Hormones are tiny messengers that travel across the body to regulate the different functions of organs. These messengers have vital impacts on one’s physical and mental health. They play various roles, from controlling blood sugar to regulating metabolism. They are essential in reproduction as well as growth, aging, and many more aspects of the human body’s physiology
Hormones are produced by specialized glands and tissues in the body. To do their job properly, they should be kept in specific ranges. If a hormone is overproduced or underproduced, problems start to arise.
Many factors affect the hormonal systems in the body. Lifestyle and diet are two well-known factors. Anything we eat or drink can have some impact on our hormonal balance. Also, certain supplements can have significant effects.
In this article, we will explore a few food supplements that positively affect hormone balance in women.
In the world of hormones and metabolism, vitamin D is a huge player. The main function of this vitamin is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. It also impacts bone health, mental state, fertility, and reproduction. A lack of this vitamin in women is associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. Vitamin D deficiency is bad for the health of pregnant women and their growing babies.
Our bodies produce vitamin D when we’re exposed to the sun. Spending about 10-15 minutes daily in the sun is enough to make the required amount of vitamin D. It is also available in many foods like eggs, meat, fish, and mushrooms. However, vitamin D insufficiency is common.
Taking vitamin D supplements can be good for your hormones. But first, you should have your levels evaluated because excess amounts of vitamin D can be dangerous.
- B VITAMINS
B vitamins are a group of important compounds essential for making energy in the cells, forming blood cells, and promoting nervous system health. Also, increasing your intake of B vitamins can improve hormonal balance significantly.
- Vitamin B1, also called thiamine, can help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and painful periods, especially when used in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Interestingly, women who are addicted to carbohydrates are often thiamine deficient, meaning thiamine supplements can minimize carbohydrate cravings. Vitamin B1 sources include vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
- Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, helps with thyroid function. The thyroid gland affects all metabolic processes in the body and interacts with other hormonal systems. Vitamin B2 sources include dairy, eggs, meat, and fish.
- Vitamin B3 improves liver function, helps in releasing energy from the food we eat, and aids in the production of both sex and stress (adrenal) hormones. Vitamin B3 sources include brown rice, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency is linked to estrogen and progesterone imbalances. For women experiencing symptoms of perimenopause or menopause, taking a B6 supplement may be beneficial. Vitamin B6 sources include dark leafy vegetables, fish, eggs, and beef.
- Vitamin B12 is important for the clearance of excess steroid hormones (sex and adrenal hormones). It’s been shown that many of the disorders associated with a hormone imbalance are also associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Sources of vitamin B12 include eggs, meat, fish, and dairy products. Supplementation of this vitamin is very important for vegan and vegetarian individuals.
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Omega-3 fatty acids are among the most studied nutrients and their health benefits are well-documented. They serve as precursors for the synthesis of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Lack of Omega-3 fatty acids is associated with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and may lessen PMS symptoms and ease painful periods. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity and boost thyroid function. Other than fish oil, sources of omega-3 include walnuts and flaxseed.
Resveratrol is a supplement that is becoming more and more famous for its amazing health benefits. It is an antioxidant found in berries, wine, grapes, and peanuts. In addition to promoting heart health, graceful aging, and brain health, resveratrol can positively impact hormone profiles in the female body:
- In women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), resveratrol can reduce hormone imbalance and enhance insulin sensitivity.
- In perimenopausal women, resveratrol can help reduce menopausal symptoms, improve mood, and enhance sleep.
- In postmenopausal women, resveratrol can reduce hot flashes, and enhance general well-being. It can also enhance mood and decrease the cognitive decline that frequently accompanies menopause.
Using supplements can be a safe and effective way to restore your hormone balance. However, you should always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement.
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