Hormones are the regulators of various things in the body, from appetite, sleep, weight, mood and more. Improper food-intake, untimely sleep patterns and stress, are commonly said to throw a wrench in their smooth workings. Although that may be true, here are some shocking habits that can make these chemical heralds go crazy and create an imbalance in your system, emotionally and physically.

1.Social Animals

With a round-the-clock routine, it becomes almost secondary to fit some fun time with your friends. According to gynecologist, Sara Gottfried, M.D., connecting with friends increases oxytocin, reducing stress levels, relaxing the mind and reducing chances of cardiovascular problems.

2.Low-Gym Diet

A good workout releases serotonin, which is a feel good hormone but over-gyming releases the stress-hormone, cortisol, say researchers of the University of New Mexico. This can disrupt your menstrual cycles and affect fertility. Some yoga and Pilates are good stress-immune options for a workout though.

3.’Can Away’ Canned Food

Bisphenol-A (BPA) free drinks, are said to be the healthiest, says the FDA. However, this chemical can be found in that tomato soup or tuna i.e. canned food. BPA is known to interfere with a woman’s fertility. So FDA approved or not, maybe food in jars will be more reliable than cans.

4.Low-Fat, Low Mood

Low-fat may be no-good. Fat is often stigmatized, but is actually the body’s source for omega-3 fatty acids helping turn testosterone into estrogen and controlling progesterone levels. These hormones when imbalanced give you those painful cramps, mood-swings, cystic breasts and can cause fibroid tumors.

5.Yummy For a Big Tummy

Each one of us indulges in that comfort food, from desserts, dairy, pasta, and sugary foods, which increases cortisol and insulin levels leading to stress and weight gain. So put that Bailey’s shot away and get some almond milk instead.

6.Chemical Contribution

Attention clean-freaks, over-using hand-sanitizer can create an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, doing your body more harm than good. No real evidence exists yet but the chemical triclosan in anti-bacterial soaps can raise estrogen levels in women and mess with thyroid function.

7.Go Paraben-Free

Beauty products such as lotions, conditioners, shampoos, cosmetics etc. contain propylparaben and ethylparaben, which can cause hormonal imbalances and increase cancer risk. The Journal of Applied Toxicology showed that 40% of breast cancer patients showed 1% of paraben traces, of five kinds.

8.Need Me some Organic Meat

Modern-day farm cattle are fed antibiotics to hasten meat development. So when you finally consume that meat, your hormones react to it too. Still in debate, but studies have proven that eating artificially bolstered meats can cause breast cancer, affect hormonal metabolism and raise cortisol levels.

9.The Little Nutrients

The thyroid gland is vital to regulating weight, fluid-retention, moods, hair strength and growth and energy levels. This goes for a spin if your diet is missing its power nutrients of vitamin D, copper, zinc and selenium. So invest in a strong multi-vitamin, especially if you’re losing a lot of hair.

10.It’s All In The Mind

Life is tough but so are you, said Stephanie Bennett-Henry, so chin-up and always keep a positive and relaxed mind. Believe it or not, it makes all the difference. Stressed and negative thinking could cause internal hormonal misfires. So meditate, relax and say good-bye to stress or worries aka cortisol.

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