By Alisa Vitti
Hormones affect everything. Have you ever struggled with acne, oily hair, dandruff, dry skin, cramps, headaches, irritability, exhaustion, constipation, irregular cycles, heavy bleeding, clotting, shedding hair, weight gain, anxiety, insomnia, infertility, lowered sex drive, or bizarre food cravings and felt like your body was just irrational? It’s not, it’s hormonal. Yet women remain mystified at their bodies’ seemingly random display of disconnected symptoms, never thinking that they are connected and hormonally based.
Mentioning the word “hormones” usually elicits blank stares or comments that it’s relevant only to women over 50. The reality is, hormones influence you in utero, throughout childhood and adolescence and most importantly right now as you are reading this sentence. Do you know what your hormones are doing, how you might be interfering with their attempts to stay balanced and keep you symptom-free, and if you are dealing with an imbalance, where to begin to get your body and your life back? Your health depends on it.
Having worked with so many women with reproductive health issues, I know how overwhelming it can be to deal with a hormonal imbalance like PCOS, fibroids or infertility.
The good news, however, is that nutritional research has been catching up to some long-standing wisdom about the powerful effects food has on your body and most importantly, that you can learn how to use food to change and improve the way your endocrine system functions, so that you balance your hormones and eliminate frustrating symptoms.
At FLOliving.com, I’ve pioneered a five-step nutritional protocol that eliminates period problems, helps women get pregnant naturally or improve IVF cycles, and increases sex drive. In the 10 years since opening the FLO Living center in Columbus Circle, I’ve helped women shrink fibroids, regulate periods, lift anxiety and depression and get pregnant after IVF failed. I’ve helped women transition off the pill without having pre-pill symptoms return, and I’ve helped women recover their energy and uncover their passion and purpose in life. It’s time for a new conversation and a fresh start for an area of women’s health that has long been overlooked—and food is the answer!
This food-based approach works and can be used in conjunction with what your doctor is recommending.
Here are some of the strategies I’ll share with you in my forthcoming book, WomanCode: Unlocking the Secrets to Your Optimal Period, Fertility and Sex Drive (HarperCollins, April 2013).
FLOliving.com’s Nine Nurturing Food & Lifestyle changes for easier periods, improved fertility and supercharged sex drive:
1. Dramatically decrease white flour and refined sugar to keep insulin levels stable for better ovulation and to decrease exposure to gluten, a studied fertility inhibitor.
2. Choose organic produce, pasture-fed animal proteins and natural beauty products to reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, hormones and pesticides.
3. Eat one cup of steamed dark leafy green vegetables per day to help keep estrogen levels balanced. They are rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E—all extremely important for healthy cycles and fertility.
4. Have organic, free-range eggs with the yolk for a boost of the following fertility and sex drive enhancing nutrients: vitamins D3, A and K2—all essential for hormone production.
5. Eat avocados for improved IVF cycles, natural conception and improving mood and energy for sex.
6. Reduce soy products; the phytoestrogen in soy can exacerbate estrogen dominant symptoms and conditions like PMS, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis, infertility and low libido.
7. Eat wild salmon. If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, irritability and/or insomnia, these all indicate lower levels of Omega 3 fatty acids which help promote healthy progesterone levels and reduce PMS.
8. Take a B-100 complex. B vitamins are essential for stabilizing hormones, mood and energy. I like Jarrow B-right best (must be taken on a full stomach).
9. Swap coffee for Rooibos chai tea. The combination of cinnamon and other spices has a benefit of increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs and can help you get in the mood faster.
Alisa Vitti, HHC, AADP is the founder and CEO of FLOliving.com, functional nutritionist specializing in women’s reproductive endocrinology. Go to FLOliving.com to learn more about balancing your hormones using our Hormonal Sync System. Special to Manhattan Media readers: email us at info@FLOliving.com to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our FLO expert coaches.
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