Aristotle said it best, “Let Food be Thy Medicine”.
When it comes to nourishing your hormones, there are key nutrients you want to make sure are included in your diet and supplement regimen to not only resolve your symptoms but prevent imbalanced from occurring, to begin with.
Many of the women that come to us, while they may not know what naturopathic doctors even do, they do know one thing: they want natural, safe and effective solutions to their symptoms.
While there are a time and a place to use synthetic hormones or prescription medications to manage symptoms, it’s certainly not your only option.
It goes without saying that the best approach it one that is individualized. For optimal results and to truly get to the root cause, you want to consider testing your hormones and seeing a qualified practitioner to give you a treatment plan specific for your hormonal imbalances.
However, using food should be the foundation of your wellness strategy. Not only do you want to take advantage of the gifts mother nature has in store for us, but also this is your best and most cost-effective long-term strategy, and dare I say, safest!
In this post, we will be sharing some of our all-time Hormone Supporting Favourites! Ones that we have used over and over with great success with many of our patients, ones that are simple yet powerful and best of all, they are certainly evidence-based!
#1: Maca root
Maca is a nutritious plant from Peru, which is not only high in vitamin C and copper, but it has also been used for centuries by both women and men to enhance physical and mental stamina, increase libido, support fertility and has been clinically shown to decrease bothersome menopausal symptoms for women.
If that wasn’t enough, it has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression…making this superfood one of our favorites to use with our peri/menopausal women, especially those also in need of adrenal support and a boost of energy, which in our office, is practically everyone!
For more research, dosing information and to further understand which maca root may be best for you (yellow, red or black), download our Free Hormone Nutrient Guide!
Simple, small but mighty! Not only have flaxseeds been shown to decrease blood glucose and insulin levels due to their high omega-3s and fiber content, but they are also one of the best sources of lignans – which are plant-based phytoestrogens. This is VERY different than synthetic estrogens found in medications and chemicals we are exposed to and is not to be feared!
By behaving like a weak estrogen, it is very balancing and modulating. It can either displace the bad and high estrogen in the system if you are struggling with estrogen dominance, or it can amplify the effects of estrogen if it is low in your body, as in the case of menopause and can help decrease hot flashes and vaginal dryness. It’s a win-win!
#3: Magnesium (glycinate form)
Magnesium is a wonderful mineral which is used in essentially every process in our body, yet it is one of the most deficient minerals in our food. This is one of our patient’s favorites, as those who are deficient, can truly feel like night and day after taking magnesium.
Magnesium comes in several forms, our favorite being glycine (or bis-glycinate). This form is can help improve your quality of sleep, induce relaxation, reduce anxiety and by acting as a muscle relaxant, it can be quite effective for menstrual cramping, pain, headaches and any associated constipation.
#4: Chastetree/Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Vitex is often the go-to botanical for anything related to female hormones, especially in women under 40. From fertility to PMS support, irregular periods, low progesterone/high dominance and even for the prevention of miscarriages, vitex is a versatile superstar herb!
It works by supporting hormones at the level of the brain and specifically to increase LH (luteinizing hormone) and support ovulation. However if you are over 40 and struggling with low progesterone, vitex may not be enough and you may want to consider using bio-identical progesterone.
Although these listed superfoods and nutrients can be found over the counter, you should always consult a qualified healthcare provider who is knowledgeable on these interventions and can best recommend the appropriate dose, brand and length of time you should be consuming these.
While these are some of our top chosen natural interventions, there are many others! To get our more extensive list and get more information on doses that have been shown to be clinically effective for certain hormonal symptoms, make sure to download our Free Hormone Nutrient Guide