Minerals are essential nutrients that are required for optimal health in both women and men. Mineral requirements vary for women at different stages of their health life.
Mineral imbalances can lead to osteoporosis hot flashes, infertility, anemia, fatigue, PMS, hormonal imbalance, and a variety of other health care concerns. For example, a woman during her reproductive years is more likely to have an imbalance in iron levels due to her menstrual cycle. On the other hand, a woman that has entered menopause may need to avoid iron supplementation as it could lead to oxidation, an inflammatory process that affects women’s health.
Although there are a variety of minerals, and trace minerals that are needed for optimal health, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium and iodine are the 5 essential minerals for women’s health and hormone balance.
Osteoporosis, and calcium imbalance is aggravated by hormonal imbalances, specifically with estrogen in menopausal women. In addition to bone health, calcium is also needed for muscle activation, immune health, nerve signaling, and cellular health.
Some of the top calcium-rich foods are: Cheese, Yogurt, Milk, Sardines, Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens.
Studies demonstrated significant applications involving magnesium and women’s health. For pregnant women, magnesium can help delay preterm birth, and prevent eclampsia, or seizure activity in a pregnant woman that was not epileptic before conception. Preeclampsia symptoms include headaches, increased blood pressure, and vision changes. Magnesium has also been shown to help in PMS, muscular cramping and spasm, and migraine headaches.
Some of the top magnesium-rich foods are: Dark Leafy Greens, Nuts and Seeds, fish, Soybeans, Avocado, Bananas, and Dark Chocolate.
One of the most common causes of anemia in women is iron of deficiency anemia, as a result of blood loss during their menstruation cycle. Common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, headaches, cold hands and feet, rapid and/or irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, and numbness. The most effective way to screen for iron deficiency is with a ferritin blood test.
Some of the top iron-rich foods are: Red meat, Pork, Poultry, Seafood, Beans, Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
Low zinc levels can lead to increased estrogen activity, infertility, PMS, and leads to a decrease in sex drive. Zinc imbalances also increase the effects of aging and make it harder to tolerate stress.
Some of the top zinc rich foods are: Seafood, Beef, Lamb, Wheat Germ, Spinach, Pumpkin and Squash Seeds, Nuts…
Reports prove that selenium has a strong relationship between the regulation of glutathione (antioxidant), estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteotropic hormone, and thyroid hormone activity.
Some of the top selenium rich foods are: Brazil Nuts, Seafood, Fish, Whole-Wheat Bread, Seeds(chia, sesame, flaxseeds).
Iodine strongly influences nutrient metabolism in both men and women. Some researchers estimate that women with hypothyroidism have a 90% chance of generating an autoimmune response to iodine.
Some of the top iodine rich foods are: Dried Seaweed, Cod, Fortified Iodized Salt, shrimps, tuna.
Mineral deficiencies can dramatically affect the hormonal balance of women. Symptoms such as fatigue, PMS, menopause, thyroid imbalance, weight gain, brain fog, decreased sex drive, Poor hair and nail quality, hot flashes, and more can all be the result of mineral deficiencies.
How to Spot Mineral Deficiencies?
If you suspect mineral deficiency, or want to know more about your mineral levels in your body, a tissue analysis provided by my clinic could be done in a non-invasive technique. It is relatively an inexpensive way to access a wealth of information about the minerals in your body.
By, Nicole Eid, Nutritionist & Founder @ Nutriform Clinic.