24 Aug Five Foods To Alleviate Perimenopausal Symptoms
“I can’t wait for the menopause!”
Said no woman. Ever.
However, the menopause is a natural and unavoidable part of the ageing process. The ovaries stop producing oestrogen and progesterone and this decline in hormone production is responsible for a plethora of symptoms. I’m sure you’ve all heard of (or even experienced) the most common ones: hot flushes and night sweats, weight gain, joint pain, memory loss, and low mood.
It’s easy to see why the perimenopause and menopause is often commiserated rather than celebrated. But the good news is that women can take charge of their symptoms through their diet.
Here is a list of five foods which can alleviate perimenopausal symptoms:
Oily fish – such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines – contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are hailed for their anti-inflammatory properties. They can help relieve joint pain and – being a natural lubricant – may also help to reduce vaginal dryness. Clinical studies have shown that eating oily fish can also minimize the risk of osteoporosis and improve mood. Plus, oily fish is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, which is vital to perimenopausal and menopausal women.
Eggs offer a rich supply of vitamin D and iron and – contrary to popular belief – they have been proven to lower cholesterol levels, as well as obesity and risk of heart disease. Vitamin D is essential to maintaining healthy bones and requires a good intake of calcium for absorption. As they contain vitamins B5 and B6, eggs help to boost testosterone levels which can increase energy levels and feelings of well being in addition to reducing hot flushes. Eggs are also a good source of protein.
These are a rich source of phyto (or plant) oestrogens, which act in a similar way to our body’s natural oestrogen and are said to help combat the vasomotor symptoms of the perimenopause and menopause: hot flushes and night sweats. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, tofu, celery, and miso are other sources of phyto-oestrogens.
Greek yoghurt is strained and therefore has less sugar than other yoghurt. It is rich source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous, all of which are essential to bone health. Also high in the amino acid glycine, Greek yoghurt helps to ease sleep disturbances, which perimenopausal and menopausal women often suffer from. As we age our blood pressure can increase: the potassium in Greek yogurt helps to lower this, thereby reducing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
One of my favourite superfoods. Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants and flavonoids. These have anti-inflammatory effects known to protect our cells from “oxidation”, which can cause disease. These incredible, and delicious berries can aid heart, bone, and skin health and are also effective in areas of the brain responsible for cognitive function. They come highly recommended for perimenopausal and menopausal women to help boost memory. These little gems contain one of the highest antioxidant levels in commonly consumed fruit and vegetables. It is believed that as they are very closely linked to cranberries, known for preventing urinary tract infections, which can be one of the outcomes of the menopause. They do this by preventing bacteria such as E Coli binding to the bladder wall.