Interested in natural ways to balance your hormones?

Hormones — such as testosterone, estrogen, adrenaline, insulin, and cortisol — are the major chemical messengers of the body. From feeling hungry to feeling sleepy, our hormones keep our bodies moving. Think your hormones may be out of wack and causing problems? Keep reading to find out how you can balance your hormones naturally at any age.

How hormones affect your health

It can help to imagine the hormonal system – also known as the endocrine system – as an orchestra playing a symphony. If everyone in the orchestra plays all the instruments in tune, in time, the orchestra puts on a beautiful show. Though if one or more of the instruments are out of tune, the whole production can fall apart.

Did you know?
Hormones can affect nearly all aspects of our health and wellbeing, though most people often notice an imbalance when their sex hormones and libido are low. (1)

What are the common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalances?

Signs of a hormonal imbalance can range dramatically depending on the root cause, whether you are male or female, and what hormones are off-balance. There are also vast differences between how a woman’s hormone balance and a man’s hormone balance show signs of being out of wack. (2)(3)(4)(5)

For example, symptoms of high estrogen in a man often include erectile dysfunction and fertility problems, while high estrogen in a woman can display itself in a number of ways. Examples include bloating, memory problems, or hair loss. (6)(7)

Some of the most common symptoms and signs of hormonal imbalances include: (8)(9)

When hormones are out of balance

Treatments for hormonal imbalances often include synthetic hormone replacement therapies, such as birth control pills, thyroid medications, insulin injections, and more. Though relying on synthetic treatments doesn’t treat a patient’s symptoms. It simply masks them. (10)(11)(12)(13)(14)

Luckily, there are several ways you can balance your hormones without the undesirable side effects of synthetic treatments.

woman meditating on her couch in living room

Simple and healthy lifestyle habits such as daily meditation can help keep your hormones in balance. (15)

How to balance your hormones naturally

So exactly how can you balance hormones naturally? Consuming a diet full of hormone balancing foods, regular exercise, and more can help treat your hormonal imbalance naturally. Find out how to balance hormones naturally in the following five ways.

Exercise regularly

Do you exercise often? You should! Breaking a sweat regularly can have a profoundly positive impact on your hormone balance.

Specifically, physical activity is one of the best natural ways to decrease insulin levels, manage stress, combat inflammation, and also boost testosterone levels and other muscle-maintaining hormones that naturally decline with age. (16)(17)

older woman doing aerobic in water

Exercising in water is not only aerobic, but also strength-training oriented due to the water resistance. (18)

Did you know?
Based on studies, a combination of aerobic and resistance training seems to provide the most extensive array of benefits. (19)

And you don’t need to work out every day vigorously to feel the hormonal benefits of exercise. Research has shown any physical activity on a routine basis is beneficial. (20)(21)

Performing aerobic exercise, endurance exercise, strength training, or regular walks after a meal can significantly impact your hormone levels in a way that reduces your risk of disease and protects muscle mass. For example, one study found women who committed to daily exercise for fourteen weeks had a significant reduction in their weight and insulin resistance. (22)(23)(24)(25)

Eat more protein

Are you getting enough protein in your diet? Eating adequate amounts of protein is essential for keeping your hormones, such as ghrelin, in balance.

Studies have shown that consuming sufficient amounts of protein will make you feel fuller, suppress your appetite, increase your metabolism, and boost your fat burning. (26)(27)(28)(29)(30)

Did you know?
Protein makes you feel full. In a study with all male participants, those who ate high-protein meals felt 25% more full compared to the participants who ate a typical protein meal. (31)

So how much protein should you be eating? To optimize your hormone health, researchers recommend eating at least 20-30 grams of protein in every meal. (57)

With 18.46 grams of protein per cup, edamame makes for a quick and easy high-protein snack. (32)

Consume more healthy fats

Consuming healthy fats regularly at meals has been shown to not only reduce insulin hormone resistance but also trigger the release of hormones responsible for making you feel full and satisfied after a meal. (33)(34)

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are a great healthy fat option. MCTs are unique in the way that they are absorbed directly by the liver for the immediate use of energy. (35)

MCT oil in a clear bowl with spoon next to it

MCTs are healthy fats you can find in coconut oil, palm oil, and also pure MCT oil.

The monounsaturated fat found in nuts and olive oil, as well as dairy fats, has also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in both healthy adults and those with chronic conditions such as diabetes. (36)

Did you know?
Trans fats have been shown to promote insulin resistance and increase belly fat. (37)

Including healthy natural fats in your diet, such as avocado and avoiding unhealthy trans fats found in fried foods, can help reduce insulin resistance and stimulate the production of hormones that help control your appetite. (38)

To enhance your hormonal balance, aim to consume a healthy fat source at each mealtime. Avocados, coconut oil, wild-caught salmon, and grass-fed butter are all great examples of healthy fats. (39)

Learn to manage your stress levels

Stress can do a number on your hormones when it’s not put in check. When you are chronically stressed out, your cortisol levels remain heightened continuously, which, in turn, can lead to overeating, obesity, and an increase in belly fat. (40)

Adrenaline, which is the other major hormone affected by stress, is often known as your body’s “fight-or-flight” hormone. It provides your body with that wave of energy in response to an immediate threat or danger, but persistently elevated levels of this hormone are associated with high blood pressure, a racing heartbeat, and anxiety. (41)(42)

Luckily, there are a variety of meditative and mindfulness techniques that have been shown to help keep your two major stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline – at healthy levels in both men and women. (43)

man getting a therapeutic massage to relax

Studies have shown massage therapy can reduce cortisol levels by an average of 31%. (44)(45)

Feel like your stress hormone levels are elevated? Try and devote at least 10–20 minutes of your day to engaging in stress management techniques such as yoga, massage, deep belly breathing, or listening to relaxing music. (46)

Natural supplements for hormone balance

There are a few supplements that have been shown to help curb symptoms of a hormone imbalance as well as those that go as far as to restore balance altogether.

  • Zinc can be taken by premenopausal women to enhance brain function and overall mood (47)
  • Maca can be taken for sexual dysfunction, low libido, anxiety, and increased fertility in both men and women (48)(49)
  • Probiotics can be taken to improve mood and gut health (50)
  • Vitamin C can be taken by women to help restore fertility – it also helps curb anxiety and stress in men and women (51)(52)
  • Magnesium and B6 taken together can alleviate stress as well as PMS symptoms (53)(54)(55)

Did you know?
In a study of men given 1500 to 3000 milligrams of maca root daily for three months, their libido increased after two to three months. (56)

The bottom line

Your endocrine system is complex, but know that you can use any of the lifestyle changes, dietary shifts, and natural supplements listed above to improve your hormonal health before trying a more conventional (synthetic) approach to treatment.

If you suspect you may have a hormonal imbalance and your symptoms have not improved through significant lifestyle and diet changes, it’s probably time to see a healthcare provider to rule out possible causes.

Talk to your practitioner or nutritionist about putting together an individualized hormone balancing diet plan.

Have other natural approaches you’ve used to balance out your hormones? Comment about it below!

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