Perimenopause, a significant transitional phase leading up to menopause, brings various physical and emotional changes. Hormonal fluctuations during this time can cause irregular menstrual cycles, hot flushes, mood swings and disrupted sleep patterns, impacting a woman’s overall well-being. A perimenopause diet plays an important role in managing these uncomfortable symptoms.
Emotional and Physical Effects of Perimenopause
Women navigating perimenopause often face emotional challenges such as anxiety, irritability, and mood swings because of hormonal fluctuations. Physical symptoms like fatigue, night sweats, and stubborn weight gain can also significantly affect a woman’s quality of life.
Building a Balanced Perimeopause Diet
A well-structured perimenopause diet can alleviate symptoms and promote overall health during this transitional phase. Emphasising nutrient-dense foods is crucial to support the body’s changing needs.
Key Nutrients for Perimenopause and Menopause
- Calcium and Vitamin D: Essential for bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in reducing joint pain and supporting heart health.
- Phytoestrogens: Found in certain plant-based foods, they may help alleviate symptoms related to oestrogen fluctuations.
- B Vitamins: Crucial for energy production and reducing mood swings and fatigue.
Blood Sugar Balance and Low-Carb Diets
Managing Energy and Cravings
Implementing a low-carb diet can aid in stabilising blood sugar levels, leading to increased energy, reduced cravings, and improved mood regulation during perimenopause. This dietary approach may also support weight management.
Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale contain compounds that support healthy hormone metabolism. These vegetables also play a vital role in promoting balanced oestrogen levels, which can help alleviate perimenopause symptoms.
Foods to Include in a Perimenopause Diet
Calcium-Rich Foods: Incorporate organic dairy products (if tolerated), leafy greens like kale and broccoli, almonds, and tofu.
Omega-3 Sources: Consume wild fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Phytoestrogenic Foods: Include organic soy products, lentils, chickpeas, as well as flaxseeds in your meals.
B Vitamins: Opt for whole grains (in moderation), organic poultry, eggs, leafy greens, and legumes.
Low-Carb Options: Incorporate low-carb foods like proteins, leafy greens, above-ground vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats to maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale to your meals to benefit from their hormone-balancing properties.
Qualilty Protein: Add protein to each meal and snack to support hormones and keep blood sugar levels stable.
Stress and Sleep
Adaptogens and Magnesium: Consider supplementing with adaptogens like ashwagandha, or magnesium to manage stress and additionally support better sleep.
Bedtime Routine: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important in improving sleep quality as well as supporting your body’s powerful circadian rhythm.
Reaching Out to Others
Engaging with family, friends, as well as other women experiencing similar changes can offer invaluable emotional support. Online nutrition programmes provide a sense of community and shared experiences, aiding in navigating this phase together.
Consider Professional Support
Consulting with a nutritionist or healthcare professional specialising in women’s health can provide personalised guidance. Tailored professional support ensures a comprehensive approach to managing perimenopause symptoms and will help you create a personalised perimenopause diet.
Article by Jo Rowkins, Nutritional Therapist & Lifestyle Coach at Awakening Health.
What you can do next:
Perimenopause Programme – Join our community.
Recipes for Perimenopause – download a free copy.
Grab another Freebie – Paleo, Keto, Healthy Sweet Treats and more!
Nutritional Therapy – consult privately with Jo Rowkins, Nutritionist.