What Makes Women’s Health Unique
On average, women have 10% more body fat, a lower basal metabolic rate, a lower calorie requirement and less muscle mass compared with men. Men and women also have a completely different hormonal balance.
Women have many unique physiological differences to men and most of these are due to the biological ability to reproduce. This has an impact on women’s health that changes at almost every stage of the life cycle.
Getting to know your own body and how it adapts throughout these different stages is a great way to optimise your overall health and wellbeing, as well as preventing hormonal imbalances.
Natural Ways To Balance Your Hormones
Hormones are chemical messengers that have profound effects on your mental, physical, and emotional health. For instance, they play a major role in controlling your appetite, weight, and mood.
Typically, your body produces the precise amount of each hormone needed for various processes to keep you healthy.
However, sedentary lifestyles and Western dietary patterns may affect your hormonal environment. In addition, levels of certain hormones decline with age, and some people experience a more dramatic decrease than others.
However, a nutritious diet and other healthy lifestyle habits may help improve your hormonal health and allow you to feel and perform your best.
Here are 10 natural ways to balance your hormones.
Best Foods To Balance Your Hormones
Your hormones are your body’s control system. But in an age when hormone-disrupting chemicals lurk in processed foods, shampoos, and even scented candles and air fresheners, it doesn’t take much to throw off that delicate balance. And out-of-whack hormones could affect almost every facet of your health, making it really hard to lose weight, have babies, and even feel happy. Unhealthy hormone levels can even increase your risk of certain cancers and other chronic diseases.
We turned to Natasha Turner, ND, author of the best-selling book, The Super-Charged Hormone Diet , to help ID the best hormone-balancing foods nature has to offera snapshot of nutritious foods and drinks that can help you achieve hormonal balance, feel satisfied, fight disease, and lose fat. ” rel=”nofollow”> The Thyroid Cure!)
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, including indole-3-carbinol, which helps break down a harmful and potent estrogen metabolite that promotes tumor growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. In 2008, researchers at the University of CaliforniaBerkeley showed that indole-3-carbinol halts the growth of breast cancer cells and may also offer protection against the spread of cancer. Just 2½ cups of broccoli a week is all you need to reduce your risk of several cancers, particularly those of the breast and prostate.
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Eat Mushrooms For Healthy Hormones
Mushrooms help to regulate the amount of oestrogen in the body. Studies have found that consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. In one study, women who ate 10g of mushroom daily had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer.
This number is increased to 89% during perimenopause and 82% post-menopause if these women also included the compounds included in green tea in their daily diet.
Consume Fatty Fish Frequently
Fatty fish contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
These types of fatty acids help reduce inflammation but they may also benefit hormonal health by reducing stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
One study found that men eating omega-3 rich diets for 3 weeks had smaller increases in cortisol compared to their usual diet. .
Many studies also find that consuming these kinds of fatty acids can help reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease
Aim for at least one serving a week, but two or more preferably. Popular types of fatty fish include:
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How To Balance Hormones Naturallyhormone Balancing Foods
Hormones play an important role in our lives and can affect our mental, physical, and emotional health. Its normal for hormones to change throughout a womans life however, the smallest of imbalances can leave us feeling below parr.Hormones
Our nutritional intake and daily habits can have a huge impact on this. Thats why choosing the right foods is essential to restoring or maintaining your hormonal balance. Not only that, but eating these hormone-balancing foods will also help support the symptoms experienced during the perimenopause and menopausal years.
Zinc For Hormonal Balance
Zinc is required for the conversion of T4 to T3, so a deficiency in the mineral can result in a thyroid hormone imbalance and symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Zinc is an adaptogen for several key hormones, helping to rebalance inadequate or excess cortisol, estrogen and progesterone in women. Zinc also reduces inflammation, providing support for healthy hormone production. Foods rich in zinc include meat, shellfish, chickpeas and other legumes, and pumpkin and sesame seeds.
To supplement your zinc levels, look for a high quality multivitamin that offers zinc in the highly absorbable form of zinc amino acid chelate.
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What Else You Should Know
Cost: Eating organic will probably add to your grocery bill. Beyond your food shopping and supplements, the hormone tests Turner recommends may not be covered by your insurance.
Support: None, though Turner runs a Toronto clinic that offers health assessments, nutrition and exercise coaching, and other health and wellness services.
What Else Can You Do To Promote Hormone Balance
There are some other ways to treat hormonal imbalance outside of diet. Heres how to balance hormones with your overall health:
- Take care of your gut health by eating a variety of high-fiber plant foods that dont cause you inflammation .
