Marie Claire Australia - 01.05.2018

(Ben Green) #1



Happy hormones

How to keep yourself balanced the natural way

Stress can impact nearly every area
of health, including our hormones. Bal-
ance chronic stress and an overactive
sympathetic nervous system by learning
to say no, and stop overcommitting
yourself. Other measures to take in-
clude short mindfulness sessions before
bed; making time for regular walking;
minimising cafeine, sugar and alcohol
intake; and ensuring you’re eating a
nutrient-dense diet. Liquorice tea is
great for supporting adrenal gland
heath; aim for two cups most days.

It’s important to drink water that is as
fresh and pure as possible. A filter can
ensure it contains no unwanted nasties
from ageing household pipes, as well as
biological contaminants such as para-
sites. Filtered water also tastes better.

Look for an organic delivery service or
your local farmers’ market. This will

reduce your exposure to the hormone-
disrupting chemicals that can be
sprayed on fruits and vegetables. Aim to
eat organically produced meat, poultry,
dairy foods and butter from animals
that are preferably not treated with
steroids and antibiotics.

Wash and peel your produce to remove
any external chemical, organic and wax
residues. A fruit and vegetable wash can
be found at most health-food stores – a
simple rinse under cold water often isn’t
enough to remove fat-soluble residues.
You can also wash fruit and vegies in a
solution of three parts water to one part
apple cider vinegar.

Sweating eliminates all kinds of chemi-
cals that would otherwise exit the body
through your bladder and bowel. Exer-
cise also helps calm the mind and gives
you a good happy hormone buzz, which
is beneficial to your overall health. Aim

to exercise early in the day so as not to
disrupt your sleep.

Eat foods that help the liver remove
waste and detox, such as asparagus,
spinach, watermelon, pears, pumpkin,
potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and other
cruciferous vegetables. Increase your
intake of garlic, shallots, onions and
chives, as they stimulate glutathione
production and help to protect the liver.

Many plastics and the linings of cans
contain BPA, a chemical that has been
identified as an endocrine disruptor.
Consume hot drinks in a ceramic mug
and avoid takeaway cofee cups, which
have a plastic lid and a plastic lining.
Instead of using plastic wrap, purchase
BioBags from health stores, and use
glass cookware in microwave cooking.

Adequate rest is essential for happy hor-
mones. Encourage a good sleep routine
by going to bed and waking up at the
same time each day. Make your bed-
room as dark as possible and reduce
clutter and electronic devices beside
your bed (avoid digital distractions for
at least half an hour before bedtime).
Drink a cup of chamomile or valerian
tea in the evening and, before sleeping,
take 10 deep, slow breaths with your
eyes closed to relax after the day.


ur hormones afect us more than you may
realise. They give us energy, keep us
happy, help us sleep, control our hunger,
regulate periods, ensure ovulation, con-
trol menstrual symptoms and, of course,
contribute to conception and pregnancy.
Amazingly, there are more than 100
hormones working hard this very minute
to keep us feeling healthy, and when the balance of just one hor-
mone is disrupted, it can afect all the others. This can result in
irritability, depression, anxiety, painful or irregular periods,
weight gain, acne, fatigue, insomnia, hair thinning, digestion
issues and fertility problems.
And while you should always consult a health expert if you
suspect you might have a hormone imbalance, there are some
simple lifestyle changes you can make to help keep your hor-
mones happy and healthy.

This is an edited extract
from Healthy Hormones
by Belinda Kirkpatrick
and Ainsley Johnstone
(Murdoch Books, $35).
Free download pdf