Nutrients and Vitamins for Hormone Balance
Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash
Hormones are the chemical messengers in your body that carry messages between your cells and organs, and control most of your bodily functions, from basic needs like hunger to complex systems like reproduction. They are created in the endocrine glands, like your pancreas, thyroid, adrenals, and ovaries. These, and many more glands, work together in your body in order to create and manage the body’s major hormones. While they play different roles, hormones are important to protect and manage your overall health and wellness.
You know many of the most commonly mentioned hormones. For women, estrogen is the main sex hormone. In men, testosterone is the main sex hormone. For stress, it is cortisol that assists the body in stress response. And melatonin is what alerts your body that it needs sleep. When your hormones are properly balanced, your body and health thrive. But when hormone levels are too high or too low, hormone imbalances can occur.
What are Hormone Imbalances?
Women may naturally experience periods of hormone imbalance due to puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, birth and menopause. Men may experience these periods due to puberty and aging.
Here are the common symptoms of hormonal imbalances:
- Persistent weight gain†
- Loss of muscle mass and belly fat†
- Low libidio†
- Insomnia and Poor Sleep Quality†
- Digestion Issues†
Combat Hormone Imbalances
Sometimes you need additional support for your body to function at its best. Supplements can be an excellent addition to your diet. In this case, there are a few nutrients and vitamins that can help combat your hormone balances.
B-Complex vitamins are comprised of all of the essential water-soluble vitamins that work together to regulate every function of your mood and cognition, including your memory, anxiety, depression, and stress and play a huge role in the detoxification process. Benefits of B-Vitamins include –
- Energy production†
- Eliminating bacterial toxins†
- Proper Thyroid function†
- Mood-elevating effects †
- Liver Detoxification†
- Break down of Homocysteine (a toxin and inflammatory agent)†
Magnesium is a crucial mineral your body needs in order to maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar levels already within normal range. It also assists in regulation of a healthy heart rhythm. Magnesium is among the top five most abundant minerals in the body, assisting in over 300 chemical processes, including a well-fortified immune system, bone health, cardiovascular health, and neurological health. It is an essential nutrient, which means it is not created naturally in the body, so it must be consumed through food or supplements to maintain proper levels.†
Magnesium affects your pituitary health, and without it, you produce less of the critical hormones that signal other glands in the endocrine system to perform at the best. Low levels can even cause irregular ovulation and thyroid disfunction.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria that make up the microbiome in your gut and digestive tract and are the key to good health, especially for digestion and regularity. Levels of probiotics decrease with age and can also be affected by other factors, including a poor diet and obesity. As levels of probiotics decrease, problematic bacteria in the gut thrive, which can lead to digestive problems like gas and bloating.†
There is a specific group of gut bacteria called the estrobolome that produces an enzyme that supports the metabolization of estrogen which, scientists suspect, connects your hormones to your gut.
It has been estimated that approximately 70% of North Americans have Vitamin D deficiencies. This is due to a combination of factors, including low levels of sunlight, obesity and low consumption of foods high in Vitamin D like fatty fish. Inadequate levels of Vitamin D in the body often lead to problems with bone health, including muscle pain, enlarged joints and easily fractured bones.†
Many studies have also linked infertility issues with vitamin D3 deficiency.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods like fish and flaxseed and in supplements like fish oil. The two main omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. These fatty acids are important for memory functions, a good mood, stress relief, sleep/wake cycles, and the integrity of the structure of the brain. Fish oils have also been shown to support heart health and circulation, and to provide support for blood pressure already within a normal range.†
Omega-3s have been shown in studies to be essential for mood stabilization and reducing cramps.