- Exercise regularly by moving your body in accordance with the fluctuations in your menstrual cyclefor example, doing light movement like yoga during your period and saving more high-intensity cardio workouts for other higher energy parts of your cycle, like ovulation.
- Prioritize good quality sleep by going to bed and waking up at regular hours .
- Manage stress as best you can, by using mindfulness practices like meditation and journaling when you do feel stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious, and seeking out mental health help where possible if you need more tools to cope with anxiety or depression.
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Impressive Herbs That Help Balance Your Hormones
Herbs are a group of plants whose leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds are used for various purposes.
If you love to cook, you may be most familiar with using herbs as cooking ingredients. Interestingly, humans have also used them for healthcare, spiritual rituals, and more for thousands of years .
Traditionally, some herbs have even been used to balance hormone levels. Although rigorous research on the topic is limited, some evidence suggests that certain herbs could influence hormone levels in your body, as well as other related functions of the endocrine system.
Still, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to using herbs for medical or health reasons.
Thats why weve sifted through the science and put together this list of 5 herbs, all of which have evidence to support some of their hormone-balancing claims.
What Is Hormonal Imbalance
Hormones are produced by the endocrine glands that play a significant role in regulating various processes in the body, this includes metabolism, appetite, reproduction, mood, growth, and body temperature.
It is important that hormone levels are produced in an optimal amount as slight changes either too much or too little may cause drastic effects throughout the body, this is also known as hormonal imbalance.
Both men and women can experience hormonal imbalances, if not treated, this may worsen and might interfere with proper functioning of the body.
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Eating Right For The Time Of Your Life
Women’s bodies go through a lot in one lifetime. They’re constantly adapting to different ages and stages in the lifecycle. This causes a shift in hormonal balance which effects our physiology and also our nutritional requirements. Let’s take a look.
From the age of around 14 to 51, women have increased requirements for iron due to blood loss caused by menstruation.
When blood is lost, we also lose the iron stored in those blood cells and this increases the risk of Iron Deficiency Anaemia.
So, it’s important to get enough iron from our diets to prevent this. A healthy diet and adequate overall nutrient status is really important at this stage – for promoting healthy hormones and managing symptoms such as PMS.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
When pregnant or breastfeeding women have increased requirements for Folate, Iodine, Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Vitamin C.
Sadly, the notion of eating for 2 is just a myth! It is these micronutrients we need more of rather than things like fat, protein and carbs.
Menopause & Later Life
Between the ages of 45 and 55 oestrogen production declines and we stop releasing eggs from the ovaries. This is a natural part of life which means we can no longer conceive.
Oestrogen is essential for healthy bones so it is vital to get enough Vitamin D and Calcium to mitigate the impact of lower oestrogen levels as we age. Older and post-menopausal women also have increased zinc & calcium requirements.
Don’t Forget Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are the building blocks of all hormones7and are especially helpful with stabilizing the production of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Aim to get 15 to 30 grams of healthy fats every day.
Many people have trouble digesting fats and can spike triglycerides, so take a digestive enzyme with lipase to help metabolize the fats better.
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Hormone Balancing Foods Bottomline
While this post contains A LOT of information, and knowledge is power, it can only take you so far.
In order to truly benefit from it, you must apply it to your life and take consistent action. Thus I want to encourage you to start small and choose 1-3 action steps listed above that you can immediately incorporate into your routine to begin cooking hormone balancing foods and recipes.
Try not to put too much pressure on yourself, and instead get creative with the ideas above. Recognize that you have the power to make informed choices as it relates to your food, and how exciting it is that simply by choosing what to eat and cook you can naturally balance your hormones and optimize how you feel, look and live as a result.
Does It Allow For Dietary Restrictions Or Preferences
Vegetarians and vegans: The diet includes protein sources that would work for you.
Gluten-free: You give up gluten for the first 2 weeks of this diet. After that, gluten isn’t completely off-limits. Turner does advise readers to avoid some processed carbs, like white flour and white rice, and to steer clear of any foods that they felt they had a bad reaction to after the detox phase.
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Superfoods & Nutrients To Naturally Promote Hormonal Balance
It is clear to see the interconnection between hormones, nutritional requirements and women’s health. What we eat and our lifestyle can help us to promote an optimal hormonal balance as well as overall wellness. Here are some of the best hormone balancing superfoods and nutrients for women’s health.
Berries are a rich source of Iron and Folate, so they’re a really good choice for women who are planning a family, pregnant or breastfeeding.
They’re also packed with Vitamin C, which is essential for the regulation of progesterone – a hormone which plays a role in menstruation, pregnancy and the menopause.
Our Berry Beauty blend harnesses the goodness of 8 superfoods and is a great source of Zinc, Copper and Vitamin C – providing your daily dose of Vitamin C in just one teaspoon.
