Can Nutrition and Essential Oils Help Balance Your Hormones?
You know that your body is full of hormones, but do you completely understand what they are and why they’re important?
Hormones are our body’s chemical messengers. They are created by our endocrine glands and the travel through the bloodstream. The reason why hormones are so essential is because they regulate every cell, tissue and organ in our body.
Hormones have the power to impact so much of your health. We all know that hormones are a significant part of our sex drive and reproductive system. But it’s important to remember that hormones have tremendous affect on your mood, weight, digestive system, as well as growth in children.
This is why hormone balance is so vital to our overall health. One of the biggest issues we have when it comes to hormone balance are endocrine disruptors. They are chemicals that interfere with our endocrine system, and impact our hormones.
In young children, endocrine disruptors have been linked to tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders. In older children, they can lead to behavioral issues. And in adults, they can interfere with reproduction, increase cancer risk, and disturb the nervous and immune system.
Natural hormone balance starts with reducing your chemical exposure to endocrine disruptors.
Here are just some examples of endocrine disruptors:
- BPA – in cans and all different types of plastic.
- Dioxins – produced by commercial and industrial waste, found in plants, water and air.
- Fire retardants – a substance that reduces flammability and is used in things like furniture, building materials, and even baby products.
- Lead – was used in paint before 1978 when it was banned for being poisonous.
- Phthalates – a chemical found in vinyl flooring, building materials, and personal care products.
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) – remember that non-stick cookware that was popular years ago? Well they all contained PFCs. And some of you may still be using them.
- Pesticides and herbicides – you may think that pesticides are only used to keep bugs away from crops. But they are also found in your bug spray, treated wood, pool chemicals, and even drinking water.
Food You Should & Should NOT Eat for Hormone Balance
In addition to avoiding endocrine disruptors, you’ll want to control your diet by eating healthy, high fat foods. Examples include avocados, ghee or grass-fed butter, wild-caught salmon, nuts, and pasture-raised eggs. Vegetables, herbs and organic meats can also positively affect your hormones.
Think of it this way – if you don’t provide your body with the nutrients it needs, it will not be able to produce and maintain hormones. And this is a big reason why those fat-free diets are so bad for you. Healthy fats, including saturated fats and cholesterol, are needed in the production and balance of hormones. Fats are important building blocks of cell membranes and healthy cells equal healthy hormones. Did you know your brain is 60% fat? So not only is healthy fat needed for hormone balance, you need it for brain and mood balance.
Keep in mind that there are lots of foods you’ll want to stay away from. The following foods wreak havoc on your hormones:
- Sugar – insulin is actually one of the most powerful hormones in your body and eating too much sugar can disrupt it. When your insulin levels spike, it can trigger imbalance in your estrogen and testosterone levels.
- Artificial sweeteners – our bodies do know how to treat sugar in the body (it’s too much that’s the real problem). But when you consume artificial sweeteners, your body gets confused and still releases insulin, but doesn’t release the hormone it needs to control blood sugar levels (GLP-1).
- Processed foods – your body knows when you eat real food and when you eat processed foods. And hormones like serotonin, dopamine, insulin, and cortisol are all affected when they don’t get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they need.
- Soy – I don’t hide the fact that I am not a fan of soy. First is the fact that soy is a GMO (genetically modified organism), but also it contains phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens can mimic real estrogen, which impacts the thyroid (one of the glands that controls our hormones).
Essential Oils for Hormone Balance
A tool that I like for hormone balance is the use of medicinal-grade essential oils. Here are some of my favorites:
Thyme – thyme has been found to have progesterone-balancing effects. Low progesterone levels are linked with infertility and depression.
Clary sage – studies show that women who inhale clary sage oil reduced their cortisol levels and improved thyroid hormone levels. This helps in improving mood. Clary sage also assists in balancing estrogen level production, which is beneficial for women dealing with infertility and PMS cramps.
Sandalwood – not only does sandalwood have an amazing scent, it can do wonders for enhancing the libido of men and women. It accomplishes this by balancing testosterone levels in both men and women.
Lavender – one of my favorite and most versatile essential oils, lavender is a must have. Lavender has been shown to reduce stress and help you sleep. Using this oil can also relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Remember, these are all signs of unbalanced hormones.
Essential Oil Protocol For Hormone Balance
My recommendation for how to use essential oils to balance your hormones:
- Put 15 drops of clary sage, 15 drops of thyme, 10 drops of sandalwood and 10 drops of lavender into an essential oil roller bottle (like these from Amazon here).
- Then fill the rest of the bottle up with fractionated coconut oil (can also be found on Amazon here).
- Roll onto your feet every night at bedtime.
Why your feet? According to reflexology, there are nerve lines that connect the feet to every organ in the body; therefore the essential oils will affect every cell within 20 minutes.
Disclaimer: Due to the hormonal influence essential oils can have on the body, be sure to consult a holistic health practitioner before using them on children.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.