First, it may be prudent to speak to a qualified and knowledgeable health practitioner who specializes in hormones and can do the proper testing for hormones & neurotransmitters. Often the testing available through your MD is not going to give you the full picture!
So how can your treatment truly be defined and customized for you?
Hormone & Neurotransmitter Testing
Once you’ve done proper testing, there are many natural options available to help re-balance hormones, including Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Again, be sure to seek out a professional who is experienced in administering BHRT or other supplementation.
When these important bio-chemicals are in balance, it can set the stage for restoring your health back to an optimal, more youthful, less hormotional place! Your brain and nervous system will once again send strong signals to the rest of your body resulting in:
- Better appetite control
- Increased sex drive
- A more stable mood
- Increased energy levels
Eat More Real Food, Eat More Real Fat
You don’t need a Nutritionist telling you that packaged, processed foods with little to no nutritional value harm us in more ways than just expanding our waistlines – that’s just common knowledge. But what may not be widely known is that they can seriously mess up our hormones and cause excessive irritability and crankiness!
Ditch the crap! Say no to junk! Banish the sugar and un-pronounceable ingredients!
Here are the best combinations of whole foods that help re-balance hormones, stabilize our mood, and keep those extra pounds from topping off the muffin.
Hormone Balancing Food Combos = Mood Food
These are energizing, hormone-balancing, inflammation-quenching super-food combos that can be included in your “good mood food” diet:
1) Kale/leafy greens + ghee
Why? Always pair your greens with a bit of “good fat” to help your body assimilate the nutrients. Kale, like broccoli, is a cruciferous veggie that contains indole-3-carbinol (I-3-C) and sulforaphane – two key phytonutrients noted for their detoxifying and “bad estrogen” flushing abilities.
Suggested serving: lightly "wilt” 3 cups of greens (2 big handfuls) by sauteing them in a pan with ghee, minced fresh garlic & a pinch of pink salt over medium heat. Be careful not to burn garlic.
2) Cacao powder + coconut oil
Why? Raw, unprocessed cacao is full of magnesium and coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid known to increase metabolism and basal body temperature, which is good for those with low thyroid (which we know can cause fatigue and depression).
Suggested serving: make your own chocolates! Raw Chocolate Macaroons
3) Salmon + hemp seeds
Why? You'll get plenty of Omega 3’s!
Suggested serving: baked salmon fillets with a hemp seed “crust” – recipe from Dr.Oz
4) Mushrooms (exposed to UV light) + olive oil + quinoa
Why? You'll get Vitamin D, essential fatty acids & manganese!
Vitamin D is another key part of “mood maintenance” because it helps regulate the brain’s neurotransmitters (serotonin, melatonin and dopamine) which have a profound impact on mood.
Studies have found that the likelihood of having depression is significantly higher in people deficient in Vitamin D compared to those who have normal levels. It is hard to get enough D3 (the active form) through food sources, so supplementation may be necessary, especially in the darker winter months.
Suggested serving: Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so it’s important to supplement it in liquid D3 form (that is suspended in a fat source) or lightly cook your mushrooms in a little good fat like extra virgin olive oil, on low heat, being careful not to burn. Serve on a bed of cooked quinoa (made in homemade bone broth would be a bonus). It is rich in protein, fiber and manganese, all important in energy production and hormone balance.
Do you notice a commonality in each combo?
It’s HEALTHY FAT!
Why Fat is Necessary for Hormone Health
Dr. Christiane Northup, MD & Women’s Health Expert reported that her patients complained of sallow skin, brittle hair and nails, susceptibility to infection, inability to concentrate, irritability and weight gain despite their rigid diets. She concluded that none of these women were getting enough healthy fat.
Essential fatty acids (EFA’s), namely omega–3’s, are needed for the body to perform many important functions, including those of the brain and nervous system. Good sources of EFA’s include:
- Free range eggs
- High-quality flax seeds (fresh ground)
- Wild-caught cold water fish
Hormone Balancing & Mood Stabilizing Supplements
Targeted supplementation with key nutrients like B-vitamins, vitamin D, magnesium and fish oil may be necessary for hormonal balancing. Ensure you speak to a qualified health practitioner or holistic Pharmacist before beginning supplementation. Not all “natural” or herbal products are necessary and safe.
The best way to obtain any type of nutrient is from food. But if your diet isn’t up to par quite yet, or you have gut issues that may be affecting nutrient absorption, then high-quality supplements are widely available.
Other Ways to Lift Your Mood
Just a few other ways to squeeze some mood lifters into your day…
- Exercise regularly, and break a sweat often! Bedroom gymnastics perhaps? Just a suggestion.
- Mindfulness based practices = yoga &/or meditative practices &/or breathing exercises
- Daily self-care rituals
- Be positive and surround yourself with positive people. Negative people suck.
- Connect with nature. Get off your i-device and go outside!
- Play with your kids, dog, and spouse in the leaves, at the gym, or in the park.
- Get more sleep. Nothing makes you crankier, hangrier, or more off your game than poor sleep.
- Organize something…your hall closet, your kitchen cabinets, your fridge, your junk drawer or your home office.
- Have an Epsom salt bath with your favorite essential oil(s), light some candles and play some quiet music. Breathe deeply and take in the experience.
- Speaking of music, listen to it. Something light and upbeat. Or dark & raunchy – whatever lifts you up!
So if you’ve noticed that you’re feeling especially “hormotional” these days, try the above suggestions and be sure to seek out a network of friends & family who can help you with the emotional support side of things.
There’s no need to surrender to thinking that your destiny is to become just another cranky old bat living out her life. I remember my Doctor saying to me, “what you’re feeling is just a normal part of aging”, and that I would need to just “learn how to live with it”, and then I was offered a prescription for an anti-depressant. That was NOT the type of support I needed!
This post is Part 2 of the guest post by Krista Goncalves on hormone and emotions management. You can read Part 1 here.
found this interesting?
A former marine biologist, Krista is now a Certified Holistic Nutritionist (CHN) and Registered Nutritional Counselor (RNC) – a qualified practitioner who provides guidance for building and maintaining nutritional well-being.
Krista likes to say that she's having a culinary love affair with food and is captivated by how it fuels, nourishes and energizes us. She believes your food should work for you, not against you.
The mantra of “what you put in, is what you'll get out” supports her belief that real food, along with some high-quality supplements, can help heal us from many health conditions, or even prevent us from having certain ones in the first place - like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
With over 20 years of diverse professional teaching experience and a deep passion for promoting balanced, healthy living, she feels her contribution to the rapidly expanding and ever-evolving field of "functional health" is not only important, but incredibly rewarding.
Krista is also a women's health writer and you'll find her blogging regularly on MakingLemonade.ca ~ Empow(her)ed Health & Nutrition!
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