We might not see all those hormones running through our bodies, but rest assured, they’re there. And a healthy endocrine system is critical for so many functions—it’s literally the body’s chemical messenger system. If the endocrine system isn’t doing its job properly, there will be lots of other problems, too.
1. Avoid synthetic hormones: These chemicals, sometimes called endocrine disruptors, do just that—they interfere with the body’s chemical signals and that can trigger unhealthy activity. Synthetic hormones can be found in a number of places—plastics, conventional cleaning and personal care products, and in meat, eggs and dairy products from conventionally raised animals. Look instead to reduce your contact with plastics containing BPA. Make your own or purchase natural cleaning and personal care products and always make sure you’re only eating organic animal products.
2. Get away from the screens: It’s easy to stay up all night in the age of technology. But staring at screens all hours of the day prevents the brain from producing melatonin, a chemical critical to our sleep cycles. Sleep is where so much magic happens for the body, so make sure you do your best to get enough every night. While that can vary from person to person, look to no fewer than 7 hours a night.
3. Eat healthy: Of course it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, especially if your diet is already healthy. But is it? Or are you just making excuses to eat more pizza and nachos? Whole foods—particularly lots of fruits and veggies—are super grounding and make it much easier for your body’s endocrine system to its job when it’s not navigating through too much sugar, caffeine or alcohol.
4. Stay active: Sure you want toned abs and fierce thighs, but there’s another reason to exercise: it can help balance hormones. In particular, exercises that have a slightly relaxing component, such as yoga, or other stretching exercises can bring balance to your body and help you maintain a functioning endocrine system.
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