Understanding Menopause and Perimenopause
In this post, we provide natural tips to support the body during menopause. Menopause occurs 12 months after a woman’s last menstrual period, and while the experience varies for each woman, the biological process is similar. As a woman approaches menopause, her ovaries produce less oestrogen and progesterone, causing changes in bone density, energy usage, and fat cells. Hormonal levels decrease, leading to irregular ovulation and menstrual cycles before periods stop altogether. The years leading up to menopause, known as perimenopause, typically begin between ages 45 and 55, and symptoms vary among women.
Common Menopausal Symptoms
Common menopausal symptoms include hot flushes, night sweats, chills, sleep problems, mood changes, forgetfulness, weight gain, slowed metabolism, thinning hair, dry skin, and loss of breast fullness.
One of the most common symptoms of menopause is hot flushes, which can be triggered by moving into a warm room, stress, anxiety, and spicy foods.
Dietary Support for Hormonal Changes
Diet can support the hormonal changes during menopause, and it is essential to eat healthy fats while reducing saturated fats. Good fats, found in nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish, and eggs, help hydrate the body and improve dry skin. Saturated fats, found in red meat and cheese, should be reduced as they are bad for the heart and make the body more acidic. A good intake of natural fibre from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helps keep blood sugar levels stable and aids efficient detoxification.
The Benefits of Phytoestrogen
Certain phytoestrogens, including legumes such as soya, chickpeas, and lentils, contain isoflavones that can balance hormones and reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Soya, in particular, contains two main isoflavones (genistein and daidzein) that have a significant effect on menopausal symptoms. Miso and tofu are excellent soy products to include in the diet.
The next part of this post includes suggestions for herbal and supplements to manage any menopausal symptoms.