It’s also our chosen blend for healthy hair, skin and nails – helping to minimise the visible signs of ageing. This is important for women as we have around 25% less collagen than men and so are more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines.Here are some of our favourite Berry Beauty recipes.
Top 10 Foods To Restore Hormone Balance
Hormones have a huge impact on our overall health and well being as they affect everything from our menstrual cycles to health issues such as PCOS, Thyroid, PMT and Endometriosis. Nutrition can be a powerful tool when addressing hormone imbalances as when hormones are in harmony you reclaim your life back! Here are my top 10 foods to eat to help restore hormone balance.
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Add Fermented And Oestrogen
During the follicular phase, your oestrogen levels are increasing. It lasts around 7-10 days, and is just after you’re done with period. During this time, the follicle stimulating hormone rises so the ovaries can release an egg. While the hormones are revving up, they’re still low in quantity, which is why you could be more tired than usual.
The body is hard at work trying to develop a dominant follicle, so you want to eat cruciferous vegetables , eggs, seeds, nuts and fish, as well as fermented foods like kimchi. These foods are all rich in a phytonutrient called dindolylmethane , which helps normalise oestrogen levels. Another good idea? Stay away from alcohol during this phase, as it can quickly dehydrate the body and cause an oestrogen imbalance. Add iron-rich foods, and up your B-12 consumption, says Dr Diwakar.
Maintain A Moderate Weight
Weight gain is directly associated with hormonal imbalances that may lead to complications in insulin sensitivity and reproductive health.
Obesity is strongly related to the development of insulin resistance, while losing excess weight is linked to improvements in insulin resistance and reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease .
Obesity is also associated with hypogonadism, a reduction or absence of hormone secretion from the testes or ovaries. In fact, this condition is one of the most relevant hormonal complications of obesity in men .
This means obesity is strongly related to lower levels of the reproductive hormone testosterone in men and contributes to a lack of ovulation in women, both of which are common causes of infertility .
Nonetheless, studies indicate that weight loss may reverse this condition. Eating within your own personal calorie range can help you maintain hormonal balance and a moderate weight .
Maintaining a moderate weight is crucial for hormone health, as obesity is strongly related to hormonal imbalances that may impair insulin sensitivity and fertility.
For example, when your gut microbiome ferments fiber, it produces short-chain fatty acids such as acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Both acetate and butyrate aid weight management by increasing calorie burning and thus help prevent insulin resistance (
Here are some tips to improve your gut bacteria to positively affect your hormones.
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Soy And Dairy Products
Soy products such as tofu and soy milk contain a bioactive substance known as phytoestrogen which acts like estrogen in the body.
When consumed in high amounts, soy makes it look like the body has enough supply of real sex hormones like estrogen, and would produce less. Because of this, it affects the ovulation cycle which can cause an impact on reproductive health.
Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, but a high intake of these can affect hormone balance. Too much can lead to gut inflammation and irritation. Dairy products are also said to increase sebum production and aggravate acne-prone skin. Some also contain growth hormones which may affect the liver.
Always remember to consume any food in moderation. We should keep in mind that there is no bad food, only a bad diet.
With regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a proper lifestyle. This can go a long way towards improving your hormonal health and healthy body.
Salmon And Albacore Tuna
Fat and cholesterol are the building blocks of hormones. You need enough cholesterol to make sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone. The key is to choose fats high in omega-3s and to limit saturated fats . Salmon, canned albacore tuna, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, avocados and chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
“Salmon also stabilizes your hunger hormones and is high in vitamin D, which helps regulate female testosterone levels,” says Carrie Gabriel M.S., RDN, a dietitian and owner of Steps2Nutrition. “The good fats in fish improve overall hormonal communication. The endocrine system uses hormones to communicate with the brain, which in turn boosts our mood and gives us better cognitive skills.”
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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Is A Hormonal Disorder That Affects Women Of Reproductive Age And Can Cause Irregular Periods And Other Issues
Reported By:| |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Jan 10, 2023, 10:48 AM IST
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It is characterized by the presence of multiple cysts on the ovaries, irregular menstrual periods, and elevated levels of male hormones . PCOS can also cause a range of other symptoms, including weight gain, acne, and difficulty getting pregnant.
There is no cure for PCOS, but the condition can be managed with lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. Here are seven hormone-balancing foods that women with PCOS should consider including in their diet:
Leafy green vegetables: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli are rich in antioxidants and help to balance hormones.
Cruciferous vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli contain compounds that help to detoxify the body and support hormone balance.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are rich in fiber and healthy fats, which can help to improve insulin sensitivity and support hormone balance.