What Causes Hormonal Imbalances?

Hormones are often associated with puberty and a healthy libido, but the truth is, there are so many different kinds of hormones that are responsible for hundreds of bodily processes. Take care of your hormones, your body will thank you for it.

Here are some key hormones that greatly influence our overall wellbeing, and common symptoms that indicate that they may be off balance:

Cortisol is the hormone our body naturally creates when we’re stressed. Although frequently antagonized, this hormone is crucial for energy and for our body to remain in an active an alert state. The problem with cortisol is too much of it, all the time, is what would be considered an imbalance (like anything). Symptoms of a cortisol imbalance would be feeling restless at night and tired during the day.

An imbalance in estrogen, particularly too much estrogen is called estrogen dominance. As a primary female sex hormone, estrogen helps to regulate and keep a healthy reproductive system. When there’s an imbalance, too much estrogen can cause heavy periods, moodiness, and weight gain that’s difficult to lose. Too little estrogen on the other hand can cause joint pain and dry skin.

Progesterone is a steroid hormone and is responsible for a range of bodily functions such as menstruation and pregnancy. Progesterone also helps to stabilize moods so an imbalance in progesterone can be indicated by anxious moods. Look out as well for frequent periods, an chronic tiredness as this could indicate a progesterone imbalance.

Testosterone, often associated as a male hormone, is actually present and needed in male and female health. Testosterone is needed for a healthy libido, bone health, and muscle development. A testosterone imbalance is associated with fatigue, moodiness and low sex drive.

A healthy functioning thyroid maintains healthy digestion, regulates the body’s metabolism. Iodine is a in integral nutrient for thyroid health and those lacking could experience an underactive thyroid with symptoms such as irregular periods, mood disorders, hair loss, and chronic fatigue.

How can I balance my hormones?

Balancing your hormones is a lifestyle. While it’s difficult to navigate the complex web of hormones, how they interact with each other and affect your over health, a holistic approach always helps to improve symptoms of hormone imbalances. Seeking a doctor or a specialist, especially for extreme cases of hormonal imbalance, is ideal, but as the person living in your body, you too can take proactive steps to improve your hormone health.

1. Plug nutritional gaps:

Hormone imbalances can be linked to malnutrition. The body needs an adequate amount of nutrients in order to carry out thousands of bodily processes every day. Think of nutrients as gas and your hormone secreting organs as a car. Without gas, the car can’t move. Same for your organs, without adequate nutrients, hormone secreting organs such as the thyroid or ovaries, can’t go to make and release adequate levels of hormones.

Where nutritional gaps are concerned, assess your diet. Is it primarily a varied whole foods diet consisting mostly of plant-based foods? Or does your diet consist mostly of fast food and packaged meals? If your diet is the latter, a hormonal imbalance is a clear indication that it’s time for a change. Pair a nutrient-dense whole foods diet with a quality multivitamin to give your body the nutrients it needs to produce adequate levels of hormones.

2. Address Stress

Chronic stress puts a serious dampener on hormone producing organs due to the inflammatory effects of constant high levels of cortisol and also blocks them from being created, particularly our ovaries which is responsible for the secretion of estrogen and progesterone. This is partially why women who are chronically stressed also suffer from irregular or painful periods. Too much cortisol leads to an imbalance of female sex hormones.

With that said, it’s important to take time to relax and help your body lower cortisol levels on a daily basis to help ensure that your body is in the right state to release other necessary hormones. Whatever relaxes you, don’t only do it, but treat it as a priority. Even just 5 minutes of daily meditation, an hours worth of gentle exercise, or carving out 30 minutes for a healthy and nourishing meal can do wonders in keeping the body balanced.

3. Consider adaptogens

Adaptogens are a special group of plants that have the ability to help bring and keep the body in balance. This is done by nourishing the body accordingly to what it needs. For example, if you’re always tired adaptogens can nourish your thyroid to give you more energy whereas if you’re constantly feeing wired, adaptogens nourish your adrenals to help calm you down.

