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If you pride yourself on eating a wholesome diet, working out regularly and supplementing necessary vitamins and minerals, but are still feeling tired, bloated, groggy and/or moody, perhaps it’s time you investigated another part of your health: your hormones.

Although largely unrecognised by Western medicine, hormone imbalance is experienced by many women all over the world. And the ideal treatment can be as simple as listening to your body adapting your diet and lifestyle with a few simple steps:

1. Don’t fake it, you won’t make it

It’s so tempting to just fix a hormone problem by adding hormones to it. But more often than not, over-the-counter treatments result in unwanted side-effects and more problems than you started out with, with some research even suggesting that certain hormone treatments carry a cancer risk.

2. Less sugar, sugar

Sugar is a hormone bomb. Especially those that govern our weight, hunger, and blood sugar balance, like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin, which all become less effective when you’re regularly eating sugar. The hormones of the metabolism determine how well we’ll burn fat and also have a significant influence on energy levels and menstrual cycles. Insulin and leptin resistance not only drive you to store fat; they increase inflammation and affect your levels of oestrogen and testosterone.

It’s time to become mindful of your sugar intake, eliminating it from coffee and tea and looking out for sugar-free, unsweetened yoghurts, sauces, granola bars and nondairy milk.

3. Become a veggie person

Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale all bind the excess hormones in your gut and flush it out (hello, natural detox!) They contain two powerful and well-studied bioactive compounds called sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to help with estrogen dominance by binding to excess estrogen, and both help to improve the gut microbiome, which results in better hormone health as well.

4. Get real

Chronic stress can upset your hormone balance, and this includes stressful exercise and extreme dieting, like a low-carb diet or intermittent fasting. Adding yoga, meditation or a few minutes of mindfulness to your daily routine is key to balancing these stresses, and thus your hormones.

5. Get your gut together

A happy gut = a happy life.

It should come as no surprise that improving your gut can do wonders for your hormones. In fact, the microbiome is starting to look like another endocrine system with all the new research on its production and modulation of hormones. For example, gut bacteria can modulate oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, while also suppressing thyroid autoimmune antibodies.

To get your digestive system in a good place, take Releaf Probiotic 12-Strain, a probiotic which contains a combination of 12 probiotic strains to assist in improving or normalising the microbial balance in the human intestines and thereby improving the functioning of the digestive tract/gut.

Of course, there are so many more little things you can do – but these six tips can start you on a journey to a healthier, happier you.

Side note: remember that whenever you’re making changes to your lifestyle and diet, it will take about three cycles (three months) to see the full effects.

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