Hormones are a naturally occurring chemical in your body that strongly impact our mood, metabolism, sleep patterns as well as physical and mental health. Hormones are produced by glands in the endocrine system, and while they are usually able to regulate themselves, they can become imbalanced by producing too much or too little of a certain hormone.
In women, some of the hormones that may be more likely to become imbalanced are oestrogen, progesterone, insulin and cortisol which may in turn affect your sleep, stress levels, ability to gain or lose weight and may cause PMS-like symptoms such as mood swings, increased hunger throughout the day and sugar cravings.
If you're concerned about imbalanced hormones, it is best to consult your healthcare professional, however there are a few ways that you may be able to naturally balance your hormones through diet and lifestyle changes.
In terms of diet changes, you should ensure that you're getting enough protein as this will influence the release of hormones that affect your appetite and hunger. Increasing healthy fats such as fatty fish, MCTs (one of the oils we use in our meal replacement liquid), avocado and chia seeds may also help to balance your hormones by reducing insulin resistance.
Reducing refined sugars is another great way that you may be able to balance your hormones and improve overall health, as the fructose in sugar has been linked to an increase in insulin.
A healthy lifestyle is also an important factor in improving hormone imbalances. Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume may play a big role in balancing your hormones as it is known to spike blood sugar levels creating an excess of oestrogen.
Increasing the amount of exercise you do regularly may also be beneficial to reduce insulin and inflammation in the body, making you feel better and healthier all round. Increasing your exercise may also help you get a better nights rest and reduce stress levels as well!
While serious hormonal imbalances may need to be treated with medication, to improve overall wellness it's a great idea to implement these diet and lifestyle tips into your every day routine!