Our hormones undoubtedly have a major influence on our lives; however there is no need for us to be at the mercy of our hormones! Women in particular know all too well how hormones can affect mood and energy, but how many of us really understand how important hormones are for health and wellbeing?
Hormones such as oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol are vital for our health and wellbeing. If these hormones become out of balance we may experience many undesirable symptoms. Each hormone has a very specific job to do in the body, for example:
- Cortisol – helps our body deal with stress;
- Oestrogen – vital for maintaining female reproductive health;
- Testosterone – vital for maintaining male reproductive health.
Oestrogen: A vital part of female health at every stage of life
Oestrogen is essential for healthy female reproductive function. This hormone plays a part in every stage of a woman’s life; from early childhood development through to puberty, followed by the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth and finally, through the menopausal years.
Oestrogen: The “good” and the “bad”
Oestrogen is produced by the ovaries and exists in different forms within the body. One of these forms is good for the body, and is essential to female reproductive health; the other is not, and is associated with PMS, menopausal symptoms and other female hormonal issues.
In order for the body to stay in a healthy hormonal state there needs to be more of the “good” oestrogen and less of the “bad” oestrogen. When the body does not keep these two forms in the correct balance, the body can develop what is known as “oestrogen dominance” which may result in the following symptoms:
- Bloating or fluid retention
- Heavy, irregular menses
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Sugar cravings
- Weight gain
- Mood swings and irritability
- Sleep disturbances
- Night sweats
- Loss of libido
Hormonal harmony may be achieved through natural medicine
Luckily there are many natural substances which may help to maintain a healthy oestrogen balance, including:
- • Flaxseed – Flaxseed supports the production of the “good” oestrogen, which is essential to female reproductive health, whilst reducing the production of the “bad” oestrogen.
- • Folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 – These vitamins assist with the processing of oestrogen in the body.
Mum was right, broccoli is good for you!
Broccoli and other members of the Brassica vegetables, like cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts, contain a powerful ingredient known as indole-3-carbinole which also helps to keep a healthy balance between the “good” oestrogen and the “bad” oestrogen. luckily there are some smart people out there whom have encapsulated I3C at therapeutic doses so you don't have to eat 6 bowls of broccoli daily.
Don’t become a slave to your hormones - take control of them today!
As well as great natural supplements, the following dietary and lifestyle changes will also help keep your oestrogens in balance:
- • Consume a diet rich in fibre, fruit and vegetables;
- • Increase the good fats in your diet, especially those from nuts, seeds and oily cold-water fish;
- • Drink at least 1-2 litres of water a day;
- • Increase exercise and keep active;
- • Limit salt and saturated fat intake;
- • Reduce or avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption;
- • Lose excess fat;
- • Stop smoking.
Every woman at every stage of their life should use these diet and lifestyle ideas and the natural medicines discuss ed as an ongoing support for healthy hormones .
If you are concerned about your hormones, then come and see us and Mums and Bubs Nutritionist to discuss the range of options available to help you achieve hormonal harmony.