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How to balance your hormones naturally.

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Eat more cruciferous veggies. At least three servings per day of these superfood veggies (think: broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower). These foods contain compounds that bind to excess estrogen in your gut and flush it out, says Dr. Shah. Raw is best, with lightly boiled or steamed as second place. Chop or chew them well for maximum benefit, and go organic to avoid hormone-disrupting pesticides.

Eat more healthy fats. Too few good fats on your plate will impair your body's ability to produce the hormones that boost energy and feelings of satiety and suppress cravings, according to Dr. Lipman.

Sleep seven to nine hours a night. This is the magic range to give the body time to release, rebalance, and replenish hormones. HGH (human growth hormone), often considered the "magic youth hormone," is released during stage-3 sleep, says Dr. Shah, along with a variety of other beneficial hormones necessary to repair, restore, and refresh cells and keep your brain youthful.

Take time to relax. Cortisol and stress hormones wreak havoc on our other hormones when we are constantly stressed primarily using a process called pregnenolone steal syndrome, says Dr. Shah. Our body steals from our other hormones to make more cortisol, giving us the symptoms of hormonal imbalance mentioned above. So, taking time to squeeze in some deep breathing, meditation, yoga, jogging, reading—whatever helps you chill—is crucial.

Cut back on stimulants. Too much caffeine in the form of coffee, energy drinks, sodas, and sometimes even tea or chocolate interfere with the hormones that promote restorative sleep, says Dr. Lipman.

Switch to glass containers. Ditch the plastic, especially for containers that you're going to end up heating. BPA is a known estrogen-mimicker that can throw off hormones, says Dr. Shah, and now there's evidence that even non BPA plastics are dangerous.

Prioritize natural beauty and skin care products. In particular, you want to avoid parabens. These are chemicals found in cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products. They are also known to be hormone disrupters. The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database is a great resource for finding more natural beauty products.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      I like this article about sugar addiction at Mindbodygreen, here are some highlights:
      Have healthy replacements on hand.
      Cutting sugar cold turkey seldom works unless you have the willpower of a Jedi. Make a healthier version of your favorite treat to have on hand to prevent you from wandering into the bakery. I love to make chocolate chip cookies with almond flour and sweeten them with honey or maple syrup, or I’ll make this amazing chia seed pudding with canned coconut milk and dates. When I have these things in my fridge, the chances of a sugar relapse are much slimmer because my sweet tooth is satisfied.
      Drink water.
      Most of us know by now that it is easy to confuse thirst signals from the brain for hunger signals. We think we’re hungry but we’re actually dehydrated. To avoid this confusion, aim for at least half of your body weight in ounces each day, and preferably more. I find that when I’m drinking 10 to 15 percent over that number, my cravings disappear. Important tip: Don’t skip out on your water in the morning and try to make up for it later. It will be too late. Try to get 32 ounces down by 10 a.m. and another 32 by 1 p.m. When you get the bulk of your daily water in early, you’ll notice more energy, minimal cravings, and better portion control at meals. Just make sure not to drink more than a few sips with your meals, as we don’t want to dilute our digestive enzymes.
      Include healthy fat and protein at each meal, especially breakfast.
      Many sugar cravings are the result of not getting enough high-quality fat and protein in your meals. This does not mean eat a chicken breast at each meal! Most of us need to eat less animal protein rather than more, so reach for plant sources here.
      Address your stress.
      In my experience and in working with clients, the worst culprit when it comes to sugar cravings is stress. Many of us don’t realize how stressed we really are, but our culture drenches us in it, with the inability to ever be off the clock, constantly having a screen in our faces, and, for many, the constant onslaught of stressful news. Some stress is normal, and even healthy, but the chronic levels we are facing today are not. First, in order to burn off the stress hormones, we need exercise. It is the only way to metabolize them and get them out of the system. And second, we have to try to shift the body out of stress and into relaxation as often as possible. 
       

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