Getting those crazy hormones back in balance before you dive into any new regiment is essential.
These are the bodies’ chemical messengers and they travel through the blood stream to our tissues and organs to affect everything from growth, metabolism, reproduction, mood, sleep, etc.
These are constantly in flux, but when levels are consistently out of balance it can lead not only to adrenal fatigue, but to skin problems, depression, weight gain, thyroid issues, fertility problems, menstrual issues, low energy, and insomnia as well.
While there’s no one size fits all answer to hormone imbalance—you have to think about lifestyle and dietary changes-- there are some great preventative herbs and supplements you can use to balance your levels to alleviate the symptoms.
Many of these are your old favorites!
Magnesium- Magnesium supports hundreds of reactions in the body and often contributes to better sleep (which is great for hormones!). You can find this in powder or liquid form. 300-350mg/day
Food Sources: Leafy greens, seeds and nuts, fish, avocados, bananas, dark chocolate, yogurt
Vitamin D- A pre-hormone that is deeply supportive of hormone function. Best obtained from the sun if possible, or from a D3 supplement. 800-1000 IU/daily
Food Sources: beef, liver, cheeses, egg yolks, mushrooms & cod liver oil
Omega 3 Fatty Acids- These essentials create healthy cell membranes so hormones reach their destination more easily. They also help maintain and repair hormone receptor sites. Fish oil is one of the best sources of omega-3s but can contain harmful levels of mercury, so look for ones with "tested for heavy metals" or "filtered free of environmental pollutants" on their labels.
500 mg per day
Food Sources: Fish, nuts, eggs, leafy greens, whole grains
Ashwagandha- Acts as an adaptogen—a substance that helps balance hormone excesses or deficits by boosting the efficiency of the sites where hormones bind with cells. Used in Ayurvedic medicine to help resolve adrenal and thyroid-hormone imbalances, ashwagandha allows the body to better cope with stress.
Recommended dose: 600 mg per day
Asian Ginseng- An adaptogenic herb that helps alleviate a variety of symptoms, particularly the fuzzy thinking that can accompany a reproductive-hormonal imbalance as well as the hot temper and low immunity associated with stress-hormone imbalances.
Recommended dose: 200-400 mg per day, with at least 4 percent ginsenosides
Dong Quai- Can help balance estrogen levels that are too high or too low. This adaptogenic herb has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to relieve PMS, hot flashes, and menstrual cramps.
Recommended dose: 150-300 mg per day
Rhodiola- Adaptogenic rhodiola has been the subject of more than 180 studies, which have shown it to increase thyroid function, help the body adapt to stress, reduce fatigue, boost strength, improve brain function, and lift mood.
Recommended dose: 100 mg daily of a standardized form containing at least 2.6 percent rosavin and 1 percent salidroside
Vitex- Also called chaste berry, the herb regulates hormonal balance and menstrual cycle, normalizing estrogen along with progesterone. Treats mood swings, acne, depression, and PMS.
Recommended Dose: 225 mg in capsules.
Important Note on Supplement Quality
Not all supplements are created equal!
o Do your research: Important to remember that the FDA treats supplements as foods rather than medicines. This means that makers of supplements don’t have to prove that they are safe or effective before they put them on the market. They are only pulled off the market AFTER adverse affects have been reported. Find a quality brand, and stick with it
o Be wary of Claims: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A quality supplement won’t promise to “cure” anything.
o GMP’s: Choose a supplement that adheres to good manufacturing processes, and is certified by a 3rd party. Look for USP, NSF, or Consumer Lab seals on the label.
o Whole Food Supplements: Look for supplements that are plant based rather than synthetic. These will break down and assimilate much more effectively in the body.
o Reputable Brands : Rainbow Light, Garden of Life, New Chapter, Planetary Herbals, Mega Foods, Nature’s Plus
Now go ahead, get back in balance. And get to work on those resolutions!