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Menopause Relief

Food and nutrition for menopause

When I started feeling that I was entering the first stages of perimenopause I was only 43.  Over the years I had watched many of my female friends who were older than me suffer through this stage of their lives.  Some were immediately prescribed HRT as soon as they had an inkling of a hot flush, others tried the natural pathway of wild yams and other supplements but to tell you the truth it was very haphazard and someway they were just expected to muddle their way through.

What I learnt from my observing my friends and then with the consequent research and experiences as a wellness expert caring for our clients is that most women do not think about modifying what they eat or how food effects their metabolisms to get relief during perimenopause and menopause.

My experience is that it is vital.

Foods that balance and calm

*Please remember that you should always consult with your physician or other health care professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement.

Recommended foods to include in your diet to relieve symptoms of perimenopause and menopause:

  • Omega 3 – Eat omega-3-rich fresh fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, cod, and trout twice a week. Research shows that EPA and DHA, the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, reduce inflammation, improve mood, and reduce depression. 
  • Walnuts – Walnuts contain omega 3 ALA (b1, b2, b3 and e) that soothe the nervous system and they are a natural source of melatonin. A spoonful of cold-pressed oil in a smoothie just before bed works wonders. 
  • Up your intake of healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes, oats, beetroots, bananas and buckwheat. High-fibre complex carbohydrates will help balance your blood sugar and reduce mood swings, irritability, and depression because they increase the production of serotonin, our feel-good hormones.

Herbs and minerals to support hormones

Simple supplements to support your body:

  • Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, is believed to nourish your adrenal glands and therefore support your thyroid. There is also evidence that it helps to reduce anxiety. Pop some in your daily smoothie.
  • Magnesium is known as a hormone rescuer. According to Gittleman, it helps to relax our bodies on a cellular level, combat fatigue and muscle tension. Taken as a supplement with B6 and zinc, Gittleman notes, will help to alleviate a broad spectrum of perimenopausal symptoms. 

Love your liver

From the moment a woman enters this unfamiliar terrain, our bodies need to rise to the challenge and we need it to be firing on all cylinders if we are to effectively manage these changes. It’s time for a spring clean!

First up then is our liver, the body’s main detoxifier. Our liver effectively rids our bodies of toxic excess, including unwanted hormones. A well-nourished liver provides us with some serious hormone support. As Gittleman says:  “This, in and of itself may be the most important way to help your body navigate the change before the change.”  

Natural teas to support the liver

DANDELION is one of the best supplements for liver cleansing. As a liver detoxifier it helps improve the body’s metabolism of hormones that in turn can help reduce levels of tiredness, clear the mind and ease headaches. 

  • Drink three cups of tea a day or take a supplement.

SCHIZANDRA is an adaptogenic plant that is said to help prevent against heart disease, reduces stress and ease physical exhaustion. It has traditionally been taken to improve focus, memory and concentration. Clinical studies now show that it really helps to improve liver function. It also contains lignans, which are phytoestrogens, weaker plant-based oestrogens that provide gentle oestrogen support when oestrogen is waning. 

  • Take it as a capsule or as a tea three times day. 
*Please remember that you should always consult with your physician or other health care professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement.

Healthy protein intake

Blood sugar issues during perimenopause can make mood swings worse, increase irritability, and stress your adrenal glands. Try to eat protein with every meal to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce the spikes and crashes. More protein intake means you stay full and burn more calories without feeling constantly hungry which means it can help with weight loss too. 

Also, since your muscle mass and bone density take a hit as you enter menopause, getting enough protein in your day, along with resistance training or weight-bearing activities, will help keep you in tip top shape.

High-protein foods include organic eggs, wild-caught fish, lean poultry, grass-fed meats, and legumes (add some Kombu seaweed to make them more digestible). Aim for 21 to 28 grams of protein at each meal, including breakfast.

Natural oestrogen - Flaxseed

Flaxseed, one of the richest sources of oestrogen, and top of the list of foods containing phytoestrogens.  It is recognised to be one of the most supportive supplements that we can take throughout perimenopause and often recommended in the later stages as it give us a good dose of phytoestrogens. Grind flaxseeds to reap the benefits, as we don’t have the digestive enzymes needed to break down the outer shell, or take them as a cold-pressed oil supplement.

 

Join us for our 21 Day Menopause Reset Cleanse in June and learn more about how to care for your body naturally in perimenopause and menopause.

Mandy Keillor – Director

A big thanks to Vicky Collier for research and editing this article. x

 

References
https://www.drugs.com/npp/schisandra.html https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174 https://www.monctonnaturopathic.com/understand-the-link-between-adrenal-health-menopause/
https://draxe.com
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/01/surviving-perimenopause-i-was-overwhelmed-and-full-of-rage-why-was-i-so-badly-prepared
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/20/ignorance-menopause-lives-women-information-symptoms
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-best-foods-to-eat-during-perimenopause
“Before the Change – Taking charge of the perimenopause”, Anne Louise Gittleman
“Period Power”: Maisie Hill
https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/nutrition-information/a-natural-approach-to-menopause

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