How to Balance Hormones: Remedies, Studies and Tips

hormone balanceHormones are magical chemical substances that act like messengers in the body. After being made in one part of the body, they travel to other areas where they help control how cells and organs do their work.

Among these hormones are estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Males and females make all three, but in different amounts. Ideal hormone balance occurs when the body has just the right amount of each hormone available to operate at peak health. Research studies are discovering factors that can create hormone imbalances, as well as offering solutions to balance hormones.

One chemical substance famous for disrupting hormone balance is Bisphenol A (BPA).   It is a chemical found in hard plastics and the coatings of food and drink cans which can behave in a similar way to estrogen and other hormones in the human body. It is also used to make water bottles, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses, DVD’s and more.

One study from the UK found that BPA reduces testosterone levels in men. Another study from Massachusetts found a link between BPA and infertility in women. It has also been linked to diabetes and heart disease. A few key ways to avoid exposure to BPA is to not eat or drink foods or beverages from cans, and to avoid drinking water from plastic water bottles unless the labeling says it is BPA free.  Although plastic containers contain other toxins as well.  The safest option is to filter the tap water by removing chlorine and other chemicals such as fluoride, and store it in glass carrying bottles.

Research from the University of Chicago has found that sleep deprivation can have a pronounced effect on one’s hormonal health. The pituitary gland in the brain is known as the “master gland” as its hormones control the thyroid gland, adrenals, ovaries and testes. The pituitary is markedly influenced by sleep. During sleep, beneficial hormonal factors are activated, but these are greatly reduced by sleep deprivation. On a positive note, the alterations that occur during a sleepless night can be completely reversed during recovery sleep.

A study from the journal “Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey” shared the many beneficial effects that omega 3 fats can have on women’s hormone balance. These healthy fats are found in salmon, sardines, fish oil capsules, olive oil and fresh vegetables. Omega 3’s can reverse PMS and increase fertility in women. The researchers also mention evidence showing omega 3’s can prevent menopause symptoms, postmenopausal osteoporosis and heart disease.

According to Dalene Barton-Schuster, Senior Herbalist, studies have shown that extreme exercise results in hormonal disruption. She saysRegular, moderate exercise has been shown to strengthen muscles, build stamina, increase flexibility, increase circulation, reduce stress and prevent depression and anxiety — while also promoting regular detoxification of excess hormones and toxins in the body.”

Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale California, is someone who fought her own battle against hormone imbalance, sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural insomnia remedies for relaxation and deeper sleep.

The result was Sleep Minerals II, a sleep remedy that contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D and zinc.  The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and couldn‘t go back to sleep. Now I wake up once to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.”

In summary, take some good steps to keep your hormones balanced with the right combination of food and healthy fats, moderate exercise, avoiding plastic containers, and using absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium to ensure a sound sleep.

This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, and stronger hair and nails.

10 Flax Seed Benefits and Nutrition Facts

By Dr. Josh Axe — Doctor of Natural Medicine, Doctor of Chiropractic, and Certified Nutrition Specialist.  Dr. Axe has a passion to help people get well using food as medicine.

Flax Seed Title

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Flax seeds have been consumed as food for around 6,000 years and may have very well been the worlds first cultivated superfood!

Flax seed benefits could help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss… and that’s just the beginning!

Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), in the world!

Another unique fact about flaxseeds is that they rank #1 source of lignans in human diets. (lignans form the building blocks of plant walls and are a source of phytoestrogens or healthy “plant-based estrogens”).  Flaxseeds contain about 7 times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds.

Stunning Flaxseed Nutrition Facts

When you look at the nutritional benefits of flax seeds, there are many things that will catch your attention.

A  1 ounce (3 tbsp) serving of flaxseeds contains:

  • Omega-3 (ALA) 6,338mg
  • Fiber 8g
  • Protein 6g
  • Vitamin B1 31% RDA (recommended dietary allowance)
  • Manganese 35% RDA
  • Magnesium 30% RDA
  • Phosphorus 19% RDA
  • Selenium 10% RDA
  • Also, flaxseeds contain a good amount of vitamin B6, Iron, potassium, copper and zinc.

This flax seed nutrition profile makes it easy to see why it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.

10 Flax Seed Benefits

1. High in Fiber, but Low in Carbs

One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content.  Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract.

The mucilage can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine which can increase nutrient absorption.

Also, flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

You should aim to consume 30-40 grams of high fiber foods daily (by eating whole grains, vegetables and fruits).

2. Healthy Skin and Hair

If you want healthier skin, hair and nails then consider adding 2 tbsp of flax seeds to your smoothie or 1 tbsp of flax seed oil to your daily routine.

The ALA fats in flax seeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fats as well as b-vitamins which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema. This also applies to eye health as flax can reduce dry eye syndrome.

Flax seed oil is another great option since it has an even higher concentration of healthy fats. You can take 1-2 tbsp internally to hydrate skin and hair.  It can also be mixed with essential oils and used as a natural skin moisturizer.

3. Weight Loss

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseeds and walnuts may improve obesity and support weight loss.

Since flax is full of healthy fats and fiber, it will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation.

This is important for weight loss in that an inflamed body will tend to hold on to excess weight. Add a couple of teaspoons of ground flaxseed to soups, salads, or smoothies as part of your weight loss plan.

4. Lower Cholesterol

The journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds into your diet can naturally reduce cholesterol levels.

The soluble fiber content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it unable to be absorbed. Soluble fiber also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol in the gallbladder.

The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and lowering cholesterol overall.

5. Flaxseeds are Gluten-Free

Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which are inflammatory where flax is anti-inflammatory.  So, flax seeds are great for those who have Celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity.  They may also be a good alternative to omega-3 fats in fish for people with a seafood allergy.

