Reset your body with these tried and true tips from a naturopathic doctor.
Rhéaume emphasized the importance of taking charge of one’s health and provided three specific steps on how to balance hormones, sleep through the night, improve mood, enhance mental and physical well-being and boost vitality and energy.
Step one to improve energy and vitality is to make sure your hormones are balanced. The most common hormone that gets out of balance is estrogen—in fact, many women unknowingly have estrogen dominance and are unfamiliar that harmful estrogen can actually promote heart disease or cancer.
The most common symptoms of estrogen dominance are:
» Weight gain (primarily belly fat)
» Hot flashes
» Slow metabolism
» Decreased libido
To lower the amount of bad estrogen (xenoestrogens) you expose your body to, stay away from things like soft plastic (such as plastic water bottles), air fresheners, deodorants, household cleaners, perfumes and scented lotions.
It is also important to consider not only what you are exposing to your body, but also what you put into it. Pesticides are also a form of xenoestrogens and are most commonly found on fruits and vegetables, so it is important to eat organic to limit the xenoestrogens you put into your body.
Another way to balance your hormones is to take care of your liver and eliminate toxins. This includes eating cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, eating detox foods, like turmeric, apples, beets, seaweed, garlic and lemon, and of course, including exercise in your daily routine.
The second step to improve energy and vitality is to get better sleep. The three common sleep problems are difficulty getting to sleep, difficulty staying asleep and sleep interrupted in the middle of the night by hot flashes/sweating.
To ensure a good night’s sleep, it is important to implement good sleeping habits into your routine. This includes going to sleep at the same time and waking up at the same time every morning (including weekends!), creating a relaxing sleep environment (relax by reading a book, not staring at a brightly lit screen!) and, if you wake up in the middle of the night hungry, eating a healthy, high protein snack before bed.
If you try these methods and still can’t get a good night’s sleep, try purchasing a supplement that contains L-Theanine, which improves sleep quality, melatonin, which helps control your sleep/wake cycles, and 5-HTP, which helps regulate Serotonin and Melatonin levels in the brain and has been associated with improved ability to induce a more restful, deeper sleep throughout the night.
Support your adrenals
The third and final step is to support your adrenal glands, aka your stress glands. The adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are critical to ensure you are living a healthy life. It is the job of the adrenal glands to ensure that your body maintains homeostasis and can be affected by things like a change in the weather or a change in your blood sugar. Chronic stress can cause the adrenal glands to become overloaded and ineffective. This can be caused by stressful experiences like death of a loved one, divorce, surgery or financial hardship.
If your adrenal glands are not properly supported, it can lead to adrenal fatigue. Symptoms include:
» Brain fog
» Fatigue in the morning
» Low blood sugar
» Weight gain
» Mild depression
» Difficulty recovering from exercise or illness
» Frequent dizziness upon standing
» Low libido
» Craving sweet or salty foods frequently
In order to properly support your adrenal glands be sure to exercise (also great for prevention), slow down and rest when you need to, maintain a healthy diet and be sure to have proper nutritional supplementation, such as B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium.
Another big key to overcome adrenal fatigue is to take the right supplements. Research shows that taking certain herbs may help lower cortisol levels in the body, which will mediate stress response. Take supplements that contain herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, schisandra and holy basil to help alleviate strain on your adrenal glands.