Since the release of Rethinking Women's Health, I hear from women my age with one pressing issue, "My hormones are all screwed up since I had kids."
"Screwed up hormones" include middle-aged acne, increased bleeding with periods, mood swings, weight gain, and overall tiredness that feels like more than just the exhaustion of chasing children.
Our bodies go through a huge shift with every birth, and the truth is, our lifestyles and food systems do not give us what we need to replenish the body properly. If, as Dr. Terry Whals says in the Introduction of Rethinking Women's Health, our cells require NINE cups of vegetables and fruits each day to function correctly, is it any wonder our bodies are betraying us? Do any of us even come close to the amount of vitamins and minerals needed for good health?
Here are some ways to sneak those vital nutrients into your system without becoming a modern-day hunter-gatherer.
Learn about herbs. Herbs are packed with vitamins and minerals at unbelievable rates. I make a tea every day out of five of most important herbs for hormone balance and overall wo. If you want to make a more potent recipe, place boiling water over the mixture and let it sit in a covered mason jar for 24 hours. Get the recipe I use below.
Add two things to your diet daily: water and more green veggies. Start carrying a water bottle around with you so you know exactly how much water you have ingested throughout the day. Getting enough water increases your energy level immensely. Add in a smoothie for breakfast full of leafy greens or a salad at lunch every day to boost the nutrients in your system.
Look into supplements. Dr. Mark Hyman recommends that every woman take a quality multivitamin, an omega-3 supplement, and a probiotic daily to help with hormone balance. He also recommends chaste berry fruit extract twice a day at 100 milligrams (this supplement eliminated PMS for me when combined with diet changes).
Remove endocrine disruptors that interfere with hormones. Endocrine disruptors are common hormone-mimicking chemicals that produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife. They are present in our personal care and cleaning products. The best thing you can do for your family is to download the Skin Deep Ap on your phone. This nonprofit database does independent research on thousands of cleaning and personal care products. You can scan barcodes right in the store to find safe alternatives for the items you use every day.
Don't give up on feeling well. The symptoms are not in your head. They are in your body for very real reasons. Replenish your body and notice the difference in the way you feel. When we begin seeing food and lifestyle choices as medicine, we begin to take control of our health. It is never too late to begin that journey.