Health is priority number one now. So, in addition to eating as healthy as possible (we’re advocates for plant-based and Mediterranean diets), exercising regularly (even and especially when you have your period) and getting plenty of sleep, now’s the perfect time to up your vitamin intake. Here’s what you need to know about your hormonal health and the best supplements to keep you physically, mentally, and emotionally fit.
Hormones and health
Unhealthy eating habits, stress, and a couch potato lifestyle can wreak havoc on your health and can lead to hormonal imbalances. This can manifest as PMS and mood swings, an irregular menstrual cycle, low libido, skin conditions and acne, fatigue, UTI’s, weight gain, and even osteoporosis. The hormones to keep in check include cortisol, a stress hormone that causes fatigue when over-stimulated; estrogen, the female sex hormone which starts to decline at 35; thyroid hormones, which regulate energy and metabolism; and insulin, which when unbalanced, kicks into fat storage mode.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens your overall immunity — so if ever there was a time to up your dosage, it’s now. It’s important to note that the body doesn’t naturally produce vitamin C, so the only way to obtain it is via your diet or supplements. Beyond increased immunity, vitamin C offers impressive health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, protecting against gout attacks, improving iron absorption, and reducing the risk of heart disease and dementia.
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have numerous benefits, including helping reduce inflammation for better heart health, increased bone density, and disease prevention. Omega-3s also synthesize women’s hormones to help keep you feeling balanced and energized.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the production of estrogen and progesterone to prevent hormonal imbalances, regulate insulin, balance blood sugar, and prevent bone loss. A lack of vitamin D, which is prevalent in winter (and now that we’re all stuck indoors) can also lead to fatigue and depression.
Zinc is a secret weapon in women’s health for a long list of reasons. It works to balance thyroid hormones, regulates the menstrual cycle, reduces period pain, boosts fertility, and is a natural antimicrobial that kills bacteria and opens pores, thus reducing acne (say no more). If you are on birth control or suffer leaky gut syndrome, it’s also well worth checking if you are low in zinc. For a boost of zinc (and many other vitamins and minerals critical to women’s health), be sure to check out Cleo’s mood-stabilizing, health-enhancing SAVE YOUR SANITY PMS supplement.
Vitamin B12 & B6
Vitamins B12 is a miracle worker for boosting energy levels, memory, and nerve function. If you feel fatigued/depleted or are a vegan or vegetarian, you may need to bring back the bounce with B12. Vitamin B6, meanwhile, plays a role in over 100 enzyme reactions and is credited with increasing brain and memory function, reducing nausea and protecting against toxins and air pollution. Both are key ingredients in Cleo’s lemon-lime ENERGY drink mix, which helps fight fatigue and boost your stamina when you’re working out — or just working up enough energy to get through your day.
Vitamins aren’t supplemental — they are a central part of attaining your best health and wellness. And of course, once again, your mom was right: take your vitamins!