Where hormone balances are concerned, adaptogens like Ashwagandha help nourish all hormone excreting organs, helping to harmonize any imbalances and bring the body back to a healthier state.

4. Take fish oil

The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil does wonders for balancing hormones. Not only do they lower inflammation in the body but consuming omega 3 fatty acids also improves testosterone levels, increases serotonin, and balances out estrogen levels. This is why omega 3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for women experiencing PMS or irregular periods.

Have you ever turned to diet and lifestyle to improve your hormonal imbalances? Try our Ashwagandha, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, and Calm Anti-Anxiety supplements to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimum hormone balance.

Learn More

A Beginners Guide to Popular Modern Diets

Navigating the health world and all it’s different facets can get confusing. There’s a plethora of information where health is concerned for weight loss, disease prevention, detoxing, beautifying, etc., and with these desired health goals come some kind of prescribed diet.

Here, we cover and summarize 4 of the most popular modern lifestyle diets.

Ayurveda Diet

Dating back 5000 years, Ayurveda is a holistic medical philosophy and practice based on the notion that humans are made of 3 main types of energy called doshas. It is this inherent energy that those who practice Ayurveda can base their healthy lifestyle on, that ideally would best keep the body in balance and good health.

By identifying your dominant dosha and your unique combination of energy, the Ayurveda diet can help an individual create their own custom health practices. The basic concept of these doshas are:

Dosha: Vata
Vata energy is cold and dry. Those who have this dosha would benefit with warming foods paired with healthy fats to stabilize their energy. Think warm soups and stews as well as milk and hot porridge, nut butters, baked whole wheat bread and hot beverage as herbal tea and water.

To keep Vata energy balanced, avoid cooling foods such as raw vegetables, icy drinks and unripe fruits as these foods tend to off balance the inherent cold and dry energy of an individual.

Dosha: Pitta

Pitta energy is fiery. This gives those with this energy good appetites and digestion making them efficient and eating and metabolizing most foods fairly easily without issue.

With this said, Pittas can eat cooling or warming foods, with bitter and sweet tastes as the most ideal. Seasonally, Pittas should eat cooling foods in the summer such as salad and ice tea and warming foods in the winter such as porridge. Due to the inherent fiery nature of Pitta, a vegetarian diet is most beneficial as too much read meat can heat and already warm body.

To stay balanced, Pittas would benefit from minimizing animal fats and dairy as well as avoiding alcoholic, caffeinated, oily, spicy and fried food.

Dosha: Kapha
Kaphas are known to be naturally calm. This energy allows for good sleep as well as regular digestion. However, when this energy goes off balance, Kaphas tend to gain weight, develop allergies and become bloated.

A good diet to keep Kaphas in balance is through opting for warming yet light foods. This covers lightly cooked foods, fresh and raw fruits and vegetables as well as spicy food. To stay balanced Kaphas should avoid overly sweet, oily, and salty food.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity, especially in the last few years, not only for its weight management benefits but also overall cardiovascular and blood sugar benefits.

The main idea behind intermittent fasting is to regularly ‘fast’ for a given period of time. Doing so ideally should reduce the total calories consumed within a day due to a shortened eating window as well as to give your body a break by not bogging it down with a constant state of digestion.

Some popular forms of intermittent fasting include:

  • Circadian Rhythm: A 13 hour fast that starts at sunset and lasts till sunrise.
  • 16:8: A 16 hour fast with an 8-hour window to eat.
  • 18:6: An 18 hour fast with a 6-hour window to eat.
  • 20:4: A 20 hour fast with a 4 hour window to eat.
  • Monk Fast: A 36 hour fast

Ketogenic Diet

The overarching concept of the Ketogenic diet is to consume fats in place of sugars (carbohydrates) so that your body goes into an optimized state of fat burning especially when there is no sugar left to burn, resulting in having your body use ketones instead of glycogen for energy. This is known as Ketosis.

