Your hormonal cycle is a really good barometer of your body’s overall health.
It’s a super sensitive system and when it’s slightly off kilter, it’s often barraged with numerous medications and synthetic hormone replacements which in effect shuts down a core aspect of our feminine essence.
Rather than suppressing the symptoms, there is a lot we can do to naturally balance your hormones and help you to feel ‘normal’ again.
Whilst it can take a little time and dedication, one of the easiest ways to start is to look at what you’re feeding your body and how a simple readjustment of diet can help you see changes in pain, energy and mood every month.
- Calcium (and Manganese): increasing your calcium intake, especially 10 days before your period is due, can help support a smooth sailing cycle.
Calcium with Manganese has been found to assist mood and concentration whilst reducing menstrual pain, fluid retention and bloating.
Calcium-rich herb teas such as chamomile or nettle, sesame seeds, sardines (with bones) and lots of dark leafy greens ensures a dairy-free calcium boost to your daily diet.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is the number one stress buster.
It works alongside calcium and acts as a muscle relaxant, relieving period cramps, headache-causing stiff necks and shoulders and helps us have a restful sleep. It helps to regulate blood pressure and sugar levels and it also acts to balance cortisol (that stress hormone we all love to push to its limits).
Magnesium also has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and has an impact on the hippocampus, an area of the brain where new memories are created and our future stress response is impacted.
Hence magnesium helps to calm and balance on multiple levels, from stress to pain to brain fog to weight balance.
Nuts, leafy greens and a cacao hit will all give you a beautiful magnesium boost.
- Iron: As women we bleed every month and some more than others.
During the process we can lose as little as 2 tablespoons or as much as 1/3 of a cup (and it can be a lot higher for some women with menorrhagia, or heavy bleeding) of iron-rich blood a month.
Yet iron is one of those minerals we tend to forget about when we’re dragging around feeling exhausted and can’t work out why.
Iron is an essential mineral for red blood cell production. Red blood cells, of course, carry oxygen to every cell in your body.
Without oxygen, we get pretty floppy right? Well so do your cells. So it’s a no brainer to think fatigue, think iron.
I encourage all my female clients to get their iron levels checked, in particular ferritin, which alerts us to the levels of stored iron as backup, and often we find these reserves need a boost.
As it’s toxic in high doses, it’s essential to test before self-prescribing an iron supplement. In the interim, upping your iron-rich foods including grass-fed beef, will ensure you give yourself a natural boost of this essential mineral.
- Zinc: One of my favourite minerals.
The king of immune health, it’s also the first thing to think of when you notice spotty skin, lackluster hair, cuts and grazes that aren’t healing quickly, stretch marks and white flecks under your fingernails.
From a hormone perspective, zinc is required for healthy egg production in women, and healthy sperm production in men and helps a healthy oestrogen:progesterone balance.
It’s a cofactor for a number of important methylation processes including DNA synthesis and is a key mineral implicated in mood disorders including anxiety and depression.
So if you’re noticing acne, mood swings, signs of oestrogen imbalance (including heavy, irregular or painful periods) or are feeling run down around your period, up those zinc foods like grass-fed red meats, shellfish/sardines, eggs (yolk), mushrooms and nuts/seeds to get you back to beaming.
Dietary Hormone Helpers
Kate is a qualified naturopath who is passionate about helping women heal from hormonal havoc and inspiring women to know their own power, worth and wisdom.
Kate offers one-on-one Skype consults for irregular cycles, PMS and period pain, endometriosis, PCOS, peri-menopause, mood swings, fatigue and mental and emotional stress.
Simply drop me an email to see how I can help you!