5 Supplements to Support Women's Hormonal Balance

Woman taking an oral supplement with a glass of water

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You can’t see them, but hormones play a vital role in your overall health. They can affect your weight, mood, digestion, fertility, metabolism, sleep, and more. Everyone has hormones, but hormonal balance is an especially important part of women’s health.

Certain lifestyle factors are associated with the balance of hormones, but hormonal imbalance can occur due to underlying medical issues. They are often caused by issues related to the thyroid, adrenal glands, eating disorders, and more.

“Having your hormones balanced concerns everyone,” says Erin Ellis, NMD, a naturopathic medical doctor in Gilbert, Arizona. “To help keep hormones balanced, it is recommended to get quality sleep, eat a diet rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and find ways to reduce stress in our lives.”  

Fluctuating hormones can cause issues for many women, affecting nearly every aspect of their lives. To support hormonal health, certain dietary supplements and foods may help.

Supplements for Hormonal Balance

Dietary supplements shouldn’t be used to replace treatment nor should they be used in place of the essential vitamins and minerals that come from a balanced diet. But, they can be used to support hormonal balance.

Here are some supplements that can potentially help bring hormonal balance. You should always talk to a healthcare provider before taking any supplements, though, as some may interfere with your current medications or health concerns.

Diindolylmethane (DIM)

Diindolylmethane is a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. According to the National Cancer Institute, it promotes beneficial estrogen metabolism and increased antioxidant activity. Because of this, diindolylmethane may have chemopreventive properties related to breast cancer and other forms of cancer.

Dr. Ellis recommends DIM supplements for hormonal balance. Diindolylmethane supplements are taken orally and are available in powder, tablet, and capsule form.

“[DIM] stimulates a less inflammatory, more protective form of estrogen and helps reduce a more potent, more inflammatory form of estrogen," she says.

Vitex Agnus-Castus (Chasteberry)

Vitex agnus-castus is a plant that can help regulate symptoms associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle. It goes by many names, including chasteberry, chaste tree, vitex, and more.

"[This supplement]" can reduce premenstrual symptoms, such as mood disturbances, headaches, and breast tenderness by helping balance estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin levels,” Dr. Ellis says.

Vitex agnus-castus supplements can be beneficial for female reproductive disorders and is an effective treatment for premenstrual syndrome. However, more research is needed. Chasteberry supplements are taken orally in the form of tinctures or capsules.

Magnesium

An essential nutrient, magnesium is a mineral that is naturally found in many foods. Magnesium-rich foods include acorn squash, almonds, artichokes, avocados, and more.

"[Magnesium] can help balance cortisol, your stress hormone, in addition to balancing insulin, which lowers blood sugar spikes that might be present in disorders, such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)," Dr. Ellis says.

Insulin is a hormone that is commonly associated with diabetes, but insulin resistance can have adverse effects on women’s health. Oral supplementation with magnesium has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Magnesium supplements are widely accessible and available in many forms.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a flowering herb that has antioxidant properties. It’s commonly taken orally in the form of capsule, tablet, or liquid extract to support liver health. Because the liver helps regulate sex, thyroid, and adrenal hormones, it’s an important part of hormone balance.

"Liver support supplements, such as milk thistle, promote healthy liver metabolism and detox as hormones are metabolized in the liver and if the liver is congested, toxins can accumulate and create hormone imbalances," Dr. Ellis says.

Raspberry Leaf

Raspberry leaf is produced by the raspberry plant. It’s commonly consumed in teas but can also be taken in supplement form. It’s known for its antioxidant effects and reducing cramps in menstruating women, according to Dr. Ellis. It can also be taken during pregnancy to help prepare for labor.

In animal studies, raspberry leaf has also been shown to possess therapeutic effects on the perimenopausal period. Many women have unwanted symptoms around menopause related to hormonal imbalances, and raspberry leaf supplements and teas may help.

Foods for Women’s Hormones

Consuming plenty of certain foods and avoiding others also may help support your hormone levels, according to Dr. Ellis. Look for foods that contain healthy fats and help reduce inflammation.

“Foods that support hormone balance include foods rich in healthy fats, protein, and cruciferous vegetables,” she says. “Eating a diet rich in these foods will support healthy hormone balances, reduce inflammation, and support hormone metabolism in addition to ensuring a good gut microbiome to balance hormones.”

Best Foods for Balancing Hormones

Some possible hormone balancing foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butter
  • Fatty fish like salmon
  • Chicken
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Bok choy
  • Brussels sprouts  

Avoiding certain foods may also help. Dr. Ellis recommends avoiding inflammatory foods such as those that are heavily processed and contain high amounts of sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol. These foods contribute to inflammation and don’t necessarily support hormone balances.

In addition to choosing nutrient-rich foods, it’s important that women consume enough food to support hormone production and their energy needs. The 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day for adult women depending on age and activity level.

A Word From Verywell

Everyone, especially women, should get their hormone levels checked regularly by a healthcare professional. Hormone imbalances can cause many health issues and side effects, so it is crucial to ensure your hormones are balanced.

While incorporating certain supplements and foods into your lifestyle does not replace professional care and treatments, they may help alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance. If you suspect your hormone levels may be off, you should consider consulting with a medical professional.

7 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Cancer Institute. Diindolylmethane.

  2. Thomson, C. A., Ho, E., & Strom, M. B. (2016). Chemopreventive properties of 3,3'-diindolylmethane in breast cancer: evidence from experimental and human studies. Nutrition reviews, 74(7), 432–443. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuw010

  3. van Die, M. D., Burger, H. G., Teede, H. J., & Bone, K. M. (2013). Vitex agnus-castus extracts for female reproductive disorders: a systematic review of clinical trials. Planta medica, 79(7), 562–575. doi:10.1055/s-0032-1327831

  4. Rodríguez-Morán, M., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2003). Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes care, 26(4), 1147–1152. doi:10.2337/diacare.26.4.1147

  5. Gruber, C. W., & O'Brien, M. (2011). Uterotonic plants and their bioactive constituents. Planta medica, 77(3), 207–220. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1250317

  6. Fu, Z., Wei, Z., & Miao, M. (2018). Effects of total flavonoids of raspberry on perimenopausal model in mice. Saudi journal of biological sciences, 25(3), 487–492. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2017.08.009

  7. USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025.

By Lacey Muinos
Lacey Muinos is a professional writer who specializes in fitness, nutrition, and health.