Dr. Anna Cabeca, renowned physician and hormone expert, was diagnosed with early menopause at age 38. Devastated, she set out on a personal wellness journey to reverse her menopause side effects, which resulted in her delivery of a healthy baby girl at the age of 41. Since then, she has counseled thousands of women on how reclaim their health through diet and lifestyle changes. Her new book “The Hormone Fix” provides tips and natural ways to deal with the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, and how to balance hormones naturally so you can sleep better, regulate your mood, weight and energy. Here she discusses how important it is to optimize your hormones and gives three hacks on how you can get started feeling and looking younger today.
“I’m starting to feel my age.”
When patients tell me that, they don’t say it in a good way. They feel tired more often, they don’t sleep well, their mood is all over the place, and they struggle to lose the weight that used to come off fairly easily.
I know how that feels. As I approached 50, I became determined to look and feel younger and healthier than ever. And I did everything I could to find the key that creates that fountain of youth naturally. You see, I have a strong family history of heart disease, with my mom undergoing cardiac bypass surgery in her 50’s. Sadly she didn’t live to love her grandkids and my children missed out on knowing this phenomenal woman. Now, in my 50’s, I want to be able to know and enjoy my (eventual) grandchildren.
Many of my patients going through menopause likewise want to be their sexiest, most fabulous selves during midlife and beyond. They certainly don’t want to lose it. For most of them, I find correcting hormone imbalances becomes the first big step to help them look and feel young.
You have over 150 hormones that act as chemical messengers in your body. Together, they orchestrate an intricate symphony of messages telling your organs what your brain wants them to do.
And you might be surprised to hear this: you have more control over aging than you imagined… How? Simply by naturally turning on your youth hormones. When I say youth hormones, I mean those that regulate your mood, your weight, your energy levels, and other factors that keep you feeling vibrant, amazing, and, well, young.
Reclaim these 5 Important Youth Hormones
Optimizing these hormones can keep you lean and happy, and keep them performing in balance, which is key to keeping you feel young and vibrant. These all-important hormones include:
1. Insulin. Along with cortisol and oxytocin, insulin is a big player in your hormonal arsenal. When all three hormones operate at normal levels, other hormones cooperate in sync. But high insulin levels, which typically occur from eating too many sugary foods, spell bad news, speeding up wrinkling and revving up premature aging. I recommend dialing down sugar intake through doing a sugar detox or trying my Keto-Green™ Diet. Hello, better skin, weight loss, and so much more!
2. Oxytocin. My favorite hormone! That’s because oxytocin is the hormone of love, bonding, and connection. You release oxytocin during sex, orgasms, cuddling, and childbirth. As an anti-aging hormone, oxytocin helps regenerate cells, keep them healthy, and prevent germs from invading them. Oxytocin also helps balance cortisol. Excess levels of this stress hormone age skin cells by damaging collagen, a fabulous protein that keeps your skin firm. In fact, too much cortisol becomes your biggest enemy for dull, thin, sagging skin.
3. DHEA. Created by the adrenal glands, your body transforms DHEA into estrogen and testosterone. Until about 30, your body produces it beautifully. Unfortunately, levels drop like a rock around that age. By 70, we synthesize only about ten to twenty percent of our youthful DHEA levels. Optimal levels of DHEA:
- Protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer
- Decrease risk of osteoporosis
- Support healthier bones and immune system
- Enhance memory
- Improve sexual function
- Increase collagen production, making your skin appear smoother and younger looking
Adrenal adaptogens, like maca, can help support optimal DHEA levels.
4. Estrogen. Produced by the ovaries, this master female hormone helps postpone age-related diseases including heart disease and osteoporosis. When estrogen dips, your body makes less collagen and elastin (proteins that keep your skin supple and youthful) so wrinkles set in. Estrogen also boosts skin moisture-optimizing hyaluronic acid. Eating more vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts rich in indoles (what I call Keto-Green™ foods) can also support healthy estrogen balance.
5. Growth hormone. Sometimes called human growth hormone, this hormone helps burn belly fat, build muscle, and keep you energetic. Basically, this is a fountain-of-youth rock star hormone! High intensity interval training exercises, a good night’s sleep, and getting optimal levels of protein can optimize rejuvenating growth hormone.
Three hacks to start feeling younger
Through restoring these and other hormones, you can help postpone or even reverse many signs of aging. While I detail lots of strategies to balance your hormones naturally in my book, here are three hacks you can do right now to help you get started feeling better and looking younger.
6. Substitute unhealthy carbs for healthy fats. What you eat truly can influence your health and body. First, you need to cut out unhealthy carbs, especially refined carbs like bread and sweets. And then add in healthy fats, which are one of the best foods you can eat to support hormonal balance. This will help you keep your energy levels steady and optimize fat burning. Among the yummy healthy fats I recommend are:
- Egg yolks
- Homemade mayo
- Homemade salad dressings
- Hollandaise sauce
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Grass-fed butter or ghee (on vegetables and meat and in soups)
7. Drink bone broth. Among its benefits, bone broth alkalinizes your body, comes loaded with hormone-balancing minerals, supports youth hormones as well as overall health, and tastes yummy. Bone broth provides healing proteins such as collagen, proline, and glycine that keep your skin supple, resilient, smooth, and taut. Bone broth also supports digestion, joint function, immunity, skin, and virtually every other function in the body.
8. Eat Keto-Green™. When you follow my Keto-Green™ Diet, which combines keto with alkaline foods, you’ll discover a true “fountain of youth.” You’ll trade in high-sugar foods and carbs for healthy proteins, good fats, and alkalizing veggies to balance insulin, cortisol, and oxytocin levels.
Ready for more strategies to reclaim your fountain of youth so you can look better, have more energy, and be your most fabulous self? You can order my book here to get a comprehensive guide on how to balance hormones naturally. You will learn how to incorporate bioidentical hormones, evening rituals, anti-gravity exercises, and other lifestyle strategies to optimize your “fountain of youth” hormones. Or learn more about my work at Dr.AnnaCabeca.com.
Want to Read More?