Women's Health At Every Age
Better Nutrition|May 2021
A woman’s health needs change dramatically over the years. Use this guide to find hormone-balancing tips and remedies based on your age.
By Sherrill Sellman, ND

An ancient adage from Chinese medicine says, “A doctor would rather treat 10 men than one woman.” In a way, this validates what women have always known—that we are indeed intricate creatures. At the heart of our complexity are hormones, their ebb and flow influencing all aspects of physical, emotional and mental well-being. When a woman’s hormones are in balance, she feels healthy, energized, and vital. She is also far less likely to experience symptoms during her menstrual cycle or as she negotiates the transition through menopause.

Unfortunately, all it takes is one alteration to this perfectly orchestrated process for hormone havoc to ensue, transforming a reasonable woman into a screaming banshee (sound familiar?). Our modern lifestyles do not help, either, and in fact have had a somewhat disastrous effect on hormonal balance. For example, stress, nutritional deficiencies, hormones in meat and poultry, estrogen-mimicking chemicals in our environment, and the widespread use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have contributed to some of the highest estrogen levels ever measured, according to researchers.

Why do hormones have such a profound impact on your health? Basically, these powerful chemical messengers—including the two main female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone—stimulate, regulate, and/ or control all vital bodily functions. The delicate equilibrium of these master agents also influences every system in the body. Additionally, hormones affect certain neurotransmitters that determine mood and thinking processes. So, is it any wonder that hormonal balance is key for maintaining optimal wellness throughout your life?

Hormone Harmony: What Harms, What Heals

The most notorious hormone wreckers are sugar and sugar substitutes, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, caffeine, pesticide-laden foods, alcohol, dehydration, lack of sleep, stress, emotional upsets, chemicals in commercial personal care products, and lack of exercise. In addition to compromising your hormonal health, these saboteurs can also accelerate the aging process.

A hormone-harmonizing program includes organically grown whole foods (plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts); healthful fats (pick from extra-virgin olive oil, fish oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil and butter); filtered water; regular meals; seven to eight hours of sleep; relaxation; staying hydrated; and regular exercise.

Hormones also act as sensitive barometers underlying physiological symptoms. For instance, a toxic liver, overworked adrenal glands, or a yeast infection (Candida albicans) can quickly throw hormones out of whack.

3 Ways to Enhance Hormone Health Throughout Life

1. SUPPORT YOUR LIVER

The liver plays a major role in the proper metabolizing of hormones, especially estrogen. Liver-loving foods include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, garlic, lemons, artichokes, and asparagus. Liver-loving herbs include milk thistle, dandelion root, and turmeric.

2. NOURISH YOUR ADRENAL GLANDS

The adrenals influence hormonal balance, immune health, digestion, blood sugar balance, blood pressure, inflammation control, and mineral balance. Your adrenals are nourished by vitamin C, vitamin B5 (best taken in a B-complex formula), cod liver oil, and magnesium. The adaptagenic herbs, such as ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Rhodiola rosea, and maca root (Lepidium meyenii), provide excellent adrenal support.

3. STRENGTHEN YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

A strong digestive system ensures that your body will readily absorb your food. Digestive-strengthening foods include yogurt, kefir, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and miso. Digestive enzymes are also helpful.

Decadent Health for Your Decade

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BETTER NUTRITIONView All

Collagen for Heart Health

This popular anti-aging supplement for joints and skin also boasts impressive cardiovascular benefits.

4 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

Digestion Progression

How to deal with intestinal distress the natural way.

6 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

From No Meat to Grass-Fed Red Meat

Some vegetarians are rethinking the reasons they adopted a plant-only diet—and rediscovering high-quality animal protein, particularly pasture-raised meat.

7 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

Light Summer Refresher

Take a break from hot weather with this antioxidant-packed, cooling treat

5 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

Men's Health HANDBOOK

Advice for preventing and treating ailments that most commonly afflict men.

6 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

The Anti-Cancer Diet

Disease-proof your plate with science-backed foods shown to reduce cancer risk.

5 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

5 Steps to Reverse Pandemic Weight Gain

How to shed the pounds you may have picked up after a year in social isolation.

5 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

5 Reasons You Need NAC

It’s best known for promoting a robust immune response, but NAC does so much more—and new research suggests that it may even play a role in protecting against Covid-19.

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

Are You Gluten Free And Healthy?

If you’ve developed unwanted weight gain or heart disease risk factors after eliminating gluten from your diet, better carb choices can help balance blood sugar and insulin levels to take you to a new level of health.

4 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021

7 Super Brain Boosters

Maybe you find yourself trying to remember why you needed to go to the grocery store. Or wondering where you parked the car after a movie. Or questioning whether or not you’ve already fed the dog. If so, it might be time to consider adding some of these brain-enhancing herbs to your supplement routine.

8 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2021
RELATED STORIES

Cool Foods For Hot Weather

Too sweltering to eat? Think again. From staying hydrated to relieving allergies, the right diet is key to enjoying summer pleasures. Behold, your seasonal survival manual.

9 mins read
Pilates Style
July - August 2018

Exercise And Allergies

April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring pollen.

1 min read
Oxygen
May/June 2017

How EpiPen Became A Hit

 Mylans marketing turned the allergy device into a must-have. 

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 28 - October 4, 2015

Delivery Expectations

What to expect on booking into a hospital to have your baby.

8 mins read
Your Pregnancy
August/September 2020

LIVING WITH A Rare disease

Great support can be found if you know where to look, says Dr Melanie Wynne-Jones

2 mins read
Woman's Weekly Living Series
July 2020

Leveraging technology to improve patient experience

Cell phones and wearable gadgets are streamlining the purpose of connected healthcare, by enabling one to become responsible for his own health

4 mins read
Healthcare Radius
May 2020

Keep Calm & Boost Your Immunity!

Body knows only to do what is good for the body. Mind knows only to do what is good for the mind. However, what mind considers as good is most often not good for the body.

3 mins read
The Teenager Today
May 2020

5 Ways To Ease Bloating

If you’re suddenly struggling to zip up a pair of pants that fitted perfectly just the other day, find relief with these flat-tummy tips

3 mins read
Your Family
March 2020

Shine on

Dr. Rebecca Hamilton Fletcher MRCVS investigates the science behind horses’ coats

4 mins read
Horse & Hound
February 06, 2020

Challenges In Addressing The Problem Of Food Allergens

Food allergens management is becoming very important in the food industry globally. Several national regulations are addressing the allergen management by putting regulations in place for food manufacturers. But the confusion between food allergies and food intolerances and also a lack of awareness on the type of allergies that a consumer experiences, creates challenges in addressing the problem.

6 mins read
Progressive Grocer
OCTOBER 2019