Women’s health (physical and mental) is closely related (and somewhat “mimics”) hormonal status and “balance” in the body.
Hormonal status here refers to the interplay between female sex hormones (oestrogen and progesterone), stress hormones (specifically cortisol), and thyroid hormones (TSH, T4, T3). Sex hormone production and balance is particularly sensitive to levels of stress hormones.
Stress has a profound effect on oestrogen/progesterone balance, as well as creating unnecessary inflammation in the body.
A hormonal cycle in perfect balance helps a woman to feel confident, empowered, healthy and happy. A woman who feels “out of sorts”, is depressed for no apparent reason, or shows other common signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance (of which there are many), is either under too much stress, not taking enough exercise, and or, is eating a poor diet. She herself is out of balance!
Eating poorly results in the body not getting sufficient nutrients necessary to produce enough of the correct hormones in the correct balance.
Nutrients often lacking include essential fatty acids (especially GLA, EPA and DHA), B vitamins (especially B6), calcium and magnesium.
A “healthy diet for a healthy woman” should be “designed” to encourage normal healthy production, balance, detoxification and excretion of oestrogen and other hormones. The organs involved are the ovaries and adrenals (for production), the liver (for detoxification), and the kidneys and bowel (for excretion via faeces and urine). Naturally, these organs need to be in good working order, and nourished correctly!
The diet should contain a vast array of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents to dampen any internal inflammation. It should aim to lower insulin levels (minimising fat storage), and improve insulin sensitivity, i.e. the way in which the body handles sugars. This helps to burn fat, as well as minimising excess fat being converted to oestrogen.
(N.B. Fat cells can convert fat to a “bad” oestrogen via a biochemical process called aromatisation).
Soya protein seems to encourage fat loss in the body together with an improvement in the amount of lean muscle tissue. Soya (especially soy concentrates) contains high levels of beneficial plant oestrogens… known as isoflavones. Isoflavones help to re-balance levels of good and bad oestrogens, and promote a healthier oestrogen/progesterone balance. Non-soya food sources of isoflavones include fennel, flaxseeds (ground or milled otherwise they are largely indigestible), fenugreek, cumin and other spices, blueberries, and the herbs red clover, black cohosh and kudzu. Ground flaxseeds incidentally are a great “soluble” fibre source that promotes the excretion of oestrogen via faeces, and also minimises oestrogens being re-absorbed back into the body.
Green tea “catechins” also contribute to healthy oestrogen detoxification and excretion.
A diet that is rich in cruciferous vegetables and wholegrains supports healthy liver function…. specifically in the healthy detoxification of oestrogen and other hormones through the liver.
Latest Update: Thursday, November 15, 2018