When it comes to the best diet for menopause, most of us tend to turn to turmeric, and rightly so because the curcumin (found in turmeric) and vitamin E can help reduce hot flashes which is one of the symptoms of menopause. But this doesn’t mean you have to be dousing everything in turmeric. Anti-inflammatory diets such as foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, and carotenoids can work wonders for our bodies.
This is because as we age especially before, during, and after menopause, our oestrogen and progesterone hormone levels tend to significantly drop and we are left with fewer of these hormones to work with which were actually doing a lot of things keep our bodies healthy and less prone to inflammation.
Going through perimenopause puts your body under stress, stress causes inflammation, and chronic inflammation is linked to diseases including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. The best way to combat this is simply to eat a Mediterranean-style diet, eating plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruit, olive oil, grains, nuts, herbs, spices, and seeds. In addition, seafood, fish, dairy, and meat will also be helpful. Remember, it’s a way of eating, not a written-in-stone diet, and can be adjusted according to taste, budget, and preferences.
What foods should I avoid during menopause?
If you have been told to avoid carbohydrates or fats as a part of a diet such as a keto or paleo, then forget about it. Carbohydrates aren’t inherently bad, and they aren’t the devil when it comes to diet as some influencers may have told you so. In fact, a lack of complex carbohydrates can often lead to more sugar cravings, headaches, constipation, fatigue, bloating, and a higher cholesterol level.
Some influencers will claim the opposite and say that eating fat or carbs will make you more bloated and inflamed when they couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Carbohydrates contain just about 4 calories per gram and every muscle and organ in our body uses energy from the food we eat, especially our brain. The brain uses up about 20% of the total energy or about 400 calories of glucose per day so it’s really no wonder why it’s one of the most affected when we deprive ourselves of such an important source of energy and nutrients. Furthermore, this may also explain why we tend to feel more sluggish and fatigued when we are depriving ourselves of carbohydrates.
Aside from carbohydrates and fat, another food that is often villainized is dairy or gluten. Unless you have celiac disease or are lactose intolerant, then you have no reason to avoid it completely. Dairy is an important source of calcium, protein, and even iodine which help a lot in our thyroid health. Hence, it’s important to make this a part of our diet too.
What helps brain fog during menopause?
When it comes to perimenopausal and menopausal symptom, brain fogs come up often as it’s one of the key symptoms. Now one of the primary ways to combat it is simply by getting enough fluids. Remember that our body is essentially mostly made up of water and other liquids so don’t skip out on getting enough water to drink!
Foods rich in protein such as meat, fish, eggs, and beans also play a role in releasing the so-called “Happy hormones” in our body such as serotonin and dopamine. This is aside from the fact that most of these kinds of food also most likely contain L-arginine and carnitine which help increase libido.
Another way to improve our brain performance is to be more physically active. This is because by exercising, we get the blood flowing through our entire body more and get our brain more of the oxygen that it needs. In addition, some foods like berries, spices, and herbs contain chemical compounds that slow down brain aging and improve its performance.
How can I keep my blood sugar stable during menopause?
What we need to understand about our blood sugar levels is that it is highly regulated by our endocrine system. It works via what is called a “Negative feedback loop” which is our body’s way of preventing blood sugar levels from deviating too far away from their normal range.
Our body likes to stay within its normal ranges whether that’s our temperature, hormone levels, and even our blood sugar levels. Now since our blood sugar levels are regulated by the hormones released in the same system as our oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, we cannot let our endocrine system focus on only one of the two or many.
So, to lighten its load on balancing our blood sugar levels, we must take it upon ourselves to consume healthy foods. This food can include whole grain snacks, yogurts, brown rice, beans, vegetables, and fresh fruit which gives us energy but does not spike our blood sugar levels that much.
If you’re lethargic and lacking in energy, work on your protein intake with eat meals throughout the day. Start the day with a protein-based breakfast – think eggs, scrambled tofu, or Greek yogurt,’. ‘This gives you a sustained energy release and keeps you off the blood sugar rollercoaster.’
In line with eating well, we must also remember to not starve ourselves because this leads to sudden and often massive drops in our blood sugar levels which will often be followed by a huge spike once we consume food. That is the last thing that we want if we aim to have stable blood sugar levels.
‘If you want to eat a sweet treat, tagging it on to the end of a meal, as opposed to eating it as a snack, will reduce the spike,’.
What helps menopause symptoms naturally?
With the vast array of symptoms that are associated with perimenopause and menopause, most of it can be boiled down to our oestrogen levels along with our other hormones. So, to help this, there are plant-based alternatives we can get to solve our oestrogen deficiency. These is called phytoestrogens and they can be found in foods such as flax seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, peaches, dried fruits, wheat bran, and soybeans.
You might also want to reduce your caffeine intake too to improve sleep quality. Then another symptom you can alleviate is aches in joints through a Mediterranean-style diet which can help reduce inflammation in the joints to increase your mobility even later in life. These are some of the things you can do to help alleviate the many different symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
If you’re sick and tired of struggling with midlife, you want a serious solution that works, and you’re prepared to work hard on yourself and make this your priority, then I can help you.
Much love, Louise x