To help speed along the process, you can use herbal detoxes that will cleanse your endocrine system, organs, blood cells and reproductive system. Get all the toxins out, so that you can start anew!
Combining all of these tips will give you a holistic approach to your hormonal imbalance. Give them a try and see how your symptoms improve!
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