Eat Foods that Help Manage Menopause Symptoms
When trying to balance hormones and reduce menopause symptoms, your diet should include plenty of essential minerals and healthy fats. Filling up on the following foods which are “hormone-balancing,” nutrient-dense and unprocessed can help you eliminate your intake of empty calories and manage weight gain.
Keep in mind that you might need to consume less calories overall in order to maintain your weight as you get older. Due to a decrease in muscle mass and slowing of your metabolism, it’s more important than ever to limit processed foods and focus on eating a clean diet.
Avoid Foods that Make Menopause Worse
Packaged foods: The majority of processed/packaged foods contain added sugar, chemical preservatives, high amounts of sodium, toxins and synthetic additives. Many of these foods are typically high in carbohydrates that can cause worsened hormone imbalances, and may contain GMO ingredients that are toxic to the liver.
Conventional meat: Conventional (farm-raised) neat or poultry may contain added hormones that can cause problems, including increased inflammation. Make sure to choose hormone-free, grass-fed, cage-free or pasture-raised animal proteins whenever possible. Buying organic meat, eggs, dairy and poultry is another layer of protection that ensures that you won’t be consuming antibiotics, GMO-fed meat and added hormones.
Added sugar: High intake of added sugar can cause weight gain, digestive issues, worsened hormone imbalances and candida, increasing hot flashes and other symptoms.
Refined oils and fried foods: Foods cooked in highly-processed vegetable oils (sunflower, corn, safflower, soybean or canola oil, for example) are high in omega-6 fats that can contribute to inflammation and other health problems. Fried foods and transfats are also tied to heart problems, weight gain, diabetes and cognitive impairments.
Carbonated drinks: Carbonated soda or other drinks may be able to deplete the body of calcium and contribute to osteoporosis, bone loss and teeth problems.
Alcohol: Many women find that drinking more than “moderate” amounts of alcohol can aggravate hot flashes and contribute to weight gain.
Take These Supplements for Menopause Relief
Black Cohosh (80 milligrams 1–2x daily): Can help prevent menopausal symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats. Research shows it might also help improve sleep quality, reduce hormonal imbalances tied to diabetes or fibroids, and even help women with fertility prior to menopause.
Natural Progesterone Cream (about ¼ teaspoon or 20 milligrams applied to the skin and forearms 2–3x daily): Progesterone cream is a natural way to reduce menopausal symptoms such as loss of bone density, vaginal dryness and fibroids. It has many benefits even for younger women (those going through perimenopause, for example) including offering protection from infertility, endometriosis and PMS. Using progesterone in topical cream form allows you to control and vary the amount of progesterone applied to your body with each use.
Vitex or Chasteberry (160–240 milligrams daily): Vitex has been clinically proven to relieve hot flashes. It also has many of the same hormone-balancing properties as black cohosh, helping to regulate hormones tied to sleep problems, fibroids, skin changes and irregular periods. Research shows that vitex increases luteinizing hormone, modulates prolactin and aids in the inhibition of the release of follicle-stimulating hormone, which all helps balance out the ratio of progesterone to estrogen, slightly raising the levels of progesterone.