How Turmeric Can Support Your Hormones
Imbalanced hormones are incredibly common amongst many women! I hear the common complaints of hormonal acne, bloating, cramping and more. Wondering why has become such a common problem? Well, there isn't one reason why hormones can become imbalanced. They can be tricky and complicated. Many components of your chosen lifestyle can create this imbalance and there are SO many types of "imbalances" from PCOS, PMS, Endometriosis, Estrogen Dominance, Hypothyroidism and more.
Let's first look at some of the surprisingly common symptoms associated with Estrogen Dominance (which can result in Infertility, PCOS, PMS, Uterine Fibroids, Thyroid Dysfunction and Endometriosis).
- Acne (especially on the neck, chin and jaw line)
- Irritability and easily angered • Depression
- Irregular periods
- Low libido
- Digestive issues
- Unexplained weight gain
- Hair loss or hair thinning
- Cold hands and feet
So that is quite a long list, I know. If you commonly experience several of these, chances are you need to do some work balancing those hormones. Now, let's look at what creates imbalanced hormones. Ever wondered why and how hormones even become imbalanced in the first place? The holistic view understands that it's not one reason but a compound effect over time from the environment and our diet.
Here are a few things that over time can contribute to imbalanced hormones:
- Eating conventionally raised (that contain hormones and antibiotics) meats and dairy
- Exposure to xenoestrogens (These are in personal care and house hold products like shampoo, lotions, perfume and chemical filled cleaners. Heating plastic containers also create xeonoestrogens)
- Birth control pills
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
- A diet low in good quality soluble and insoluble fiber
- A diet low in healthy fats (hormones need fat to function)
- A diet low in quality protein
- Consuming a high glycemic diet
- Tap water (which contain endocrine disruptors)
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- Overconsumption of caffeine
- Environmental air pollutants
- Bacterial imbalance in the gut (foods like sugar that feed bad bacteria)
Balancing hormones is not a quick fix, it takes time and consistent action and is recommended to work with a Holistic Nutritionist or Naturopath who can help you understand what foods should be eaten and any nutritional supplementation to support the process. But for the sake of this lovely article, we are going to chat about one of my favorite ingredients to add into your regimen for balancing those lovely hormones of yours and that is turmeric.
Turmeric is an Ayurvedic spice used in Indian cuisine that has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. On top of this anti-inflammatory effect it has on the body it improves estrogen metabolism. So, if you have high estrogen, turmeric is an amazing addition into your daily routine because of its anti-estrogenic properties. Lastly, turmeric supports the liver. The liver is responsible for clearing out excess estrogen from the body, clearing toxins from the blood, producing bile and converting food to energy. The active component of turmeric, curcumin has been shown in studies to support the detoxification ability of the liver, enhancing it's ability to clear out any of those nasty unwanted toxins which contribute to imbalanced hormones. Turmeric also protects again oxidative stress and can increase glutathione, which is an enzyme that the liver produces, which acts as a powerful antioxidant.
What should you look for when choosing turmeric?
When choosing turmeric look for one that is certified organic and non-irradiated. Spices are one of the top most irradiated foods, this means nutrients are damaged through the irradiation process. Be aware that foods which have been irradiated cannot be labeled as USDA certified organic.
How should you consume this delicious spice?
You can add it into any of your dishes when sautéing to add a bit of flavor and spice or you can consume it my favorite way, which is as a golden milk latte. Follow this simple and easy recipe below.
Golden Milk Latte Ingredients:
- 1 tsp. Turmeric (I used root alive, but you can also use fresh turmeric, feel free to increase this amount if you like the strong turmeric taste)
- 2 cups of Coconut milk (or any other homemade nut milk that you aren't sensitive to)
- 1 tsp. Coconut oil
- ½ tsp. Black pepper
- ½ tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
- ½ tsp. Ginger
- 1 tsp. raw honey (optional, or opt for stevia if you prefer)
- Add all ingredients into a high power blender, vitamix or blendec and blend on high until heated OR add all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on low heat on the stove, whisking occasionally
- Pour into your favorite mug, sprinkle a dash of turmeric and cinnamon on top
- Sip and enjoy!
Turmeric also has blood sugar lowering capabilities, and when paired with cinnamon (best quality source is ceylon cinnamon) it can help support blood sugar control in the body. In this recipe we have added in some great sources of quality fats (which we need for hormones to properly function) through the coconut oil and coconut milk. This recipe is perfectly paired and is waiting for you to replace it with your morning cuppa!
Daily, I also take my life saving lorna vanderhaughe supplement called estrosmart which contains turmeric as one of the ingredients. I would love to hear what's your favorite way of adding in Turmeric to your daily regimen?
In health and many blessings,Stephanie Holistic Nutritionist, CNP