The human body works at its best when all the components required for its functioning are well balanced and present in the right amounts. This includes the hormone – Estrogen.
Hormones are important chemicals required for the functioning of our body. They are essential messengers that control our feelings, metabolism and even functions of certain organs. Estrogen is one such important hormone present in the female body. It is a reproductive hormone and controls the various physical and psychological changes and eventually prepare body for pregnancy.
Changes in its level are significantly observed during menopause stage. But these days it is commonly observed that irregular behavior such as skipping your regular cycle time or excessive fatigue are observed. Such behavior may be symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance or Specially Estrogen imbalance. It is important to diagnose various symptoms that could be related to estrogen imbalance. And if condition prevails, it needs to be treated immediately. Some of the symptoms are:
1. Insomnia and Fatigue
Sleeplessness is a common symptom of Hormonal Imbalance. Sleeplessness also causes trouble throughout the day. If you are tired throughout the day without any reason this could also indicate a hormonal imbalance.
2. Acne breakouts and other skin conditions
Acne is common during menses time but if you are having trouble with excessive breakouts it might be a symptom of Hormonal Imbalance. Similarly, such imbalance leads you to enhanced chances of skin conditions such as eczema and allergies.
3. Digestive issues
While digestive issues are quite common during periods, if the same persists for long period this is an issue.
4. Mood swings
Anxiety, depression and extreme mood swings are indications of low levels of the hormone secretion in the body.
5. Weight gain
Hormonal imbalance usually causes weight gain especially in the middle part of your body. The weight is also very hard to lose. This becomes a bigger issue with slow metabolism which causes the pancreas to store more fat around the middle.
Common causes of Estrogen imbalance include stress, use of birth control pills, tumors, over or underactive thyroid, diabetes, eating disorders, medications etc. Other than these menopause, breastfeeding, pregnancy, PCOS ( Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) are also other causes of Estrogen Imbalance.
Once diagnosed there are natural ways of handling this imbalance. Picking the right foods and working on a healthy diet or balanced diet is a very important step that can help bring back balance to your body. There are certain food items that have the tendency to increase secretion of estrogen in the body and help manage it.
Six Superfoods and how effective they will be in helping bring back your Estrogen levels to normal
1. Feast on Fatty Fish
Omega -3 and Omega-6 are beneficial for hormonal health in our body. Fish is the richest source of Omegas followed by Hemp. Studies have shown that there have been significant positive results observed in individuals consuming omegas showing lower levels of stress hormones as well as adrenaline. Research also suggests that regular intake of Omegas can also fix insulin resistance which is a primary cause of obesity and PCOS.
Intake: Consuming fish such as salmon, sardines etc, as a part of your regular diet will not only improve your overall health but makes delicious recipe too. 2-3 servings of the same in a week will be optimal. You can also intake cod liver oil or fish oil capsules available in the market.
2. Sneak in some leafy vegetable
Our childhood definitely had a lot of hide and seek days with leafy vegetables especially when mom tried to sneak a little into your favorite dishes. Similarly, most of us eliminate the importance of vegetables such as kale and broccoli, spring vegetables such as avocado, fennel, etc and leave them behind. But remember that dark green vegetables are foods high in vitamin A, C, B6, and K as well as antioxidants. They help in regulating estrogen levels in our body thus controlling mood swings, period cramps, etc, and also keep our skin looking healthy and firm.
Intake: You can consume them every day as at least half a cup either included as a salad or in your regular meals. You can also add a few vegetables and blend them to smoothies and consume them.
3. Add some Withania Somnifera
Withania Somnifera or winter cherry is a herb that can be added to your tea to strengthen your immune system. It also has properties that can help reduce stress levels in our body. Normal functioning of the thyroid is essential to keep the balance of various hormones in our body. This herb ensures the same along with reducing stress levels and stabilizing the nervous system. Holy Basil is yet another herb that also has similar properties and can be consumed for estrogen balance in our body.
Intake: You can add it to your morning tea and consume every day.
4. Try some delightful dry fruits
Dried apricots, prunes and other dry fruits are a great way to start your day. We buy them in jars and often forget to consume them. But a handful of soaked almonds consumed every day can give you more strength than you know. Dry fruits are often suggested for increasing immunity but they are also very useful for regulating thyroid function in the body that will balance estrogen. Dates are rich in iron and help overcome anemia and promote better digestion.
Dry apricots are also a great source of iron and antioxidants which are important for hormone balance in our body. Dry fruits like hazelnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds are some foods high in Vitamin E.
Intake: You can include them regularly in your breakfast along with your cereal. You can consume most of them raw or blend them along with your favorite smoothie.
5. Sprinkle some Spirulina
Spirulina is a recent addition to one of the healthiest food list given the various health benefits it has. It is a fresh-water plant which is blue-green colored and is majorly cultured in Mexico and Hawaii. This is a magic component when it comes to delivering the various essential minerals to our body along with bringing estrogen levels to place. It is rich in calcium, potassium, and magnesium and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Intake: Spirulina comes with the greatest disadvantage to your taste buds given it tastes like pond water. It is available in powder or capsule form in the market and can be consumed easily this way.
You can add the powder to your smoothie or mix it with plain water and consume. You can add some fruits along with it to enhance the flavor. Consume it once a day, preferably in the morning.
6. Garnish with Coconut oil or Olive Oil
Coconut oil and Olive oil have various health benefits especially when consumed. They are the best type of good fat that is important for our body and plays a vital role in promoting hormone secretion and balance. It is very healthy to use them both internally as well as externally as it speeds up metabolism and increases the strength of your immune system. Certain vegetable oils are also cause for estrogen imbalance and hence using coconut oil or olive oil as a substitute can be a healthier alternative.
Intake: Substitute your daily cooking oil for at least one meal a day with coconut oil. You can also use olive oil for cooking instead. Add the oil as a garnishing to your meals with a few drops, on your salad or a few drops in your coffee or tea.
You can also include fruits rich in vitamin C such as lemon, orange, kiwi, etc, egg, beans, flax seeds etc, which are also very useful in estrogen balancing in our body. Also, regulate the level of sugar intake in your body as this will negatively impact your lifestyle.
Always opt for natural sweetening sources such as honey, maple syrup, fruits, or coconut sugar as they are a healthier alternative to processed sugar. Also, consume enough water throughout the day.
Consuming at least 1 liter of water within the first 4 hours of your day is very healthy.
Apart from above mentioned food, regular exercise and physical activity will have a tremendous effect on balancing your hormones.
So, start with your gut to lead a healthy life.