Care for yourself from the inside out with these top tips to balance your hormones, boost your mood and create a more confident self. Yes, your hormones can do all that!
This post is part of an ongoing collaboration with The Chalkboard Mag.
Have you noticed the self-love vibe that’s in the air – this year, more than ever? The popularity of powerful new projects like Katie Horwitch’s Women Against Negative Talk and spiritual psychology writer Danielle Beinstein’s writing testifies: self-love is in and it’s contagious!
Integrative health and food therapy specialist, Christine Dionese, says there’s a whole lot of neurobiological activity that gives rise to our ongoing emotional wellness.
Wondering about your self-love hormonal status? Genetic data plays a significant role in how epigenetic variables affect hormonal health. Reliable functional medical tests to help determine neurohormone levels exist, but keep in mind that levels shift throughout our cycle and in response to environmental changes, causing results to shift accordingly. Obtaining personalized genetic information could offer greater depth and understanding into your personalized health concerns, uncovering why those shifts occur and how you can optimize your wellness plan.
There are a few special hormones our emotional status relies on. Because they are responsible for regulating mood, confidence levels and self-nurturing, I affectionately refer to them as self-love neurohormones. The truth is, you may meditate like a guru, but these neurotransmitters rely on us to feed them!
Stay in the self-care flow with my neuro-nurturing tips:
3 hormones our emotions rely on + how to support them
The Love Hormone: Oxytocin. The awesome thing about oxytocin? It reduces fear!
Produced by the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary, oxytocin is the love hormone – just looking deeply into your lover’s eyes can signal its release. Commonly recognized as a bonding hormone new mothers produce, we can thank oxytocin for helping usher in awesome orgasms. Not only has oxytocin been observed to play a role in sexual arousal for women and men, it has also been reported to play a significant role in wound healing by reducing the inflammatory response.
When oxytocin levels are in good shape, your self-confidence may be up or you may find yourself feeling more connected to others.
If you experience food sensitivities and allergies, autoimmune issues or systemic candida (an overgrowth of yeast), poor oxytocin levels could be contributing – and messing with your emotions.
The good news is that certain foods may trigger oxytocin release. Studies even suggest that the scent of certain foods may help its release. The key to improving oxytocin levels through food therapy is to repair any digestive concerns you may be experiencing. This includes identifying the influence of the issues I mentioned above along with intestinal permeability concerns (aka leaky gut).
The Motivator: Dopamine. Always motivated, goal-oriented, super self-confident and happy as can be? Scientific evidence says your dopamine levels are behind this momentum. Dopamine is responsible for the elated, excited feelings we experience when we reach a goal. When we meet someone new, high levels of dopamine explain our intense attraction and the falling-in-love effect.
If you experience low libido, fatigue, sleep difficulties, low self-esteem and an inability to feel pleasure, you may be experiencing low dopamine levels.
My favorite phytomedicines to help improve dopamine levels are maca, rhodiola, cordyceps, ashwagandha and schisandra berry.
Be sure to reduce lipopolysacchardies, the toxins present in sugary, fatty foods and focus on continually adding probiotics and fermented beverages to the diet.
The following foods also help support optimized dopamine levels:
The Self-Nurturer: Serotonin. Perhaps the yin to dopamine’s yang, serotonin is the even-keel; it’s a neurotransmitter that helps lead intuition and keeps us grounded in our decisions. Said to drive “gut feelings,” a majority of serotonin is produced in the gut. When digestion is off, serotonin can take a major nose dive resulting in feelings of self-disconnectedness. Yet when in the most ideal range, serotonin helps provide a reassured sense of self-confidence and improved calm.
My top serotonin-regulating nutraceuticals:
- Multi-strain probiotics
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6