Another great aspect of flax being gluten-free is that it can be used as a grain-free option in cooking.  I will often use it along with coconut flour in baking at home.

6. Flaxseeds are High in Antioxidants (Lignans)

Amongst its other incredible nutrition facts, flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants. Lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols (plant chemicals that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors) that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health.

Polyphenols support the growth of probiotics in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body.

Lignans are also known for their anti-viral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus.

7. Digestive Health

Maybe the biggest flax seed benefits come from it’s ability to promote digestive health. The ALA in flax can help protect the lining of the digestive tract and maintain GI health. It has been shown to be beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments, as it can help reduce gut inflammation.

You can also take 1-3 tbsp of flax seed oil with 8 oz of carrot juice to help naturally relieve constipation.

Flax is also very high in soluble and insoluble fiber which can also improve digestive health and is one of the highest magnesium foods in the world.

Two tablespoons of flaxseeds contains about 5 g of fiber or 1/4 of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance). The fiber found in flaxseeds provides food for friendly bacteria in your colon that can help cleanse waste from your system.

8. Flax Seeds for Cancer

Flax seed benefits have been proven time and time again and even including fighting breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research discovered that consuming flax seeds may decrease the risk of breast cancer. The three lignans found in flaxseeds can be converted by intestinal bacteria into enterolactone and enterodiol (plant-based estrogens), which naturally balance hormones, which may be the reason flax seeds reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that the lignans in flaxseeds may also reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer.

9. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

We hear a lot about the health benefits of fish oil or omega-3 fats. Fish oil contains EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fats that are critical for optimal health. Although flaxseeds do not contain EPA or DHA, they do contain ALA, another type of omega-3 fat.

A study published in Nutrition Reviews has shown that approximately 20% of ALA can be converted into EPA, but only .5% of ALA is converted into DHA. Also, surprisingly gender may play a big role in conversion where young women had a 2.5-fold greater rate than men.

Regardless of conversion, ALA is still considered a healthy fat and should be included in a balanced diet.

10. Menopausal Symptoms

The lignans in the flax have been shown to have benefits for menopausal women. It can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans do have estrogenic properties.

These properties may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can even help menstruating women by helping maintain cycle regularity.

To experience the flax seed benefits for your hormones include 1-2 tbsp of flax meal in a breakfast smoothie along with 1 tbsp of flax seed oil.

Flax Seed Benefits chart

How to Use Flax Seeds

There are many great ways to add these super seeds into your diet including adding them to homemade muffins, breads and cookies.

One of the most common questions about baking with flax seeds is, does baking have any effect on omega-3 fatty acid?

According to many studies, you can bake flax seeds at 300F for 3 hours and the omega-3’s (ALA) in flax seeds remained stable.

Tips for including flaxseed in your diet include:

  • Add 1-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to a morning smoothie
  • Mix a tablespoon in with yogurt and raw honey
  • Bake ground flaxseeds into muffins, cookies and breads
  • Add to homemade sprouted granola
  • Can be mixed with water and used as an egg substitute

Flax Seeds vs. Flax Meal vs. Sprouted Flax

Flaxseeds are best consumed ground as our bodies cannot access the nutrients if they are eaten whole and they will pass through undigested.

You can grind the flax in a coffee grinder, this is best done immediately before eating them so they do not spend much time exposed to air or you can buy them pre-ground.

However the very best way to experience flax seed benefits is to consume them in their sprouted form. Soaking flax seeds and then sprouting them eliminates phytic acid and may greatly increase mineral absorption. (Phytic acid can impair the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium).

Like other sources of fiber including chia seeds and hemp seeds, make sure to take flaxseeds with plenty of water or other fluids.

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This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.

Article Source: http://draxe.com/10-flax-seed-benefits-nutrition-facts/

Can Avocados Balance Hormones in Women and Men?

Avocados balance hormonesThis health news is provided to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II
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Avocados are a healthy, creamy, tasty food, whether they sit on top of a sandwich, an omelet or a salad — or become transformed into guacamole. Avocados balance hormones, contain beneficial fats, and feature over twenty vitamins and minerals.

They are a uniquely high source of plant sterols, which is the part of the plant that corresponds to cholesterol in people.  Eating plant sterols has been proven to lower cholesterol and increase heart health in several research studies from sources like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Another key benefit of avocados is their ability to block estrogen absorption in the body. They contain key plant sterols that can reduce excess estrogen. This allows increased progesterone to be present in women and testosterone in men. Some of the causes of excess estrogen include exposure to toxins and pollutants in the environment, chemical estrogens in plastics, hormones from food, and toxic cleaning products. Eating some avocado regularly can take the edge off the toxic load and provide better hormonal balance.

Increased estrogen levels can lead to weight gain, tiredness, headaches and a lower sexual interest.  Regarding excess weight, one study in the “Nutrition Journal” showed that adding half an avocado to the lunch time meal resulted in a feeling of satisfaction and a 40% reduction in the desire to eat during the 3 hours after lunch.

According to Michael Lam, M.D. who specializes in nutritional medicine: ”Plants contain over 5,000 known sterols that have progesterone enhancing effects. People who eat more wholesome plant foods have a far lower incidence of menopausal symptoms because their pre- and post-menopause levels of (hormones) do not drop as significantly.”

Adding some avocado to meals is a great way to help balance hormones — half an avocado is a good amount.  Avocado oil is another concentrated form of plant sterols that can be used for cooking in any high heat application like stir-fry, bar-b-q or roasting. It also makes a great base for salad dressings and sauces. An avocado in any form is a great food for overall health and particularly good hormonal health.

This natural health news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.