Today I’m sharing the best supplements for your hormones.
There are so many different types of supplements on the market today. In fact, it’s a $37 billon a year business… which is HUGE!! Every time I shop or scroll through my social media posts there are even more brands popping up.
I’m a big supporter of getting everything you need from real whole foods, but I also understand that key nutrients in our soil have become depleted over the years so we are not getting adequate amounts from our diet. That is why certain supplements can be key to helping regulate your period, reduce cramping, PMS, and support your mood and energy levels throughout the month. As always, check in with your doctor before taking anything, especially if you are on any medications.
Today I’m sharing the basic supplements you can take to help with hormonal health. I plan on writing another blog post on the supplements to take if you’ve ever been on birth control, so stay tuned for an update coming soon.
But first, let’s chat about what key things you should look for and avoid when you are thinking about adding supplements into your diet.
What To Look For In Supplements
When you are looking for high quality supplements reading labels is just as important as reading food labels. Many companies add in fillers such as soy, gluten, corn, dairy and sugars, as well as artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. None of these are beneficial to our health and should be avoided like the plague. Most companies add these things in because they are cheap to produce, and similar to food, we only want to put in the highest quality ingredients into our body.
Also, watch out for plastics! Some capsules have plastic coatings, pesticides, even lead and mercury, in addition to fillers that contain toxins – sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, shellac, chlorine, talc, and titanium dioxide to name a few. Other fillers to watch out for include lactose, magnesium stearate, sorbitol, and cellulose, all of which can cause gastrointestinal distress. Even if your doctor gives you a supplement as a sample to try, flip it over and read the label. I see it all of the time (especially with my prenatal clients), and these instances mostly arise when a doctor hands out supplements containing these fillers, but may not have fully vetted these products beforehand.
Supplements are not approved or tested by the FDA, so right now anyone can make a supplement, slap a label on it and sell it. It can be very confusing and often times difficult to find high quality supplements, so please seek out supplements that are sold by a reputable company. Two brands that I recommend are Thorne Research and Pure Encapsulations. The best supplements use the least amount of fillers and additives, so that is a good place to start when you are looking to incorporate supplements to help support your health.
Now that we have a deeper understanding of what to look for and what to avoid when shopping around for supplements, here are the top ones I recommend for hormonal health, as a base. There are additional supplements that can help support your body after you go off of birth control, if your periods are heavy, short or irregular and when you are transitioning through menopause. If you have any specific questions you can email me anytime.
The Best Supplements For Your Hormones
I’m a big fan of this mineral and it has helped me and my clients so much over the years. When you are overwhelmed and stressed your body needs magnesium, I like to call it my calm vitamin. Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral and supports the nervous system. It can help prevent feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and irritability. With our busy schedules, this is one of the best supplements to take to help you stay calm. It is also been known to help reduce cramping, so it’s really helpful the last two weeks of your cycle.
I’d love for you to eat a ton of dark leafy greens like spinach and chard. You can also find magnesium in pumpkin seeds, almonds and black beans that you can start to add more into your diet.
If you are going to supplement there are two ways you can add this mineral into your life. I love Natural Calm and I take this about an hour before I go to sleep at night. I have found that it’s been very helpful to prevent me from waking up in the middle of the night. I also like this magnesium spray that you put on the bottom of your feet. Both are great ways to introduce this mineral into your life.
This next group of vitamins are also helpful for our stress levels, just like with magnesium the more stress you have in your life the more beneficial it is to include B vitamins! These vitamins can really help support your hormones. The B Complex of vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5 B6, B9 and B12 and can help with heavy periods, PMS, irregular periods and cramps.
If you are starting to notice a trend with the dark leafy greens you are not imagining things! They are packed full of nutrients and also help with B Vitamins. You can also include more fish, chicken, liver, eggs and legumes into your diet as well to help bring more of this vitamin into your diet.
Supplementing with a B complex can be really helpful and I recommend taking one. I like and use the Thorne Research Basic B complex as it contains the methylated version of folate, B12, which is crucial to take if you have the MTHFR genetic mutation. Over 40% of the population does and the only way to find out is to get tested. This is very important if you are pregnant so your body is getting the right amount of folate.
Our gut health is so important to our overall hormonal health, so much in fact that most of my client’s root hormonal issues start in the gut. Once we support the digestive system, many of my client’s symptoms such as bloating and acne disappear.
Our ancestors ate a lot more fermented foods than we do today as a way to prolong the shelf life of certain foods. I wonder if your great-grandma ever felt as bloated as most of us do? You can find probiotics in fermented foods such as saukeraut, kimchee, coconut water kefer and other items at the grocery store and farmer’s markets. People are catching on, and it seems like with supplements I see new fermented foods often. If you are wondering about yogurts, a few yogurts such as greek yogurt have natural occurring probiotics, but you’d have to eat about 20 of the small containers a day to get enough of the healthy and helpful bacteria, and that is why supplementing is very helpful to support your digestive system.
When looking for a probiotic you want to find one that has at least 18-20 billion ICU’s, as well as different probiotic strains, and doesn’t contain dairy. I often see my clients start a probiotic that they found not knowing that it contains dairy and this can upset your digestive system. Adding in a supplement like the Life Equals probiotic can help support your digestion, but it can also improves immunity, which is very helpful to take over the long winter months and when you are traveling to help prevent colds. You can try this out using code KBR50 to receive free shipping and 50% off your order. I also like the Garden of Life probiotic that you can find at Whole Foods, Sprouts or online.
Sadly, the majority of the population is Vitamin D deficient since the best way to get Vitamin D is being out in the sun. If you are inside a lot during the east coast winters, or cover up every time you are in the sun, then you probably aren’t getting enough Vitamin D. This vitamin so important that they add it to many foods. When we are low in this vitamin we often feel tired and moody and can be one reason the winter is a hard time for many people. If you haven’ t had your Vitamin D tested have your doctor do it at your next visit.
Again, eat those dark leafy greens! You can also find Vitamin D in salmon, eggs (eat the yolk). Try and get if from the natural source, the sun, and avoid many of the foods that are fortified with Vitamin D.
If you low in Vitamin D try adding in a supplement. I use a dropper that has olive oil and Vitamin D in it and have found that this has helped with the absorption factor. I use the Premier Research Labs Vitamin D-3.
Fish Oil aka Omega 3’s
Omega 3’s are very important for a healthy diet and healthy hormones. So often our diet is full of Omega 6’s and 9’s and not enough 3’s which we need in order to support our health. Omega 3 fatty acids help support our brain health, reduce inflammation in our body and have been known to help reduce PMS symptoms and support us during menopause.
You can find Omega 3’s in salmon, walnuts, chia and flaxseeds. If you eat fish please look for wild caught salmon, not farmed raised as they are often fed soy.
You can also take fish/cod liver oil every day. You can check the International Fish Oil Standards Program for more information and which brands are pure. Make sure the supplement doesn’t have soybean oil in it or any other unnecessary ingredients. I like Nordic Naturals and Life Equals brand. If you get “fish burps” put this supplement in the freezer before taking it and they will go away!
I suggest starting with one or two of these supplements at a time to see the benefits. Be sure to check in with your doctor before starting any, especially if you are on any medications, to make sure that you are on the right dosage. If you haven’t had a vitamin/nutrient blood panel done in a while request that at your next visit so we can add in foods to help support where you are right now and that you supplement correctly.
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