Our female body has two main hormones, Estrogen and Progesterone, that interactive with their menstrual cycle. The body will regular them naturally. Due to our diet and our environment, we consume actually small amount of man-made hormones day by day and they accumulate inside our blood so that our hormones in our body turn into out of balance. In this article, I’ll address the issues that are happening on most of our females.
Estrogens and Progesterone
All hormones are chemical messengers that act much like a switchboard operator, directing the body to do one thing or another. Hormone balance is essential to nearly all functions in the body, including growth and development, sex and reproduction, mood, sleep, and how the body uses food (or stores it as fat), just to name a few. When your hormones are in balance, you feel great, look great, have sustainable energy, a healthy appetite and a healthy sex drive.
When hormones become out of balance, however, we often experience a wide variety of symptoms that can affect mood and energy, and may also lead to more serious conditions like the development of uterine fibroid tumors, fibrocystic breasts or hormone positive cancers, among others.
Estrogen and progesterone are two of the primary sex hormones involved in the many everyday biological functions that occur in our bodies. Estrogen dominance occurs when the ratio of estrogen to progesterone sways too much one way or another. One of the most common patterns with estrogen dominance is to see excess estrogen in relation to progesterone, which is often too low.
Estrogen and progesterone work in synchronization with each other like a system of checks and balances to achieve hormonal harmony in both men and women. Estrogen is an active hormone that is actually able to increase the production of its own receptors. It stimulates tissue to grow. When left unchecked (due to inadequate progesterone levels), it can stimulate tissue to grow inappropriately. Progesterone works to balance estrogen. It is able to decrease the production of estrogen receptors, thus protecting the body from estrogen induced tissue growth like uterine fibroids and estrogen positive cancers. Estrogen and progesterone need the presence of each other in order to correctly perform their individual functions. When estrogen and progesterone become out of balance, often estrogen dominance is the result.
Extreme Sex Hormone Imbalance
Extreme hormonal imbalance is created when the ratio of estrogen to progesterone sways too much one way or another. The most common extreme imbalance is “Estrogen Dominance.” Estrogen Dominance means that there is either too much estrogen in the body, or not enough progesterone, or both.
Estrogen Dominance can contribute to symptoms and conditions including:
We are constantly assaulted by estrogens in our environment from the food we eat and the chemicals we use. Estrogen mimickers in the form of chemicals (xenoestrogens), and foods and plants (phytoestrogens), mimic the action of estrogen produced in cells and can alter hormonal activity.
Xeno literally means foreign, therefore xenoestrogens means foreign estrogens. Some of the 70,000 registered chemicals for use in the United States have hormonal effects in addition to toxic effects. The synergistic effects of exposure to many xenoestrogens are well documented, but largely unknown. These substances can increase the estrogen load in the body over time, and are difficult to detoxify through the liver. This further compounds the problem of estrogen dominance .
These substances can increase the estrogen load in the body.
Phytoestrogens (phyto meaning plant) are naturally occurring estrogenic compounds that are found in a variety of plant foods such as beans, seeds, and grains. Their chemical structure resembles estrogen. Phytoestrogens acting as estrogen mimics may affect the production and/or the breakdown of estrogen by the body, as well as the levels of estrogen carried in the bloodstream. These mimics can either have the same effects as estrogen or block estrogen’s effects. These compounds are generally weak estrogens, in comparison to real estrogen, synthetic estrogen (HRT), and xenoestrogens.
How to balance our hormone?
Estrogen dominance is becoming an all too common condition today; one that if left unaddressed can bring about serious health challenges. Bringing your hormones into balance is the key to feeling great, looking great, and living well. Remember to keep the following things in mind when working to balance estrogen dominance:
- Avoid xenoestrogens and strong phytoestrogens
- Address and manage stress in your life
- Eat a balanced diet free of hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics
- Supplement as needed
- Exercise to promote detoxification and circulation
- Stay positive and find support when you need it
- Back off birth control pills, Hormone Replacement therapy (HRT), hormone medication.
- Avoid caffeine
- Avoid daily products, milk, meats.
- Read the ingredients of the products that you are going to buy, avoid estrogen ingredient.
- Avoid foods that contains preservative.
A discovery that two commonly used food additives are estrogenic has led scientists to suspect that many ingredients added to the food supply may be capable of altering hormones. More than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients are added to food in the United States, and none of them are required to undergo testing for estrogenic activity, according to the Food and Drug Administration. “Food may contain environmental estrogens” By: Jessica A. Knoblauch, Environmental Health News,March 27, 2009
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The Hormone Harmony Diet
- Eat at least 4 servings of soya products a week and include other phyto-estrogen-rich foods in your diet.
- Include foods rich in essential fatty acids in your diet – seeds, nuts, fish.
- Include plenty of foods which are naturally rich in fibre – beans, lentils, oats, brown rice, vegetables and fruits.
- Eat organic foods as much as possible.
- Increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables – cabbage, broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts.
- Drink filtered water.
- Minimise your intake of sugar and sugary foods or drinks.
- Reduce your intake of animal fats – milk, cheese, cream, meat.
- Limit your alcohol intake to no more than three units, three times a week, and have some weeks completely alcohol-free.
Which seeds should be used in what part of the cycle?
From Day 1 to Day 15 (or the middle of the cycle), we need more estrogen in order to build up our endometrium (uterus lining). This is called the follicular phase. With seeds such as flaxseed and pumpkin seeds, we can naturally increase our estrogen levels.
From Day 15 to Day 30, or the second part of the cycle (also known as the luteal phase), the corpus luteum begins to release progesterone. This sex hormone will help thicken the uterus lining and prepare it for implantation.
The high contents of zinc in sesame seeds and vitamin E in sunflower seeds have been shown to stimulate progesterone production. By adding two tablespoons of sesame and sunflower seeds per day in the luteal phase, we can naturally support the body to produce more progesterone, a sex hormone of which many women experience low levels.
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