Menopause Nutrition: 3 Key Focus Areas for a Healthier You

Menopause

The Ultimate Guide to Thriving in the Menopause

 

Are you in the peri-to-post menopause years and doing all the things – eating healthy, making the healthy food swaps, exercising, etc – and not seeing the results you are looking for?  Don’t worry I’ve got you.  There are 3 key things we need to focus on when it comes to menopause nutrition which I am going to share with you in this blog/video.

 

 

Menopause Nutrition: What to Eat for Symptom Relief

 

So, you are eating healthy, exercising, sleeping ok and you just aren’t seeing the results you would like.  Perhaps you are gaining weight or have gained weight and finding it impossible to shift – especially around the belly area.  Maybe you are noticing little changes in your cycle or strange new symptoms appearing every other day.  The truth is we need to really dial in our nutrition and focus on 3 areas:

 

Blood Sugar Balance

 

So what does balancing blood sugar even mean?  When we eat carbohydrates in the form of sugary foods, refined carbohydrates and white bread, potatoes, pasta etc they break down as glucose and create a blood glucose spike.

 

This glucose spike results in the pancreas releasing insulin to clear away the glucose. Then we experience low blood sugar which creates a stress response – the body releases cortisol our stress hormone to help bring blood sugar levels back up to a normal range.

 

If we continually eat these types of carbohydrates, the pretty standard Western diet – of say cereal at breakfast, bread at lunch, pasta at dinner and maybe biscuits or cake in between we end up on this blood sugar roller coaster where we are constantly shunting back and forth between the spikes and the lows.

 

In this place, we feel tired and lethargic, moody, anxious, crave sugar, lack motivation, gain weight, and experience sleep issues, and period problems.

 

This is true for all women of all ages, but when we have lower levels of oestrogen, we become so much more sensitive to this whole effect.  Because our previous high levels of oestrogen would help to keep insulin and cortisol in check and now we have lost that protection.

 

So instead, we want to eat in such a way that we avoid the spikes and the lows altogether – that is we eat in a way that our blood glucose levels remain on a nice gentle wave throughout the day instead.  And that is what we mean by eating to balance blood sugar levels.

 

How do we do that?

  • Remove sugary foods, white and refined carbohydrates
  • Eliminate processed foods
  • Eat three balanced meals a day made up of protein, healthy fats, and lots of fibrous vegetables
  • Eat within an hour of waking and if you drink coffee, don’t have it first thing – have it after your breakfast.
  • Don’t go too long between meals
  • Move your body after meals
  • Fasting is ok but only up to 16 hours in menopause

 

Gut Health

 

Research now shows us that women who pass through menopause with very few symptoms have a healthier gut function and that women with poorer gut health, struggle more with menopause symptoms.

 

The good news is that every time you eat, you have the opportunity to populate the gut microbiome.

 

And we do this by eating lots of fresh, colourful, nutrient-dense vegetables and small amounts of fermented foods.

 

When we go shopping we tend to buy the same vegetables week in, and week out.  Start adding in different vegetables – different colours, varieties and vegetables you don’t normally eat.  The gut loves diversity.

 

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimichi, kefir, natural yoghurt etc all help with the replenishment of good bacteria but we also need to feed the good bacteria.  This is the role of pre-biotics and prebiotic foods include: asparagus, onions, shallots, spring onions, garlic, oats, leeks, dandelion, apples and flaxseeds.

 

Phytoestrogens

Phytoestrogens are plant-based oestrogens that help to balance oestrogen levels and if you are eating to balance your blood sugar levels and focusing on gut health, you are probably already eating phytoestrogens.

 

Phytoestrogens include: cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and leafy greens), flax seed, maca, fermented soy, tempeh and edamame beans.

 

We want to be eating phytoestrogens every single day.

 

Understanding these three critical areas is the first step in my Haywire Hormone Fix, where I guide clients through tailored nutritional strategies. If you’re seeking to enhance your mood, energy, and weight management during peri-to-post menopause, let’s connect. Book a call with me today to explore how we can transform your menopausal experience together.