Written by Cliff Harvey, Nuzest Product Formulator, Registered Clinical Nutritionist, Researcher and Author (ND, Dip.Fit, PhD(c))
Around a decade ago I was approached by a peri-menopausal woman looking for dietary advice. Her goals were to simply feel better, be more vital and of course to lose a little of the ‘menopausal‘ spread.
We figured out some nutritional strategies and after a short time eating a clean diet she felt much better and had lost a lot of weight. She was so happy in fact that she talked to her friends...who talked to their friends and I developed a reputation as the ‘menopause‘ guy in the local area!
When oestrogen levels start to fall, some of the following symptoms tend to appear: irregular periods, hot flushes, trouble sleeping, vaginal and urinary problems, mood changes and depression, changing feelings about sex and osteoporosis.
Unfortunately many of the herbs and supplements (flax oil, flaxseed, black cohosh, soy flavones and others) used for menopause symptoms may only be moderately effective at best. So what can you do?
The good news is that while some of these symptoms are inevitable, they can be drastically reduced through good diet alone.
Here are some quick tips to help beat the menopause blues.
Reduce sugar & wheat
Diets that are high in sugar and wheat may reduce our ability to balance hormones and may encourage oxidative damage to the brain. Sugar and wheat and other flour products also encourage the release of large amounts of the fat-storing hormone insulin - leading to greater amounts of the typical mid-torso weight gain that accompanies menopause.
Eat enough ‘good fats‘
Cholesterol and fats are the building blocks of the brain and steroid hormones (including oestrogen). Ensuring optimal levels of these by eating plenty of good fat from foods such as olive, coconut and macadamia oils, butter, and ghee to help support mental function and hormonal balance.
Eating lots of berries and vegetables helps to allow the body to properly create fuels and structures within the body. Fibre from these foods also helps to preserve blood sugar control, thereby reducing the likelihood of energy crashes and weight gain.
Get your vitamins
Several nutrients help reduce bone loss in menopause especially, including Vitamin D3, calcium and Vitamin K. In a nutrient-dense, natural, whole diet (supplemented with a quick walk outside in the sun every day) these should be supplied in the amounts required for good health. However a multi-nutrient formula (like Nuzest‘s Good Green Vitality) can help support these nutrients, as well as aiding general health by reducing oxidative damage and supporting cardiac and brain health.
Eat a protein food at every meal
A higher protein intake can be protective against weight gain and helps to support a higher metabolic rate. As the ‘building block‘ for all cells, tissue and organs, protein should form the basis for every meal. Good protein sources are: meat, eggs, fish, chicken, nuts, seeds or sprouted legumes. A quality protein powder such as Nuzest‘s Clean Lean Protein can be used as the protein base of a smoothie when you don‘t have time to prepare a whole-food meal.
Eat at least six serves of vegetables per day with additional berries
Vegetables and berries help to ensure that we are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals to perform and feel great. Many of us don‘t eat even the recommended minimum level of 5+ serves per day of vegetables and so this should be a priority for everyone.
Remember, menopause may be inevitable, but feeling terrible isn‘t!
The information provided on Nuzest is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please speak to your qualified healthcare professional in the event that something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.