As we grow older, it is only natural for our bodies to slow down their rhythm. However, not everyone feels comfortable with the manner in which time takes its toll on the physical, mental or psychological aspects of life. Indeed, who can say, with a clear conscience, that they are at peace with their bodies becoming weaker, their memory faulty and their thought slower? Just as these changes are natural, so is our fear towards them.
Of course, this should not lead us to extreme decisions. But there are ways to ensure that the body remains as healthy and as potent as possible throughout the aging process, as well as to delay the latter’s degenerative effects. One such way is by maintaining an optimal balance of hormones.
Hormones are substances secreted by the endocrine glands directly into the bloodstream, where they behave like chemical messengers. In other words, their role is to tell the various organs and tissues within the body what to do and how to do it at a given moment in time. With functions in growth and development, metabolism, sexuality, reproduction, cognition and many others, it is needless to add that hormones play a vital part in maintaining homeostasis in the body. Some of them also have the power to significantly slow aging and to improve overall health.
5 Ways Hormones Can Slow Aging
- The importance of testosterone for men
Testosterone is secreted both by the testicles in men and the ovaries in women, but due to its essential roles in the development of the male body, not only is it is viewed as the most important androgenic hormone, but one of the most important hormones for men. Its roles vary widely, from driving physical change during puberty to body composition, metabolism, cognitive functions and memory, general health and, of course, sexual function. In spite of the fact that it becomes increasingly vital with age, the production of testosterone decreases noticeably in time, which is why supplementation is often needed.
Further Reading: 19 Breakthrough Ways Proven To Increase Testosterone Naturally
- DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone
DHEA is a hormone with a role in over 150 metabolic functions. It is also referred to as a “parent hormone” because the body uses it in order to synthesize a number of other hormones, including the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Beginning with the age of 30, however, the levels of DHEA in the body gradually decline, which is why for some, supplementing with this hormone can enhance bone density, heart health, the balance of cholesterol, mood and overall energy levels. In addition, DHEA has been associated with overall longevity and a stronger body, as well as with an increased ability to build muscle mass.
- HGH or the human growth hormone
HGH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, with a crucial role in growth and development during childhood. For adults, it functions as a support for the maintenance of organs and tissue, while also providing vital aid for cell regeneration. In high doses, it is often used to ease weight loss or to promote an increase in muscle mass, but it can also be administered in low doses in order to delay the effects of aging. Its other health benefits include an enhanced metabolism, support of the cardiovascular system, improvements against erectile dysfunctions, as well as in mood and cognitive ability.
- The effects of melatonin
Melatonin is also a hormone naturally produced in the body, but similarly to DHEA, its levels decrease with age, especially after the age of 40. Its main purpose is to regulate the sleep-wake cycles or, in other words, to signal the time for the body to prepare for sleep and the time for the body to wake up. Needless to say, the secretion of melatonin increases with darkness and decreases with exposure to light. However, the anti-aging effects of melatonin are not limited to providing quality sleep. Indeed, it also plays an important role in fighting inflammation and it has been demonstrated to stimulate the production of HCH or human growth hormone.
Further Reading: Melatonin, the Hormone of Darkness: From Sleep Promotion to Ebola Treatment
- The balance of estrogen and progesterone for women
While an optimal balance of estrogen and progesterone is essential for the health of a woman of any age, the former is becomes particularly relevant for symptoms experienced by menopausal women. At menopause, the production of both of these hormones is severely decreased and eventually ceases, which can lead to hot flashes, fatigue, palpitations, headaches, bone loss and a loss of sexual appetite. Supplementation with estrogen alone or coupled with progesterone has been associated with the amelioration of most of these symptoms.
Tips for Naturally Balanced Hormones
If you’re considering an anti-aging treatment by means of hormone supplementation, then the first thing to remember is that the effectiveness of such treatments depends to a great degree on each individual. Where one type of hormone might show great results for some people, others might show a dissimilar response.
With this in mind, if you are not experiencing a hormone deficiency, there are several other practices that can be easily incorporated in a daily routine in order to promote optimal hormone levels. These include:
- Observing a healthy diet that includes sufficient protein, fibre and healthy fats, while avoiding sugars, sugary beverages and refined carbs.
- Eating just the right amount during meals – not too much, nor too little food.
- Getting enough exercise on a regular basis.
- Incorporating mindfulness into your lifestyle in order to better manage stress and lower your cortisol levels.
- Developing a healthy sleep hygiene or, in other words, getting enough sleep and making sure that the quality of sleep is optimal.
Of course, no one can be expected to transform a hectic lifestyle and harmful, deep-rooted habits overnight. The idea, instead, is to make small changes and to apply the tips above one step at a time. Not only will this drastically improve your hormonal balance, but it will also contribute tremendously to your overall health and state of wellness.