Blog 2nd of April 2020

How do I keep my hormones in balance?

To get through the current global crisis we need the powers of positive thinking and ‘feel good’ emotional factors more than ever before. 

My career as a psychologist together with my love and appreciation for natural remedies have shown me the importance of hormones and neurotransmitters in our emotional, mental and physical health. 

I would like to share this knowledge with you and offer various tips to bring your hormones back into balance. Curious? 

Oxytocin or the ‘love hormone’.

Oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus, an area of the brain. This hypothalamus sends chemical messages to the pituitary gland, the overseer of the endocrine (hormonal) system. 

The pituitary gland then goes on to communicate throughout the nervous system. 

Oxytocin is responsible for our positive social interactions; it increases our sense of trust and brings the body to a rested and calm state. 

The ‘love’ hormone is stimulated through the love you share with your partner, your children, your housemates, friends and even your pets!

During the Corona crisis, be sure to respect the social distancing rule. 

Only physically interact with those people who are members of your direct household. Something as simple as giving or receiving a massage can boost oxytocin production.

Serotonin or the ‘happy hormone’.

Serotonin is one of the principal hormones responsible for happiness and is produced both in the brain (5 to 10%) and, to a much greater extent, in the intestine (90%). 

Significant research has shown an important link between our brain and digestive system; this is commonly referred to as the gut-brain axis. 

When levels of serotonin are low, dietary and lifestyle changes can raise them. Certain nutrients increase the amount of serotonin produced in the body, in particular an amino acid called tryptophan. 

Properly-balanced serotonin levels play an important role in restorative sleep and positive mood. 

Did you know that serotonin can only be produced from tryptophan? That is why this amino acid is an essential part of your daily diet!

Foods rich in tryptophan include bananas, brown rice, and sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds

Sufficient exercise and sunlight, as well as limiting sugar intake, further helps to bring your serotonin levels in balance.

Dopamine.

This neurotransmitter is essential for the brain’s reward system. Dopamine allows us to feel satisfied and rewarded. 

The dopamine system becomes active when we enjoy pleasurable, focused experiences such as eating, playing sports and making love.

Too much dopamine can negatively affect important cognitive functions. 

Scientific studies show the connection between overly high levels of dopamine and psychoses and manic episodes. You also find this imbalance in people who use recreational drugs.

Too low dopamine levels cause problems with muscle movement and coordination. This can lead to stiff muscles, slow movement and tremors (shakes), all of which are typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. 

 How do I regulate my dopamine levels?  

Alcohol, nicotine and drugs upset the natural dopamine balance. Sugar has a similar effect as the body processes sugar in almost the same way as it processes alcohol. These substances must be avoided if you want to perfectly tune your dopamine system. 

What can I have?   Vegetables and fruit are packed full with antioxidants and boost dopamine levels. I advise bananas, strawberries, apples, watermelon and all green, leafy vegetables.

 Green tea and chocolate (pure, raw chocolate with 80 to 90% cacao) are also dopamine stimulants. Other good dietary sources are sweet potatoes, oatmeal and almonds.

Noradrenaline or norepinephrine.

This is a stimulating neurotransmitter essential for our levels of motivation, alertness and concentration. Low levels of noradrenaline will make it harder for you to get things started or done. 

Too little noradrenaline is never good and can lead to depression, lethargy and a low libido.  

Too much noradrenaline is often produced after a period of emotional anger, irritation and frustration – these states have also been linked to muscle breakdown and digestive problems.

This may mean that you gain weight or even develop cardiovascular disease. Hormonal balance leads to improved levels of health throughout the body.

 How do I increase my noradrenaline levels? 

 This neurotransmitter is produced from specific amino acids such as tyrosine in combination with sufficient oxygen, vitamins and minerals. By eating fish, meat, eggs, cheese, full-fat dairy products, avocados, nuts, seeds and legumes, your body is given the essential ingredients it needs for noradrenaline production. 

How do I lower my noradrenaline levels? 

Lowering your noradrenaline levels requires stress-management techniques that allow you to channel your emotions through sport, mindfulness, belly breathing, meditation or keeping a diary that lets you transfer every toxic emotion onto paper. 

As you can see, there is a lot you can do to bring your hormones back into balance.

A healthy lifestyle helps you to produce healthy levels of hormones.

Did you find this article interesting?

If you did, please spread the word! Tell others how they can benefit from these natural tips. Thank you!

May your hormones be perfectly in balance 🌿

Lieve Plasch

www.go4balance.eu/en

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