The Best Superfoods for Women's Health & Hormonal Balance
6 minute read
What Makes Women's Health Unique?
On average, women have 10% more body fat, a lower basal metabolic rate, a lower calorie requirement and less muscle mass compared with men. Men and women also have a completely different hormonal balance.
Women have many unique physiological differences to men and most of these are due to the biological ability to reproduce. This has an impact on women's health that changes at almost every stage of the life cycle.
Getting to know your own body and how it adapts throughout these different stages stages is a great way to optimise your overall health and wellbeing.
Eating Right for the Time of Your Life!
Women's bodies go through a lot in one lifetime! They're constantly adapting to different ages and stages in the lifecycle. This causes a shift in hormonal balance which effects our physiology and also our nutritional requirements.
From the age of around 14 to 51, women have increased requirements for Iron due to blood loss caused by menstruation. When blood is lost, we also lose the iron stored in those blood cells and this increases the risk of Iron Deficiency Anaemia. So, it's important to get enough iron to prevent this.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
When pregnant or breastfeeding women have increased requirements for Folate, Iodine, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Iodine and Vitamin C. Sadly, the notion of eating for 2 is just a myth! It is these micronutrients we need more of rather than things like fat, protein and carbs!
Menopause & Later Life
Between the ages of 45 and 55 (or earlier for some) oestrogen production declines and we stop releasing eggs from the ovaries. This is a natural part of life which means we can no longer conceive.
Oestrogen is essential for healthy bones so it is vital to get enough Vitamin D and Calcium to mitigate the impact of lower oestrogen levels as we age. Older and post-menopausal women also have increased zinc & calcium requirements.
One of the easiest ways to help manage these ever-changing nutritional requirements is to enjoy nutrient-dense foods every day regardless of your age!
Why Hormonal Balance is so Important
What are hormones exactly?
Hormones are chemical messengers which are secreted by the endocrine system directly into the bloodstream. Blood carries them around the body and to different organs, where they carry out their specific functions. Think of them as little messengers which help the different organs to know what the body needs!
The Importance of Hormones for Women
Hormones are essential to regulate a whole spectrum of physiological processes. We all need them to breath, eat, drink, grow and use energy.
Both men and women experience hormonal shifts throughout the day - insulin is released when we eat, adrenaline when we need to be more alert and melatonin in the evening to help us unwind and promote sleep.
For women, hormones which are essential for the reproductive system are constantly ebbing and flowing. This is an innate mechanism which is needed to make pregnancy possible. It's also something we should consider when making diet and lifestyle choices.
5 Superfoods & Nutrients to Naturally Balance Hormones
It is clear to see the interconnection between hormones, nutritional requirements and women's health! What we eat and our lifestyle can help us to promote an optimal hormonal balance as well as overall wellness. Here are some of the best foods and nutrients for women's health.
Berries are a rich source of Iron and Folate, so they're a really good choice for women who are planning a family, pregnant or breastfeeding.
They're also packed with Vitamin C, which is essential for the regulation of progesterone - a hormone which plays a role in menstruation, pregnancy and the menopause.
Our Berry Beauty blend harnesses the goodness of 8 superfoods and is a great source of Zinc, Copper and Vitamin C - providing your daily dose of Vit C in just one teaspoon.
It's also our chosen blend for healthy hair, skin and nails - helping to minimise the visible signs of ageing. This is important for women as we have around 25% less collagen than men and so are more susceptible to wrinkles and fine lines!
Foods rich in antioxidants have been shown to help with hormonal balance.
Studies have found that plant polyphenols can help to regulate secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, thanks to their high antioxidant activity.
Interestingly, the sex hormone oestrogen is actually known to have antioxidant properties itself. It has been shown to up-regulate antioxidant enzymes, improving their effectiveness and maximising their healthful benefits in the body.
The best sources of antioxidants are fruit and vegetables, but you can also find them in tea, red wine and dark chocolate!
3. Plant-Based Protein
Women typically have a lower lean muscle mass compared with men and this declines as we age. Getting enough protein is one way we can maintain lean muscle mass, strength and mitigate the impact of ageing on the body.
Protein, Vitamin D and Calcium are also essential to prevent Osteoporosis in women in later life. They each help to increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures, which postmenopausal women are at a higher risk of due to a lack of the hormone oestrogen.
Our Green Plant Protein and Cacao Plant Protein blends provide 20g plant-based protein and a complete amino acid profile in every serving. Enhanced with unique superfood blends, they're a convenient and reliable way to boost your protein intake and overall wellness. Learn more in our article below.
Adaptogens are naturally occurring compounds which are known for their amazing health benefits. As the name suggests, they help the body to adapt and bounce back to its baseline physiological functioning.
Adaptogens have shown to be particularly beneficial for helping to regulate the secretion of stress hormones and also insulin, which controls blood sugar levels.
Some of the best sources of powerful, health-enhancing adaptogens include medicinal mushrooms, Ashwagandha, Maca root and Acai. Check out the article below to learn more about this fascinating subject.
5. Leafy Greens
Last but not least, getting a daily serving of greens is essential for women's health and wellbeing. Leafy green veg is a nutritional powerhouse and packed with nutrients which are needed throughout all stages of the female life cycle.
Green veg provides a rich source of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Vitamin A. These are great for boosting immunity and help the endocrine system to function optimally, promoting overall hormonal balance.
Our Clean Greens blend provides the goodness of greens and 8 superfoods in just one teaspoon. It's a great source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Iron - perfect for immune and digestive health. Just add to water, juice, smoothies or healthy recipes to support overall health and wellness!
Whatever age or stage of life you're at, optimising your diet and lifestyle is a great way to promote hormonal balance and overall wellness. Enjoying superfoods which are rich in nutrients daily can help you to do just that.
Diet and Immune Function - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723551/
Menstruation & Anaemia -
Health Benefits of Anthocyanin -
Plant Polyphenols -
Antioxidant Supplements in Women's Health -