However, there are a number of factors which can negatively impact hormone health such as diet, toxins, medications, stress – even natural changes from puberty to menopause have an impact. When our hormones are out of balance, we feel the effects. From mood swings to poor sleep, weight gain to reproductive health issues – these symptoms can affect your quality of life.
The Oral Contraceptive Pill can cause decreases in the diversity and abundance of the gut microbiome, as well as depletion of the nutrients needed for hormones, structure and immune function. This includes B vitamins, vitamin C, E, zinc, selenium and magnesium. The depletion of essential nutrients, especially folate, vitamin B6, zinc and vitamin E, alongside changes in the gut, may play a role in the development of vaginal infections. This would indicate a potential need for women on birth control to take a probiotic supplement.
Adding supplements to your routine can help support overall health and may encourage balanced hormones. Some key nutrients are explained as follows:
Magnesium plays a role in over 600 cellular processes, including energy production, nervous system function, and muscle contraction. Food sources include avocadoes, nuts and leafy greens.
Selenium helps the immune system work correctly, prevents damage to cells and tissues, and promotes the health of the reproductive system. Food sources include Brazil nuts, eggs, meat and fish.
Zinc supports the immune system, hormone production and fertility. It can help reduce skin inflammation and support wound healing, and protects against UV damage from the sun. Food sources include shellfish, red meat, eggs and chickpeas.
B vitamins play an important role in keeping the nervous system healthy and helping the body release energy from the foods we eat. Folate (B9) in particular helps with brain development and spinal cord development in unborn babies. Food sources include leafy greens, chickpeas, edamame beans, broccoli and fortified foods.