Healthy and nutritious foods provide energy for women’s busy lives. A broad diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein is important for good health. Typical common problems for female health include PMS, acne or skin infections, fertility and pregnancy health, pre and post menopause, osteoporosis, thyroid issues and weight management, and yeast/thrush sensitivity. Some of these problems are diet related and contemporary western diets seems to provoke more hormonal related problems. Lifestyle and environment can cause further stressors.
Nutrition plays different roles during different times of a women’s life. Diet plays a role in childhood growth and initial hormone developments, and later it is a determinant for a healthy pregnancy and prevention of chronic diseases. During older years, what women eat can help keep minds sharp and bodies resistant to ageing. There are many female health problems, but most are triggered by the same mechanisms, including stress, hormone imbalance, nutritional deficiencies and toxins.
The female hormone system requires tremendous energy to function correctly. Female hormones are derived from adrenal hormone precursors, and thyroid hormones governs both the adrenal system and the production of female hormones. Optimal adrenal and thyroid function is the foundation required for the energy production that supports normal female hormonal health. Nutrients that can make a difference include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, B Vitamins, Iodine and selenium. The traditional eastern diet that is synonymous with less menopausal problems and lower incidence of osteoporosis has in general a higher intake of essential fatty acids (particularly fish), higher iodine and probably higher Vitamin D from sunlight.
Female hormones fluctuate with circumstances and stress increases those fluctuations. It is important to understand that cortisol and adrenaline levels rise and fall for stressful situations. Many women experience adrenal fatigue. Stable insulin levels provide the framework that allows all the major female hormones to communicate with one another. If nutrients are low or missing, the balance of this communication is undermined. Stress has been shown to deplete nutrients and suppress immune function. That’s in part because stress produces cortisol, and sustained high levels of cortisol are very detrimental to the body and the brain. Using herbs such as Passiflora or St John’s Wort may improve relaxation against the stress factors.