Women’s hormonal systems are as complex as men’s, although vastly different. They govern reproduction, plus every aspect of health—including metabolizing food, proper immune function, physical and emotional responses to stress and the aging of cells.
MAJOR FEMALE HORMONES
• Estrogen is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands and in several other parts of the female body. It is responsible for physical maturation, including development of breasts, regulation of the menstrual cycle and preparing the uterus to receive a fertilized embryo.
• Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy, maintains pregnancy and balances estrogen during cyclical fluctuations.
• Luteinizing hormonegoverns the ovaries’ production of estrogen and progesterone.
• Follicle-stimulating hormone works in synergy with the luteinizing hormone to control the menstrual cycle and ovarian egg production.
• Testosterone is present in women, although in far lower levels than in men. It serves as a component of healthy sexual desire and in maintenance of healthy bones and muscles.
Ways to Avoid Manmade (not good for you) Estrogens…
• Choose organic milk and dairy products.
• Eat organic meats and wild-caught fish.
• Avoid canned foods and plastic water and soda bottles.
• Do not use lawn or garden chemical pesticides or herbicides.
• Shed outdoor shoes before entering the house.
• Avoid furniture made from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and synthetic carpeting; these materials outgas toxic chemicals.
• Use natural household-cleaning products, including baking soda and vinegar.
• Choose natural personal care products, including shampoos, lotions and cosmetics.
Foods to Reduce Estrogen Dominance (yep, guys, you definitely want to know this!)
• Cruciferous vegetables and green leafy vegetables with indole-3carbinol to decrease xenoestrogens, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, celery and kale; two to three servings per day
• Any citrus fruits, which have d-limonene to promote estrogen detoxification; one serving per day
• Insoluble fiber as an estrogen binder, such as oats, berries, dried beans and apples; two servings per day
• Lignans as estrogen binders, such as flaxseed, sesame seeds and flaxseed oil; two to three tablespoons a day