The Top 3 Essentials to Balance Hormones Naturally 

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Written By

Rhea Dali

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Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Balance Hormones Naturally - Woman Sitting With Drinks And Healthy Green Food At Home

Simple and small changes in the lifestyle can help balance hormones naturally. Balancing hormones and metabolism all comes down to ONE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Restoring balance—in your life and body. 

It may sound simple, but I’ve seen countless cases of infertility, horrible PMS, endometriosis, unwanted weight gain, PCOS, low T, etc. resolve by this one thing: Balance.

Balanced hormones love balanced living. 

3 Essentials to Balance Hormones Naturally

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Let’s briefly chat about the 3 essentials you want to balance hormones naturally: 

  1. Blood Sugar Balance
  2. Gut & Liver Balance
  3. HPA Balance 

#1. Balance Your Blood Sugar 

Balanced blood sugar = a balanced you. More energy. Less stress. Less anxiety. Less ups and downs of insulin surges in the day that creates inflammation and acts like the DOMINO EFFECT for cortisol.

Balanced blood sugar comes down to a few simple hacks to get started:

a.) Eating enough protein

Approximately 1 g per pound healthy body weight and complete protein at that, ideally meat, complete amino acid profile. Protein is the MOST blood sugar stabilizing nutrient. 

b.) Dial in carbs

Just like a plant needs sun, water and rich soil…we need protein, fat, carbs and water to balance hormones naturally. No matter how many low carb dieters say carbs are not essential…the body will still fight to convert what it can—like protein or fat—into energy like it does carbs and support your glucose pathways. That said, too many carbs for your body can throw your blood sugar off, just like too few carbs can do the same. We want the Goldilocks approach here—generally speaking, 1-2 fruits per day, 1-2 starches per day and unlimited low-starch veggies (ideally cooked) is the sweet spot. 

Cycle Mapping—eating varying amounts of carbs, fats and protein for your cycle—can also be super helpful for menstruating women especially those who want to balance hormones naturally.

More to come on that soon. 

c.) Eat enough

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Under-eating—even intermittent fasting— is a stressor that can be a positive  “hormetic stressor.” Just like exercise as long as you don’t go overboard, such as trying to squat 500 pounds when you’re 1 rep max is 160!

When women in particular are deprived of food for too long, the hypothalamus shuts down fertility and provokes hormone imbalances…after just 2 weeks of intermittent fasting, studies show female test subjects stopped having their period and their ovaries shrank, while experiencing more insomnia than the dudes. 

Thyroid function—your metabolic mothership— is also affected by under-eating and this is not good if you want to balance hormones naturally. T3—your active thyroid hormone that helps keep your metabolism humming— is very sensitive to total calorie and carb intake.  When calories and carbs are too low, thyroid function and metabolism slow down.

The Biggest Loser study is a perfect example–researchers followed 14 contestants for 6 years after their drastic weight loss on the reality show finding all of the contestants’ regained their weight…and were burning 500 calories less per day than when they first started…their fullness hormones also decreased—making them feel hungrier more often…hello thyroid problems!

As for gut problems, constipation and bloating are REALLY common if under-eating! When we stop eating, stomach acid, enzyme production, gut motility and gut bacteria all get suppressed, decreasing food absorption, increasing bloating, and suppressing HORMONE BALANCING FUNCTION. 

Appetite gets altered too. ..Some people find they don’t feel hungry at all— a sign their metabolism has slowed…Others fall into the famine-and-feast mentality…the MINNESOTA STARVATION STUDY put this on the map–as patients were starved, their hunger cues diminished. 

Aside from physical symptoms,  under-eating can increase your thoughts about food and the diet mentality….Have you ever heard of the Minnesota Starvation Study? ..In it, 36 healthy men were fed a “normal” calorie diet for 12 weeks, followed by half the amount of calories for 24 weeks, and finally a return to their normal diet. 

What do you think happened? Sure they lost some weight…but, the biggest finding researchers found was that the men became obsessed with thoughts about food…They dreamed about food…talked about food… they drank tons of coffee and chewed gum to suppress hunger…

Interestingly, at the end of the study, when the men were allowed to eat “normal” again, they still remained obsessed with food—the thoughts didn’t go away…

Under normal conditions, women think about food 2 times as much as men—every 38 minutes…can you imagine what would have happened if women had done that study?!

The bottom line: You do not earn a gold star by NOT eating nutrients.

Balance Hormones Naturally - Woman Eats Sweets At Night To Sneak In A Refrigerator

In fact, the less nutrients you eat, the slower your metabolism gets…Even though I am not big on counting calories or macronutrients, it can be helpful to gauge current baseline to see if you are eating enough…

Calorically, the ideal range most women need is at least 1600 to 2200 energy each day, for men at least 2400-2800 calories. If that word “calories” makes you freak out… call it “energy units.”

Lastly, it’s important to note that “under-eating” goes far beyond calories. You can be eating, but still starving at a cellular level…The United Nations has coined this phenomenon “type B malnutrition”—estimating that over 3 billion people worldwide—including the U.S.— are malnourished in nutrients, not just due to poor food availability but also poor food quality. 

Although many foods are similar on the outside—non-organic apples and organic apples— many modern day farming practices strip our foods of nutrients. 

For example: Once picked from the ground, broccoli and spinach lose more than 50% of their nutrients within the first 7 days. This is why local  and “wild” foods are so amazing!

Seasonal eating rocks too. Foods are freshest in their season. Broccoli grown in the fall has two times the amount of vitamin C as the broccoli grown in spring…And speaking of fresh—ideally consume foods within 3-4 days of cooking them OR freeze em and grocery shop weekly. 

