Hot flashes. Sleep disturbances. Mood swings. The onset of menopause symptoms (known as perimenopause) can leave you feeling out of balance and overwhelmed. As your reproduction system begins to wind down during middle age, your body experiences a drop in estrogen and progesterone, which can take a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing.
Declining hormone levels can lead to bone density loss and osteoporosis and shifting metabolism can often cause weight gain.
If you are starting to experience signs of menopause, contact us for a consultation so we can help you through this time of change.
It’s also important to pay close attention to your diet during this time, so we’ve rounded up some foods to avoid — as well as ones you’ll want to make sure you’re getting on a daily basis.
Foods to Avoid During Menopause.
Quit caffeine. Although menopausal symptoms may leave you feeling fatigued, that cup of coffee may do more harm than good. In fact, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, caffeine intake can worsen vasomotor symptoms during menopause, such as night sweats and hot flashes.
If you need a natural energy boost, opt for a healthy smoothie, increase water intake, get plenty of sleep and be sure to exercise 30-60 minutes at least 4 days a week.
Fight sugary carb cravings. Lowered levels of estrogen and progesterone can increase sugar cravings and send you running for the nearest pasty. However, calorie-loaded carbs and sugars will leave you feeling drained and can cause unwanted weight gain due to slower metabolism during menopause. Try your best to avoid processed, sugary foods.
Ditch the alcohol. Insomnia is a common symptom of menopause, due to decreased levels of estrogen, decreased melatonin production and increased night sweats. Alcohol lowers melatonin production even further, making it hard for your body to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
The good news? Your risk of cardiovascular disease begins to drop soon after quitting tobacco use! And the risk drops significantly after one year of being tobacco-free.
Increase these Foods to Balance Hormones During Menopause
Eat plenty of fresh produce. Eating a variety of fresh fruits and veggies helps to balance your hormones, boost energy, and keep you feeling your best throughout menopause. Be sure to get lots of dark, leafy greens (such as kale, spinach, mustard greens and collard greens) as well as bananas and other magnesium and calcium rich foods to keep bones strong and healthy as your body goes through this mid-life transition. Avocados are a favorite for providing healthy fats and a health boost!
Sprinkle those seeds! Flax, chia, and pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and healthy fats, making them a great addition to fresh salads or smoothies.
Love your legumes. Chickpeas, lentils and other beans are full of protein and also aid in bone health.
Have a helping of healthy fats. Limit your oil intake to healthy, plant-based fats such as avocado and olive oils. Avoid fatty, red meats and opt for leaner meats such as fish or chicken.
Switch out your snacks. When salt and sugar cravings hit, opt for a healthy snack pairing such as apple slices with almond butter, raw veggies with a low-fat dip, or hummus with whole grain toast or crackers.