What we put in our mouths can have a strong impact on perimenopausal or menopausal transition symptoms. Creating and maintaining a healthy diet can improve perimenopausal symptoms. In general, increasing the amount of foods that come from plant sources helps to balance out symptoms.
Why are plant-based foods so helpful? They are chock full of fiber. Examples of plant-based foods are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
I recommend increasing the number of plant-based food until you are eating a combination of at least 10 servings every day. Fiber binds to excess cholesterol and excess estrogen in the body.
While all plant-based foods have fiber, it is important to make sure you have plenty of fruits and vegetables, at least 5 serving per day. A serving size for cooked vegetables or fruit is ½ cup. The serving size for raw fruits or vegetables is 1 cup.
Drinking water is essential for staying hydrated. Water is necessary for getting rid of toxins and eliminating excess hormones from the body. Drinking 8-10 glasses a day is a good rule of thumb for water intake.
Foods that contain isoflavones, soy, whole grains and beans may help reduce some menopausal symptoms and lower cholesterol levels. If you are eating more plant foods it becomes easy to reduce foods that are high in fat. These high-fat foods are not healthy for you because they raise the cholesterol levels and increase the heart disease as well.
We women may benefit from supplementation of vital nutrients like calcium and iron. Calcium and iron are found in foods as well as in capsules or tablets. I always prefer foods but sometimes capsules are necessary.
Calcium is one of the important minerals found in our bone matrix along with other minerals as well. During perimenopause and menopause, the chemical changes in the body can cause bone density to decrease. Foods that are high in calcium are clams, sardines, broccoli, legumes and dairy products.
Iron levels may be impacted especially if women are having heavy bleeding. To replenish iron stores eat red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables and nuts. If you are eating processed foods, make sure to read the labels.
Be especially diligent about looking for the amounts of salt and sugar. Foods that are known to have high amounts of salt are smoked meats, canned soups and canned foods. Sugar can be hidden in such items as marinades, salad dressing, spaghetti sauces and products found in jars and cans, peanut butters, and baked goods. It's also found in candy, cereals, protein bars, ketchup.
Eating healthy is important during our transition to menopause and it helps create a healthy weight. I recommend that women maintain a healthy weight because extra fat on the body produces excess estrogen that creates an imbalance in our female hormones. This imbalance makes menopausal symptoms much worse. So dropping the extra weight can normalize or alleviate symptoms all together.
What you eat can have an impact menopausal symptoms. So eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight, and you can diminish menopausal symptoms.
Dr. Daemon Jones
Dr. Dae's website: www.HealthyDaes.org
Download one of Dr. Dae's books: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living or Stress Relieving Recipes: Using Food to Keep you Calm, @ www.HealthyDaes.org
Dr. Dae's Bio:
Dr. Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who treats patients all over the country using Skype and phone visits. She helps her patients cultivate health and feel great, using a combination of safe and effective naturopathic and conventional methods.
"Menopause Diet/Foods: What to Eat & What to Avoid." WebMD - Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2013.
"Menopause and Perimenopause Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatments." WebMD - Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
Reviewed May 8, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith