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Wonderful women – natural health

Busy, busy, crazy lives. Pressure, anxiety. Too much to do. Tired out, worn out, need help?….   There might be some natural health solutions to help you along the way. 

In tune with our needs

Health research into the differences between men and women show us that, compared to men, women are much more likely to acknowledge that they have health needs and seek help and advice from a practitioner. In short, we know we’re stressed, tired, feeling under the weather and are more likely to do something about it.

Studies also show that women are more likely engage with their health with self-management and this is also true when it comes to women’s use of natural therapies and remedies

Mind yourself…

We’re made of strong stuff. Mentally robust. Used to managing the pain of menstruation, used to dealing with the pressures of work and family. So it’s hardly surprising to read that women process their mental anxiety and stress differently to men. One in five women wish they could be less fearful or anxious, being five times more likely than men to become fearful.  On a positive note, more women recognise that they can’t fight feeling down compared to men, and are more likely to go and see a counsellor.  A natural health practitioner can help to put in place a holistic health regime with stress in mind. 

Positive steps that you might take includes:

  • Eating regular, healthy meals. Set yourself this goal; three different pieces of fruit per day and three different vegetables. Eat only wholegrain foods (no refined junk foods).
  • A high potency multinutrient, with an additional B complex (possibly with vitamin C), and antioxidant formulation which includes a mineral complex including selenium, magnesium, boron and manganese. Research shows that those who skip meals are more prone to depression due to lower levels of B vitamins in the blood.
  • Properly considered hydration. If you’re dehydrated, your energy will wane. Take a look around your health store at the variety of different drinks; cordials, fruit juices and smoothies. These might be more expensive than conventional brands, but many are organic and more naturally produced, so it’s worth the investment in your health.
  • Consider herbal formulations. Ask a medical herbalist to assess your specific needs. They might recommend calming herbs such as chamomile or passiflora.
  • Aromatherapy products, flower remedies and calming music CDs can all help you to manage mental stress and anxiety.

Hormonally, uniquely you

All throughout your life, women are constantly reminded of the ebbs and flows of their hormonal health. Whether it’s menstruation, fertility and conception, peri-menopause, menopause and post-menopause, we’re always shifting our approach to our ever-changing hormones. However, sex hormones are only part of the picture. We also have thyroxine, insulin to consider as major hormonal influencers on our body health.

Certain nutrients are vital for correct hormonal function, and that’s not just for reproductive hormones, we also have to consider the role that hormones play in blood sugar balance, thyroid function and stress management. All are inter-linked through the body’s feedback systems.

Consider these:

  • Safeguard your minerals. Zinc and magnesium are two very important hormone health minerals, so make sure you supplement your diet with a good multi-mineral (or if a therapist deems it necessary, single supplements).
  • B Complex are pivotal for hormonal health  – not just vitamin B6 (though this can help with PMS), but general hormonal health – including thyroid and hormones involving response to stress.
  • Herbal formulations can be considered for female health conditions. It’s important that you get advice on which to choose. Agnus castus, black cohosh or evening primrose are just three which might be recommended.
  • If you find that your blood sugar is erratic, then you should consider taking chromium, especially if you find that you get sugar craving around the time that you menstruate.
  • Make sure that your thyroid health is optimised, especially if you’re constantly tired and run down, consider taking iodine, L-Tyrosine and selenium. Check with a practitioner about what levels are most suitable for you.

Good hearts

We do. Most of us, most of the time. Have good heart, when it comes to caring for people at least. But there are those whose actual, physical heart needs some well-considered care.

All women in the UK need to consider their heart health, especially as they are three times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.  As well as not smoking, keeping a healthy weight and taking regular exercise, all women should take dietary steps to keep their heart healthy. 

Consider these:

  • Many studies show that increasing fruit and vegetable intake can help to keep your heart healthy,  not just because it helps in management of a healthy weight, but because it raises blood levels of antioxidants – such as vitamins A, C, E and carotenoids. If you don’t like eating lots of fresh foods, then take an antioxidant supplement.
  • Manage your dietary fats. Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, and keep intakes of trans fats in your diet low. Add in good fats, from fish, nuts and seeds, and plants rich in omega 3 oils , such as hemp.
  • Increase your intake of dietary fibre, as this can help control uptake of cholesterol.
  • Consider a supplement of beta-sitosterol, which naturally helps in the management of cholesterol.
  • Garlic is a popular heart-health supplement which has been popular for many, many years. As a word of caution, do make sure that you get high potency, as low cost, low potency formulations aren’t suitable for management heart health. Make sure you pay for a high enough intake.

Fat chance

There’s no easy way to say this. But many of us are getting fatter, and the truth is, the more obese you are, the higher your risk of ill-health, on many levels – not just diabetes, but also some cancers and heart disease too. For this reason, it’s really important to seek out professional management, and some helpful support for you to tackle your weight issues long-term.

Consider these:

  • As much as you’re able, avoid refined foods. Read up about low GI foods, and stick to it.
  • Take a supplement of essential fatty acids. Don’t just cut out without replacing essential nutrients. If you want to stay full of energy and stamina, then you should supplement with a multinutrient and an essential fatty acid supplement.  As well as this, include oily fish, nuts, seeds and flaxseed oil in your diet regularly.
  • Exercise daily. Changing your body composition to a muscular one will mean that your calorific requirement is greater and you burn calories faster. Fill up on fibre, especially soluble fibre which can help you feel fuller for longer. Try psyllium husks. The powder can be taken with meals mixed with water or juice.
  • Supplements shown to help with weight loss include kelp and zinc for thyroid health, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to help burn fat, chromium to help regulate blood and Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) for reducing the conversion of carbohydrate to fat. Various herbals are also useful; Damiana, Hoodia and Garcinia are other popular weight loss herbals, so ask about them in store.
  • Consider a diet plan that suits you. If you’re interested in a keto diet, or the 5:2, switch to our Special Diets section for more information.
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Written by
Healthy Does It Features Writer

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