During the menopause the ovaries stop producing estrogen which can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and loss of libido. Nothing about these symptoms is remotely fun for women suffering.
Estrogen protects the cardiovascular system and helps to increase bone density – thus it’s important to provide your body with extra support following the menopause.
Women going through menopause will find their adrenal (stress) gland will continue to produce some oestrogen therefore it is important to support them as, if menopausal women are overly stressed, the adrenals get worn out and oestrogen production will drop off which will exacerbate the symptoms of menopause.
Struggling to understand what to eat to help your symptoms? Here is a list of foods to help support the body through menopause.
Foods high in phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds which have a mild estrogenic effect in the body and help to reduce menopausal symptoms, they are also a great source of omega 3 which helps to support and protect the cardiovascular system.
Foods rich in estrogen are: soybeans, flaxseeds, nuts, whole grains, alfalfa, apples, pomegranates, cranberries, yams, pulses, collard greens, broccoli.
Read more about the best sources of phytoestrogens HERE.
researches suggested that taking extract of common sage for 8 weeks improves symptoms of menopause, especially hot flashes. Also, research suggests that taking a combination of common sage and alfalfa extract for 3 months reduces hot flashes and night sweats (webMD).
Leafy green vegetables
Kale, collard greens – these are high in magnesium and vitamin C which help to support the adrenal glands so therefore encourage oestrogen production and resilience to stress.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in calcium and magnesium which support good bone health. Almonds are high in zinc which is required for thyroid hormone production. Add nuts and seeds in small portions to your daily diet – sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts – ideal as a snack or added to salads, veggies and soups.
rich in anti-oxidants which protect cardiovascular system and protect against ageing.
high in iodine which supports thyroid hormone production which can be reduced in menopause.
Fish is a great source of protein for some hormone production and omega 3. Look for wild salmon, sardines, wild tuna and avoid farmed fish due to their high content of mercury and other chemicals. Learn more about Omega 3 and the importance of the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 HERE.
Coconut oil is a saturated fat essential for production of estrogen also encourages thermogenesis (fat burning)
Garlic and onion
support the liver to help get rid of waste hormones.
high in selenium to support the thyroid.
Adding the right foods to your diet as you approach menopause as well as during perimenopause can actually reduce or prevent menopause symptoms. The earlier you start changing your eating habits and lifestyle the easier you will cruise through the change.
Laura is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Holistic Menopause Health Specialist and Certified Hormone Health and Wellness practitioner. She is the founder and owner of Feel Good Menopause™️.