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Home/Blog/Women's Hormone Balance: Best Foods, Lifestyle Changes and Supplements

Women's Hormone Balance: Best Foods, Lifestyle Changes and Supplements

By Jill Levy

October 26, 2023

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You can think of hormones as your body’s “chemical messengers,” since they are constantly sending information to and from your brain that help to control a variety of important processes. Whether or not your hormones are “in balance” can affect your overall outlook, energy, metabolism, libido, menstrual cycle and much more.

Hormonal balance seems to have increasing interest today given that our environments and diets are often causes of ongoing stress for our bodies to deal with. A healthy diet (including a perimenopause diet), lifestyle changes like managing stress, and adding supplements to your routine can all help.

What are the best supplements for women's hormone balance? Below we’ll cover the types of vitamins and other supplements that can be supportive of women’s health, plus explain how to support hormonal balance overall.

What Is Hormonal Balance?

It may seem like it’s rare to find a woman today that has zero complaints about all things hormone balance-related.

That’s because a combination of stressful schedules, long to-do lists, less-than-ideal diets and other factors make hormonal balance a popular topic.

Here are some of the main culprits that are believed to directly affect women’s hormonal balance:

  • Perimenopause and menopause

  • Ongoing stress, which can be caused by many factors such as work, being too busy, relationships/family issues, finances, etc.

  • A poor diet, which can negatively impact gut health and lead to low nutrient intake

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Too little or too much exercise

  • Weight fluctuations

  • Exposure to environmental toxins

  • Smoking cigarettes

  • High alcohol consumption

While it might seem overwhelming to revamp your diet, schedule, sleep and exercise routine all at once in order to support overall hormonal balance, one thing you can start doing right away is paying attention to your nutrient intake, starting with a healthy diet and some supplementation.

Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to starting any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including supplementation.

By adding certain supplements to your routine — including essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, probiotics and herbs — you can help support your energy levels, give yourself a boost in mental clarity and concentration, and make strides towards getting more restful sleep. Certain supplements can also support female reproductive health in other ways.

Best Foods for Hormone Balance

Foods play a role in your hormone health. All three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and protein) are important as long as the right sources are tapped.

1. Fats

You want to include healthy fats and performance fats in your diet to support hormone production, such as olive oil, avocados, fatty fish, coconut milk, coconut oil, ghee and grass-fed butter. It’s important to include such fats at meal times to trigger the release of hormones and help you feel satisfied.

2. Protein

Protein is vital for hormone balance because it affects the release of both leptin and ghrelin, the two hormones that influence your appetite and food intake. Foods high in protein that work well include fish, eggs, chicken meat and legumes.

3. Carbohydrates

Carbs also have a role to play, in particular supporting normal blood sugar levels and cortisol levels. Fiber-rich carbohydrates — like whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains and seeds — are good choices because they don’t convert to sugar in the blood very easily. Fiber also helps to regulate levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Meanwhile, you want to limit nutrient-poor food choices, such as high-sugar foods, processed carbohydrates and refined vegetable and seed oils.

For example, avoid oils high in omega-6 fats (safflower oil, sunflower, corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean and peanut), and instead consume rich sources of natural omega-3 fatty acids instead (wild fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and grass-fed animal products).

Best Supplements for Women's Hormone Balance

What are the best vitamins to take for supporting hormonal balance? Some of the best supplements and vitamins for women's hormones include:

1. Functional mushrooms and adaptogens

Within Ancient Nutrition's Women’s Hormones Capsules, you’ll find a combination of organic mushroom and adaptogens to help support overall hormone balance. These include organic reishi mushroom, chaste tree berry, ashwagandha, black cohosh root and schizandra berry.AN’s Women’s Hormones Capules provide targeted support for female reproductive health, healthy energy levels, a healthy response to stress, a positive mindset, mental clarity and restful sleep. This one-of-a-kind formula draws from more than 2,000 years in the TCM (Traditional Chinese Method), bringing a holistic approach to women’s wellness routine by supporting the body and mind as a complete, intertwined system.

Ancient Nutrition fermented herbs are also powered by live fermentation — a proprietary, patent-pending, dual-stage process that is used to break down food into more absorbable components.

2. Multi Collagen Protein

Proteins — including Multi Collagen Protein that includes benefits for the skin, joints and gut — are integral for all bodily cellular functions, including normal cellular maintenance, healthy tissue maintenance and normal hormone and enzyme production. Yes, collagen is one of the best supplements for women.

Likewise, amino acids (of which proteins are made) are the basic building blocks of hormones — the crucial chemical signaling messengers of the body. In turn, though, hormones also impact certain cells in the body.

Here's how: Hormones are secreted by several glands in the body, such as the adrenal glands, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, pancreas and ovaries. After being secreted, hormones are released into the bloodstream to reach targeted cells in various areas of the body. Hormones will typically find their equilibrium and balance because that’s how the body is designed to function. But anything from diet, age, lifestyle, stress and more can directly impact the body, including its hormonal balance. Of course, if anyone is concerned about hormonal balance, he or she should consult his or her healthcare professional.

3. Women’s Multivitamin

By providing essential nutrients such as iron, B12, vitamin D and magnesium, a good-quality multivitamin for women can help support a healthy immune system, support cognitive and neurological health, and support healthy bones and joint health.

4. Women’s Probiotics

These “good guy” microbes support gut health and digestive function. They can also help generally support key hormones that are made inside the gut.

Additionally, probiotics for women offer support for a healthy immune system, promote healthy bowel function and elimination, and may help to maintain a balance of healthy vagina flora.

Related: Best Foods and Supplements for Urinary Tract Health

Lifestyle Changes to Help Naturally Balance Hormone Levels

Now that you know which vitamins can help support female hormone balance, let’s talk about other habits that can steer women’s health in the right direction. How else can a woman balance her hormones naturally?

  • Prioritize getting enough sleep, which is about 7 to 9 hours per day for most women.

  • Get a handle on stress, such as by adding relaxing activities to your day like exercise, meditation, reading, journaling, and time spent outside.

  • Figure out which type of exercise is most beneficial for you given your schedule and energy level; maybe it’s yoga, dance or something like HIIT workouts or jogging.

  • Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. Try to stick to 1–2 cups of coffee daily, and even less than one serving of alcohol per day.

Jill Levy has been with the Dr. Axe and Ancient Nutrition team for seven years. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Fairfield University, followed by a certification as a Holistic Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Jill takes a “non-diet” approach to health and really enjoys teaching others about mindful eating, intuitive eating and the benefits of eating real foods.

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