This means that the ketogenic diet follows the following macronutrient ratio of: 5-10 % carbohydrates, 20% protein and 60-80% healthy fats.

And while this ratio is open for interpretation, like all diets, the emphasis on high quality, fresh and unprocessed wholefoods take center stage. This means eating quality protein like pasture raised grass-fed beef, free range chicken, fresh vegetables, organic fats like coconut oil, avocados, ghee etc.

Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet follows the premise that humans can reach their optimum health by eating the same way our ‘hunter gatherer’ ancestors did before modern and farming agricultural practices came and made foods like dairy and processed grain available to us.

In summary, the Paleo diet emphasizes fresh and unprocessed foods, like the ones that were only available to our ancestors. It is by eating fresh, whole, unprocessed foods that made the Paleo diet so popular because this eliminates all the questionable refined ingredients that go into packaged foods and are linked to a variety of health issues.

Instead, those on a Paleo diet nourish themselves through grass-fed meat, fish & shellfish, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli & leafy greens, fruits, nuts and seeds as well as minimally processed sweeteners like honey all while eliminating dairy, grains, and legumes on top of packaged food.

Whether you follow a strict diet or not, ensure that you’re plugging the nutritional gaps in your day-to-day lifestyle with our Complete Multivitamin. Made with over 23 essential vitamins and nutrients in 1 convenient capsule, our multi acts as a complete dietary supplement to support your overall health.

Learn More

Common Mineral Deficiencies and What to Do About It

You’ve read about Vitamin Deficiencies and on the other end of the table is mineral deficiencies.

Even just a deficiency in one type of mineral can massively affect your health. Like most vitamins, our bodies cannot make minerals and therefore have to be obtained from external sources. These micronutrients may only be needed in small amounts, but their contribution to our overall health function is significant. Fortunately, mineral deficiencies are quite straightforward and most can be remedied with proper diet and supplementation.

Regardless of having a healthy diet, take note of the following most common mineral deficiencies and what you can do about it if you suspect you’re deficient in any.

1. Calcium

Calcium, the healthy bone essential that’s been instilled in our minds. This mineral is vital for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, maintaining hormonal balance, as well as having a healthy heart and blood vessels.

The most common and initial sign of calcium deficiency is osteoporosis. This is because calcium is needed for proper heart, nerve, and muscle function, calcium is taken from the bones to ensure that our heart, nerves and muscles are functioning properly. Prior to osteoporosis, keep an eye out for earlier signs of a calcium deficiency such as muscle cramping, brittle nails, and a change in hair health.

The common causes for calcium deficiency range from the simple lack of ingestion of the mineral to more complex matters such as excess intake of mineral-leeching substances such as alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks.

Calcium sources:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Dark leafy green vegetables like Kale and Spinach and Collard greens

Best absorbed with:

  • Vitamin D

2. Iron

Iron is a vital mineral for blood health. Iron is need by the body to create hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. A lack of iron in our body leads to a lack in oxygen which is especially important to take note of for our brain health. Lack of iron also negatively impacts healthy heart and immune function as well as hair, skin and nail health.

If you experience fatigue, particularly feeling winded with little physical exertion, you may be lacking iron. Iron deficiency, particularly iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent mineral deficiency. Keep an eye out for fatigue, headaches, dizziness, falling hair, and heart palpitations as these are indicators of iron deficiency anemia.

Iron sources:

  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach
  • Chia seeds
  • Liver
  • Shellfish
  • Red meat

Best absorbed with: Vitamin C

3. Magnesium

Magnesium has a say in over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. This ranges from healthy muscle, nerve and brain function, protein production, energy metabolism, blood pressure, and proper blood sugar management. More modern findings also found that magnesium promote relaxation within the body, both physically and mentally, and is an excellent sleep aid.

Although a magnesium deficiency is harder to detect than other mineral deficiencies, be mindful of your diet and body to assess if you could use more of this vital mineral. Signs of a magnesium deficiency can range from frequent fatigue, chronic inflammation, blood sugar imbalances, frequent headaches, and mood swings. If left untreated, a magnesium deficiency can lead to a loss in bone density, impaired brain, nerve and muscle function as well as impaired digestion.

