By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Our reproductive hormones are responsible for many bodily processes that can either leave us feeling happy, healthy and energetic versus feeling flat, fatigued and unwell. Hormones are specialized chemical messengers that are secreted by endocrine glands into the blood to then reach particular organs and tissues where they exert their effects. Our brains, adrenal glands, fat cells, ovaries and testes are the primary organs and cells that help to regulate and produce these hormones.
Our basic reproductive hormones include progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and DHEA. Women also produce other hormones that help to regulate the reproductive hormones such as luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones. Hormonal irregularities can be negatively influenced by genetics, environmental factors, illness, stress, poor diet and poor nutrition.
When a hormonal imbalance is present, symptoms can vary considerably and they can be mild to severe depending on the imbalance. Symptoms can include:
Hormones can be in excess or deficient, even when one hormone is poorly balanced the other hormones can cause issues, it is a careful balancing act. For example, if you have a progesterone deficiency you will then display symptoms of estrogen excess as progesterone reduces the effects of estrogen such as weight gain and an irregular cycle, it’s a domino effect.
Juicing, as we know here at Reboot, offers so many health benefits due to the highly absorbable nutrients in a concentrated form that are readily digested and absorbed. Juicing is a fabulous way to support and improve your hormonal health via the large amount of micronutrients such as the minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients that support anti-inflammatory actions and healthy cellular function in the hormonal glands and cells.
Increasing your fruits and vegetables via juice is a sure fire way to improve fertility and a healthy reproductive cycle. Fruits and vegetables are also very effective at reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
With juicing and with the consumption of more plant based meals your weight is likely to reduce along with improved blood sugar control which in turn has a positive effect on your hormones. An increase in fruits and vegetables and a reduction in body weight showed significant improvement for menopausal symptoms in women.
The liver is also responsible for regulating and excreting our hormones and breaking them down and eliminating them via the bowels and kidneys. Certain foods help to support our normal liver detoxification pathways and can help to bind and excrete excess hormones to support a healthy balance. Juicing has such a profound healing effect on the liver due to the myriad of nutrients and antioxidants, where there is fatty infiltration and sluggish function there is reduced efficiency and therefore a reduced ability to metabolise and support hormonal health. Juices and plant based nutrients can stimulate the growth of healthy liver cells thus improving function.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage, contain high amounts of phytonutrients called isothiocyanates, including indole-3-carbinol, which helps break down harmful and potent estrogens which helps to protect against reproductive cancers. These vegetables also support liver detoxification and excretion.
Up our intake of vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and vitamin E rich fruits and vegetable juices, blends and meals that include avocado, banana, spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, chard (silverbeet), beets(beetroots), seaweeds, watercress, kale, carrot, cantaloupe(rockmelon), pineapple, figs, apricots and oranges, these nutrients are vital in supporting our hormones levels.
Turmeric and ginger can help to support liver function and hormonal health. Ginger can help to reduce painful spasmodic dysmenorrhea and can also be subscribed for endometriosis due to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic benefits. Curcumin which is an active compound in turmeric is reported to inhibit the growth of endometrial cells by modulating the secretion of estrogen.
Include plenty of variety and color in your juices to support and balance your hormone levels with juicing. It’s also important for men to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables for improve hormonal health and juicing is an easy and convenient way to make this happen. Men who consume more plant-based nutrients have healthier sperm and testosterone levels. Testosterone is important for libido, mood and energy for men.
Our hormonal health is also highly dependent on the avoidance of unhealthy foods, toxic body care products and household products. Supporting healthy hormones includes what we put ON our bodies along with what we put IN our bodies. We have tons of DIY body care recipes that can be made from simple ingredients found right in your kitchen.
Here are two real stories from woman who turned to juicing and saw improvement in their hormonal irregularities: