When it comes to maintaining the delicate balance of our hormonal health, the cards are kind of stacked against us. Things like lack of sleep, too much stress, too much caffeine, environmental toxins, chemicals in everyday products, and even hormonal birth control can all throw that balance out of whack.
That’s why so many of us experience symptoms that can wreak havoc in our daily lives, from pesky PMS, to mood swings and irritability, to painful cramps and bloating, and even more serious conditions like PCOS, cysts, fibroids, or endometriosis.
And, going a step further, ensuring that you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals to help you maintain your optimal hormonal health. Like…
Magnesium is a hormonal support powerhouse. It can lower your blood sugar, reduce cortisol levels, promote quality sleep, support thyroid function, and is even known to be anti-aging.
You need this supplement in your wellness arsenal. Of course it’s always best to try to get your vitamins and minerals from food first. You can find high levels of naturally occurring magnesium in a number of foods, including dark, leafy greens and flax, pumkin, and chia seeds.
You can also find magnesium in lentils, chick peas, black beans, avocados, and dark chocolate. (Yes, you read that right.)
2. B Vitamins
B vitamins play an essential role in liver detoxification. And if we’re talking about balancing our hormones, we’ve also gotta talk about loving on our livers.
When our livers are overtaxed, they can’t break down and rid our bodies of excess estrogen. This is one of the biggest culprits of hormonal imbalances.
Because there are so many B vitamins (nine, in fact), it can be a bit difficult to get everything you need from your food. But salmon, leafy greens, and eggs are all good sources. You can also find them in sunflower seeds, beef, trout, clams, mussels, oysters, turkey, chicken, milk, yogurt, beans, organ meats like liver, and one of my personal favorites — radishes.
Our gut health really is at the center of everything. And in addition to helping mood disorders like anxiety and depression, and normalizing our inflammation responses, studies have shown that probiotics can help to support our hormonal health as well.
Probiotics are found in fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchee, miso, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. But if you’re not down with that ferment lifestyle, a good quality probiotic supplement is your friend.
4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
While Omega 3’s are most commonly known for their heart health benefits, they can also play a role in hormone health. And there is some research that suggests getting enough of the fatty acids in our diets can combat painful menstrual cramps.
Omega 3’s are found in oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies. They’re also found in egg yolks, walnuts, chia seeds, and hemp seeds. If you’re not fond of seafood (or seeds, apparently), a quality fish oil supplement is your best bet.
5. Detox Support
Back to that liver love, because it’s one of the most important factors in keeping everything balanced. In addition to B vitamins, you can look for other herbs, teas, and supplements that can give your liver the support that it needs.
Milk thistle, dandelion greens, chlorella, and reishi mushrooms all pack a serious detoxifying punch. They can be found in tea, supplement, and powder form.
Turmeric is also a detox powerhouse. Cook with it, take as a supplement, or make a delicious golden milk. (Something that you should treat yourself to if you haven’t tried it.)
And Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a supplement that contains biologically active sulfur. Sulfur is necessary for many critical bodily functions—including detoxification.
Dealing with our hormones can feel like a losing battle. But if we’re armed with the knowledge to better support our bodies, they can actually work for us. And you owe it to yourself to give them a fighting chance.