Common causes for a magnesium deficiency range from an unhealthy diet to over consumption of alcohol and coffee, which causes magnesium to leave the body through urine.
Food sources of magnesium include green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Magnesium sources:

  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
  • Seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower
  • Whole grains and pseudo grains such as brown rice, buckwheat, and quinoa
  • Dark chocolate
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale

Best absorbed: Avoid taking magnesium supplements with Calcium and Zinc as they ‘compete’ in the body for absorption.

There are so many minerals and even vitamins to think about to ensure that you don’t have a nutrient deficiency. Prioritize a healthy and varied wholefoods diet and pair it with a good quality multivitamin to ensure that you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs on a daily basis.

Plug the mineral gaps in your diet with our Multivitamin supplement. Made with over 23 essential vitamins and nutrients, each capsule contains a special blend of antioxidant-rich and immune boosting ingredients for an added benefit in an already well-rounded multi.

Learn More

Common Vitamin Deficiencies and What to do About It

We’re living in an interesting paradox: once upon a time, soil quality was rich with nutrients, air was clean, water was pure, and livestock was a process of feeding and growing animals to make them as healthy as possible. All this was an afterthought with no novelty and as a result, the concept of a vitamin deficiency was rare and so was our concern for it.

Now, our modern lifestyle of ‘fast and instant’ food, mixed with polluted air, questionable water, factory farming, and unsustainable agricultural practices, awareness of our vitamin intake is at an all-time high precisely because the clean living conditions we once took for granted, are a thing of the past.

These types of lifestyle conditions are accumulative and deplete our health, one concerning result of this is the issue of being vitamin deficient because the soil our food grows from and the animals that we eat are no longer as nutrient dense as they were before.

Regardless of having a healthy diet, take note of the following most common vitamin deficiencies and give your diet and food sources an honest assessment.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin commonly found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and most orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, is essential for healthy eyesight, glowing skin, and a healthy reproductive and immune system.

Signs you’re possibly deficient in Vitamin A:

  • Poor eyesight, especially
  • Dry skin and eyes
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Acne
  • Frequent skin infections
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Dry lips

If you suspect you’re deficient in Vitamin A, improve your diet and incorporate more yellow fruits and vegetables such as mangoes, squash, apricots, and carrots to get plant-based Vitamin A, known as beta carotene. To get Vitamin A in its retinol form, consume more dairy products and eggs to give your body a balanced and amount of Vitamin A.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, can be found in red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve and blood cell function, metabolism, and healthy brain function.

Signs you’re possibly deficient in Vitamin B12

  • General tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Random ‘pins and needles’ sensation
  • Frequent headaches

If you’re a vegan, don’t eat meat or animal products frequently, or have a poor diet in general, consider taking a Vitamin B12 supplement to ensure you’re getting the daily amount your body needs.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is actually a prohormone, that our bodies naturally produce when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is responsible for mood regulation, strong bones and teeth, regulates insulin, and promotes healthy immune function.

Signs you’re possibly deficient in Vitamin D:

  • Frequent illness
  • Bone and back pain
  • Poor wound healing
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Low bone density
  • Muscle pain

If you live in a dark country, stay indoors for the majority of the day, or are an overzealous sunscreen user, you may be deficient in Vitamin D. Get more sunlight to keep your Vitamin D at a healthy level, if sunlight isn’t an option, incorporate Vitamin D into your diet through supplements as this vitamin is not available in food sources.

No matter how good your diet may be, multivitamins have shown that they are effective in plugging in the nutritional gaps that you may not be getting from your diet. To keep your body in peak health, give it the nutrients it needs by complementing a healthy diet with a multivitamin to ensure you cover all your bases.

Skip the guessing game of whether or not your food is providing you with all the vitamins you need and keep up with your body’s daily nutritional needs with a quality multivitamin.

Learn More