Guest Writer Karen Lombardo
Women’s bodies are very complicated, and menopause challenges our bodily functions as we experience changes in our skin, nails, hair, and sexuality. Hormones balance and regulate bodily functions, and diminishing hormones can lead to stress, weight gain, sleep disruption, and other health problems.
What are hormones, and how do they affect menopausal women?
According to Medlineplus.gov, Hormones are your body's chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. They work slowly, over time, and affect many different processes, including:
Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her period stops. It usually occurs naturally, most often after age 45. Menopause happens because the woman's ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Changes and symptoms can start several years earlier.
Bone Loss is something that can occur during the onset of menopause, consider asking for a bone density check. Why? Because hormone decline, specifically estrogen and testosterone, directly impact bone production. An unknown is that Bone loss is additionally affected after a hysterectomy, including an oophorectomy when hormone production stops abruptly.
How to balance your hormones
Women can naturally improve a hormonal imbalance through lifestyle changes and improved diet. Understanding your body, your cycle, and your physical reactions are critical.
While you may not be able to stop the changes in your hormone levels, you may strike a balance between the challenges of living with a reduced hormone level and enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle.
What are the best hormone balance supplements?
Many over-the-counter remedies are touting the value of supplements that will alleviate hot flashes or help stabilize a healthy weight. Hormone balance starts with a healthy diet augmented with vitamins and supplements. Women should start with food first as a natural remedy to balance hormones.
Can you take vitamins or supplements to balance hormones? Yes, OB/GYN Associates of Alabama published an informative blog about the 5 Essential Vitamins and Supplements That Help Balance Hormones.
Magnesium. Great resources of magnesium are readily available. Be sure to eat plenty of dark leafy greens and further fuel your hormones with seeds like flax, pumpkin, and chia. They’re full of magnesium and other hormone-healthy nutrients.“Legumes have plenty of magnesium, too. Lentils, chickpeas, black beans — these are some of the best legumes for magnesium intake. Avocados are also beneficial for your hormones. Not only do they give you magnesium, but they’re also full of B vitamins, vitamin K, and potassium. What’s more, if you’re trying to fight the weight gain that often accompanies hormonal fluctuations, avocados are proven to help you feel full, as a study published inNutrition Journal shows.”
Oh, and how about dark chocolate? This is a bonus food rich in antioxidants and prebiotic fiber. Dark chocolate is rich in the minerals copper, manganese, and iron. Yes,
B Vitamins.There are nine B vitamins, and certain foods are rich in this powerful group. “For example, salmon is an excellent source of many B vitamins. It contains B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, and even romaine lettuce contain B9, also known as folate. They’re best eaten raw or lightly steamed to keep B9 intact.
Eggs are one of the best sources of B7, also known as biotin. They also contain B2, B5, B9, and B12. For vegans, a supplement is absolutely necessary. And so is nutritional yeast, which is great sprinkled on popcorn. Nutritional yeast contains incredibly high amounts of B1, B2, B3, and B6, a fair amount of B9 and B12, and a little B5. Other foods with notable amounts of B vitamins are sunflower seeds, beef, trout, clams, mussels, oysters, turkey, chicken, milk, yogurt, beans, and organ meats like liver.”
Probiotics.Probiotics are essential to help balance hormones. A high-quality probiotic supplement is a really good idea to take, especially if you don’t like probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Certain cheeses, like mozzarella, also contain beneficial bacteria and can be considered a healthy probiotic food, as noted in a 2012 study in theJournal of Dairy Science.
Did you know that the liver is the primary organ that breaks down and rids the body of excess estrogen, a common cause of a hormonal imbalance? Adding foods rich in turmeric, vitamin C, and alpha-lipoic acid supplements supports liver function.
“As far as alpha-lipoic acid goes, you’ll get the most from a supplement, but you can also eat organ meats, red meat, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, and tomatoes.”
Omega-3 fatty acids.“Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, cod liver oil, walnuts, chia seeds, herring, flax seeds, hemp seeds, anchovies, and egg yolks are some of the bests. If you don’t eat a wide array of these omega-3 rich foods, take a high-quality fish oil supplement.”
Vitamin D3. “Vitamin D is actually a hormone that communicates with your other hormones, making it especially essential to help balance hormones. So, ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D2 and D3 to ease and prevent hormonal fluctuations. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so take it with your fattiest meal of the day to ensure absorption. Or take your vitamin D and your fish oil supplement together.”
How long does it take to balance hormones?
There are few straightforward answers to this question. Menopause and its symptoms can be unpleasant and debilitating. A woman’s hormone imbalance is as individual as the woman herself, and so is the balancing process.
As we discussed, a change in lifestyle, including sleep and exercise, coupled with diet changes can impact one’s hormonal imbalance.
So, how long? The best way to approach this is by committing to an overall improved healthy lifestyle and diet to help balance your hormones, improve organ function (including the largest organ, your skin), and quality of life.
Skincare products for hormone impacted skin.
Caire Beauty is 100% focused on skin and how women can defy the rapid loss of skin molecules associated with the sudden hormone loss that occurs during pre (30s to 40s) and post-menopause (50s and up). By infusing molecular nutrition through bioavailable potent and proprietary formulas, women can improve their skin’s health, firmness and elasticity – the bounce factor - of skin from the inside.
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