Balance is a special word that is what life is all about…
Our bodies are all about keeping that proper equilibrium that we call homeostasis. Homeostasis is the natural ability of the body to maintain its internal stability. Given the best natural ingredients, balance is maintained. Without the balance of life functions, health is compromised. It is that which we must work to attain lest we deteriorate both mentally and physically.
As the night balances the day and the fire is cooled by the water, the body has its own mechanisms to keep a balance that is sine qua non of health and longevity. One of the most important components of this balancing act is called a hormone.
Hormones are biochemicals that provide signals to different organs and they control mood, behavior, emotions, growth, metabolism, digestion, sleep and sexuality. They control essentially all body functions.
Ladies are generally talking about hormones because they are in tune with these chemicals that can make or break their lives — literally! They just need to know how to make it work for the betterment of their lives. There are over 200 hormones and we cannot discuss all of them but here are some of the key players in human behavior:
- Estrogen: subtypes; more in women than men; xenoestrogens
- Progesterone: calming, sedating, balancing estrogen
- Testosterone: libido, muscle strength
- Follicle stimulating hormone: growth of the ovaries
- Leutinizing hormone: participates in restoring follicle
- Cortisol: stress hormone; adaptability
- Adrenaline/epinephrine: fight/flight
- Thyroxine: metabolic rate
- Oxytocin: loving, calming, nurturing
- Vasopressin: controls fluids
- Insulin: sugar, many processes
- Leptin and ghrelin: weight loss, gain
Hormone Imbalances & Disruptions
What happens when hormones are out of balance? Hormone imbalances can lead to sleep disturbances, mood derangements, weight gain/loss, truncal obesity, infertility, altered behavior, atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, thyroid diseases, absent or low libido, and low energy or fatigue.
Hormone disruptors include:
- Flame retardants: PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) – cancer, hormone destruction
- Chlorine and other chemicals in water: displace iodine
- Personal care products
- Cosmetics: phthalates
- Sunscreen: significant hormone disturbance!!
- Artificial home furnishings
- Radiation: wireless, cellular, constant pulsatile exposure
- Plastics: BPS, BPA
- Animal meat
- Animal milk: somatomedins, IGF-1, BGH
- Coated cookware: Teflon and PFOA (perfluorooctonoic acid)
- Petroleum products
- Detergents: polybrominated diphenyl esters
Better Health and Balance of the Mind and Body
It is wise to rid your life of these disruptors as soon as possible and as much as possible for better health and balance of the body and mind. Work with the most natural products you can find. Most health food markets and wellness centers will help provide these products.
Grow your own garden and make use of this fresh, readily available food. And, be sure to both water and feed your internal garden what it must have to survive and do so in balance.
Foods that help balance the hormones:
- Arugula: sulfurophane, isocyanates, K. A, DIM, copper, iron, plus+
- Avocados: balance insulin/regulate ovaries
- Apple cider vinegar: improves digestion
- Beet tops: improves potassium; assists in bile production
- Broccoli: sulfurophane
- Cauliflower: cruciferous; decreases testosterone; calms adrenals
- Cinnamon: reduces pain of menses; reduces heavy bleeding
- Green tea: chlorophyll, antioxidants
- Kale: detox liver
- Nutritional yeast: B vitamins; reduces brain fog; decreases insulin resistance
- Parsley: supports liver; decreases endocrine disruptions
- Pistachios: high in protein and especially, l-arginine for improved sexual function
- Sea kelp/edible seaweeds: balance hormones; iodine and calcium rich
- Walnuts: high in protein, magnesium and iodine
Other Nutrients for Hormone Balance:
The following plant-derived substances are ADAPTAGENS (help body adjust and rebalance):
- Rhodiola (Siberian Ginseng): stress buster; cortisol balance; take in AM
- Maca: balances estrogen and progesterone; peri and post menopause
- Holy Basil (Tulsi): calming, antidepressant, reduces heart palpitations; neurotonic; autoimmune calming
- Evening Primrose Oil: reduces swelling overall; hasten birth by softening cervix
- Help oil extract: alleviates stress; calming
Bio-identical Hormone Replacement
For ladies who need the extra help with balance of hormones, there are a number of products on the market that can be prescribed for more difficult and challenging conditions that are not alleviated or corrected by above means.
BHRT is done by health care providers who are versed and knowledgeable in this arena where non-synthetic plant-based products are formulated for a woman’s needs. These are very much like human hormones but are plant-derived and generally safe or safer than synthetic, lab created pharmaceutical hormones. Oral, sublingual, transdermal, implantable and injectables are all available.
Speak to a qualified integrative or naturopathic doctor for more information and potential use of these type of products.
Movement is essential and the more you move, the better the balance.
Take 30 minutes a day out of your schedule to dance, walk fast, jump, run, play sport, swim, cycle, etc. If you cannot do any of above, jiggle, wiggle and laugh as much as possible. All of these motions will contribute to a better balance.
Meditation, Mantra and Chant
Reduction of stress hormones including cortisol and catecholamines is automatic with breath exercises and mindful meditations.
Some mantras to practice daily or more than once a day:
Om shanti shanti
Om tat sat
I am at peace
Life is all good
I want nothing
Aham prema- I am divine love