Happy International Women’s Day! Today I send gratitude out to all my female patients and the amazing women physicians that have come before my generation of doctors who paved the way for us to be able to share in medicine and healing. In celebration of this day, I wanted to share with you my four favourite ways to support women’s health:
1) A Good Quality B-Complex:
B-Vitamins are important nutrients in supporting your mood, memory and energy (which I am sure the majority of us could always benefit from!) We can find B-Vitamins in many food sources including:
- dark leafy greens,
- egg yolks,
- wheat germ.
However, when we are under stress we burn through those B-vitamins quickly. Oral contraceptive medications are also linked to a lack of Vitamin B6 in the blood (due to the OCPs inhibiting the production of the B-Vitamin carrier proteins), so it’s a great thing to take if you are taking them.
Doctor’s Tip: Look for a B-supplement that lists Vitamin B9 as L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate (sometimes shortened to L-5-MTHF) and Vitamin B12 as Methylcobalamin. These are bioavailable forms of these vitamins which will help you get the most out of your supplement
2) Seed Cycling:
Eating certain seeds at certain parts of your menstrual cycle can be very beneficial in helping balance hormone production and use in your body. The hulls of the seeds contain compounds called lignans, which help modulate the hormonal pathways of the body. The oil contained within the seeds also provide the building blocks for your hormone. As each seed type contains variations of these lignans and fatty acids, rotation of these seeds through the month provides the body with the variety of precursors it needs to create normal hormonal cycles.
Doctors Tip: Try ground flax seeds and/or pumpkin seeds for the first half of your cycle and ground sesame seeds or sunflower seeds for the second half.
3) Take a Deep Breath:
Smell is a powerful sense. It stimulates the olfactory system and the brain, in particular, sending messages to your limbic system, which is linked to your emotions. The limbic system can have an effect on heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, memory, stress perception, and hormone balance. Essential oils are a wonderful tool to support your wellness and can be diffused into a room or applied topically but mixing into a carrier oil. My favourite essential oils to use are:
- Clary Sage – uplifting, mood balancing, great around the first day days of a menstrual cycle.
- Lavender – calms nerves, soothes the mind, very helpful for a good night sleep
- Wild Orange – yummy citrus smells elevate mood and help to wake you up.
4) Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First
You know how, during the safety talk on an airplane, they tell us if the oxygen mask drops from the ceiling, first put on your own mask and then on your child’s. I was shocked when I first heard this…why wouldn’t I put a child’s life first? But if I don’t have oxygen, how would I be able to help the child? As women, we tend to be the “givers” in our families and communities, which makes it important to refuel your gas tank! Take time each day to yourself. It might be through a yoga class, time with a friend over a cup of coffee, or perhaps just a good book to curl up with! Its vital to nourish yourself so that you have the energy to continue to support those around you.
Dr. Robyn Land supports excels at supporting you on your journey to optimal health and addressing women’s health concern. Book an initial visit with her to take the first step!