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6 tips for finding hormonal balance

posted on Thursday, 23rd November 2017 | find under Fitness, Nutrition
Our hormones affect everything, from mood, growth and metabolism to fertility, libido and skin health, so keeping them on an even keel is key to optimal health. And to learn how to do it the natural way, we caught up with Angelique Panagos, nutritional therapist, hormone expert and author of The Balance Plan. Before the silly season begins, she shares her top tips for how to keep things balanced, leaving you happier and healthier in the long run. Over to you Angelique...

angelique panagos
Photo Credit; Sidey Clark Photography 

Hormones are our chemical messengers. They work all over our bodies and affect pretty much every bodily function, so there are all sorts of signs your hormones might be imbalanced. Many women don’t think what they’re experiencing is hormone related, but symptoms can include irregular menstrual cycles, irritability, infertility, insomnia, low self-esteem, weight gain, decreased libido, moodiness, fatigue, anger, acne, headaches, panic attacks, mood swings, PCOS, endometriosis, cysts, and PMS. In fact, PMS alone has over 150 symptoms.

This may seem like a lot, so I've devised six simple tips to get you on the road to balance. These are things that you can start doing today, and weave into your lifestyle. But please remember to be kind and gentle with yourself - hormonal balance is about consistency rather than perfection. 

Nourish

Optimally-functioning hormones need a steady stream of nutrients from the foods we eat, and our western diets fall short in a big way. Ditch processed, refined foods and sugars, which cause inflammation and body woes. Instead, stop calorie counting and enjoy a good mix of healthy fats (these feed our hormones), complex carbohydrates, protein and a rainbow of fruit and veg.

Balance

The cornerstone to balanced hormones is balanced blood sugars. This, in turn, leads to better moods and sleep! To do this, cut back on sugar or ditch it entirely, if you can, eat regularly and have protein with every meal or snack.

Nurture

Looking after your adrenals (stress glands) and thyroid (master controller) will help to create balance. Next to sugar, stress is the biggest cause of hormonal upheaval. Support inner balance by practising deep breathing and mindfulness. Remember to laugh, too – it’s free, so try to spend time as much time as you can around people that make this happen or watch a funny TV show.

Cleanse

Instead of going on a gruelling detox, ensure you are supporting the body with foods that naturally aid cleansing such as my favourite dark green leafy veggies chard, kale, broccoli and spinach. Also, look at the products you use - these can been wreaking havoc with your hormones too. I recommend checking your cleaning products, skincare and beauty products to check for harmful chemicals. I love Ecover, Pai Skincare and RMS Beauty personally, but there are loads of great natural brands out there. 

Move

Exercise is essential for both our overall health and our hormonal health. Try to move every day, walk to work, do a spot of Yoga, go to a class with a friend, or a walk around the park. However, don't overdo it and intensively exercise everyday, try to relax too. A problem I regularly see in my clinic is women overdoing it, as over exercising may put too much stress on the body to produce the regularity of hormones it needs to complete a cycle.

Restore

Many of us are professional plate spinners, running from one task to the next. Yet, we need to look after ourselves, too, by prioritising sleep, and creating some ‘me time’- it’s a necessity not a luxury. I recommend scheduling yourself half an hour a day to read, meditate, go for a walk or have a bath, you'll notice a huge difference in your happiness levels. 
 
There you have it, six easy tips to start implementing today. Find out about each of these in more detail in The Balance Plan. For more individual support, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the conflicting information out there, visit Angelique's website here. 
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