Ultimately, aim to flood your bod with nutrients from traditional foods to balance hormones naturally. Foods your great great grandmother would have eaten during a time when modern day diseases were non-existent… 

#2. Support Your Gut & Liver 

Balance Hormones Naturally - Wellness Wellbeing Health Monitoring Calories

Moving on, aside from BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE…your GUT & LIVER are the primary “clearers” and balancers of your hormones. 

If you have PMS, you have gut or liver problems.

If you have Low T, you have gut or liver problems.

If you have PCOS, you have gut or liver problems.

You get the picture.

In addition to your GUT LUV HABITS, support” your gut and liver with specifically targeted foods, supplements and lifestyle supports. 

It’s best to work with a practitioner for these plans to balance hormones naturally, because it goes super wide and deep, but as an overview, I will share some of my favorites—

First LIVER SUPPORTS:

Some of my favorite Liver Loving Foods to balance hormones naturally include: 

  1. Beet, green juice (without added sugar) and/or celery juice
  2. Apple cider vinegar shots
  3. Amino acids in bone broths, beef, chicken, fish 

Supplements to consider to balance hormones naturally would include:

  1. Humic Fulvic Minerals
  2. Methylated B Vitamins
  3. Liposomal Glutathione & Liposomal Vitamin C
  4. I also find for estrogen dominance CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE is pretty amazing to eat up excess estrogens

All of which stimulate the gallbladder to “move” toxins through both phase 1 and phase 2. Work with your practitioner to learn the formulas and nutrients best for you to balance hormones naturally. 

And Lifestyle supports to balance hormones naturally would include:

  1. Detoxing toxins—replacing your toxic shampoos, toothpastes, cleaning products and plastic water bottles with non-toxic solutions (covered more later)
  2. Frequent sweat—sauna and hot detox baths with 1 cup of epsom salt
  3. Castor oil packs and coffee enemas

As for your gut, some NEXT LEVEL supports tp balance hormones naturally include:

Foods:

  1. Sea Moss – packed with minerals that balance out microbes
  2. Bone Broth
  3. Pickled and fermented vegetables and kefir 
  4. Soluble fiber and resistant starch—in well-cooked veggies and cooked and cooled starches like potatoes, rice, plantains and gluten free oats

Supplements:

  1. Cleansing out dysbiosis, biofilms and yeast with antimicrobial and anti fungal herbs and enzymes
  2. Probiotic therapy 
  3. High dose enzymes

Lifestyle:

Take your gut luv habits to the next level and balance hormones naturally. Pick one and just go deeper…like if you’re drinking water and hydrating well daily…the next level would be drinking mineral water…or ditching plastic water bottles…

If you’re sleeping 8 hours…the next level may be heating up then cooling down before bed (with a hot shower then 68 degree or below room), turning off blue screens all day long and using nightshift, or wearing a blackout music/using blackout curtains. 

While these may sound far fetched. The more you can dial in those gut love habits…the more you will mitigate stress and balance hormones naturally.

Which brings us to our last “essential” to balance hormones naturally: hack stress. 

#3. Hack Stress

Balance Hormones Naturally - Carefree Happy Woman Raised Hands Dancing Wearing Headphones Listening Favourite Song

If you haven’t gotten the picture yet, stress is the #1 hormone disruptor.

For example, recently I had a “horrible” period stretch—where, when my LUTEAL phase began, I literally woke up and had gained 8 pounds overnight.

Unlike the last month, where I had maintained my weight…I was frustrated—what gives?

Welp, when I did my “timeline” of what had been different this month, compared to last, what I realized is…STRESS was off the charts and it was a factor for me unable to balance hormones naturally.

The previous month, I’d been on vacation, at the beach in Florida…sleeping a solid 6 to 7 hours per night…working out a little less per day…and overall just chill…

The month I gained overnight, starting out with a high intensity workout in the morning followed by a couple different workouts the rest of the day, sleeping 4 to 5 hours per night, consuming sneaky sugars in my daily smoothie from my favorite cafe and eating late at night—like 10 or 11. Not to mention overly stressed with work. 

Night and day difference.

Nothing had changed in the types of foods I was eating or really in my exercise, aside from the treadmill running…but my weight and hormones changed significantly. 

You get the picture: stress does a doozy on our hormones—whether you’re a male or female, cortisol is the #1 dysregulator of your hormones. 

If you have hormone imbalances, start with considering how stress in your daily life. Even habits that you think are healthy, could be hijacking your plans to balance hormones naturally.

Consider:

  • Exercise—overtraining or not moving much at all
  • Undereating
  • Sneaky sugar, seed oils or ingredients
  • Toxin exposures—like mold or excess toxins in your environment
  • Plastic water bottles or dehydration—under drinking
  • Sloppy or non-existent morning and evening routines
  • Work load
  • Relationship stressors
  • Fast pace or never ending to do lists
  • The list goes on—start out by considering your health timeline and lifestyle factors then pick one area to address and stress less:
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Water
  • Your schedule
  • Toxins
  • Or whatever else you want to dial in and start there.
  • Supplementally, there are several supplements that may also be helpful for HPA AXIS dysregulation.

I love adrenal adaptogens like rhodiola and medicinal mushrooms like reishi or cordyceps for mitigating super high or super low cortisol. 

Liposomal Vitamin C and methylated B Vitamins are also natural cortisol regulators and are important to balance hormones naturally. 

Phew — ok we talked about a lot here:

In summary to balance hormones naturally:

  1. Balance Your Blood Sugar
  2. Support Your Gut & Liver
  3. Hack Stress

To hormone balance we go. 

If you’re looking for personal support, let’s optimize your gut and take your health back into your own hands! Book a complimentary 15-minute Health Strategy Call today.

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