We all know hormones are important, but what do they actually do in the body?
Hormones are chemical messengers that travel through the bloodstream. Their main job is to control the activities of different organs and tissues in the body. They do this by attaching to special receptors on cells.
There are many different hormones, each with its own specific function. Some of the most important hormones are insulin (controls blood sugar levels), estrogen and progesterone (regulates menstrual cycling and pregnancy and testosterone (stimulates muscle growth and sex drive).
Here’re the most essential habits that can keep your hormones in balance for the rest of your life.
There’s no question that healthy eating is essential for your overall health. But what you may not know is that healthy eating is also key to maintaining a healthy hormone balance.
Fresh produce is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help keep your hormones in balance. Make sure to include plenty of dark leafy greens, berries, and other antioxidant-rich foods in your diet.
When your hormones are balanced, you feel good both mentally and physically. You have energy, vitality, and enthusiasm for life. But when your hormones are out of balance, it can lead to a wide range of negative symptoms, including anxiety, depression, weight gain, fatigue, and more.
So how can you ensure that your hormones stay in balance? By eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. This way, you’ll give your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly
Exercise is crucial for overall health and it can also help keep your hormones in balance. Studies have shown that being overweight can cause hormonal imbalances, leading to a host of health problems.
Exercise is especially important, as it helps keep your body’s production of hormones like testosterone and estrogen in check. Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy weight, but it also has other health benefits, such as reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your mood.
When you’re overweight, your body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol. This can lead to insulin resistance and other health problems.
Furthermore, a lack of activity can lead to a deficiency in growth hormone and testosterone levels. This, in turn, can cause a number of problems, including reduced muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, and lower libido.
So if you’re looking to improve your hormone balance, make sure you stay at a healthy weight and get regular exercise. It may not be easy, but the benefits are well worth it.
Reduce stress levels
Stress can have a negative impact on hormone balance so try to find ways to reduce stress in your life. When we’re under too much stress, our cortisol levels rise, and this can lead to different health problems.
Cortisol is the hormone responsible for our “fight or flight” response, and when it’s constantly elevated, it can cause problems like weight gain, high blood pressure, and even heart disease.
So how can you reduce stress in your life? There are lots of ways. You can try yoga or meditation, take a walk in nature, or simply take some time for yourself each day to relax. It’s important to find what works best for you and make time for it in your schedule. When you do, you’ll start to feel better both mentally and physically.
Restful night sleep
Getting enough quality sleep is essential for hormone balance. When we don’t get enough sleep, our hormones can become out of balance, which can lead to a variety of health problems.
One of the most important hormones affected by sleep is cortisol. Cortisol helps us respond to stress and plays a role in metabolism. When we’re chronically sleep deprived, our cortisol levels can become out of balance, leading to problems such as weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.
Another hormone that’s affected by sleep is melatonin. Melatonin helps regulate our circadian rhythm and plays a role in mood and insomnia. When we don’t get enough sleep, our melatonin levels can drop, which can lead to problems such as depression and anxiety.
One more hormone that’s affected by sleep is leptin. Leptin controls hunger and satiety cues. When you’re tired, leptin production decreases, which can lead to increased hunger and cravings. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you’re struggling with obesity or excess body fat.
So how much sleep do we need? Most adults need around 7-8 hours per night. If you’re having trouble sleeping, there are things you can do to help improve your quality of sleep, such as avoiding caffeine before bedtime and avoiding screens in the evening.
Alicia Saville did her degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.