Every woman will enter a menopausal period in their life, but most aren’t prepared for this. Many women are surprised to learn that menopause can happen as early as your late thirties.
Menopause has many effects on the female body, and most of them are uncomfortable. Many women experience anxiety, joint pain, and brain fogginess on top of the hot flashes and irregular periods.
Diet affects how our bodies function and can either ease or worsen menopause symptoms. We spoke with nutritional therapist Sandra Greenbank, specializing in women’s health and fertility, to further explore this.
The Stigma Behind Menopause
For many women, menopause is a symbol of aging and the loss of vitality. Media representation of menopausal women includes frail, older ladies who experience severe mood swings and hot flashes.
Unfortunately, women have faced many negative portrayals in the past for several issues. Menopause is stigmatized because women want to avoid presenting themselves as weak, hysteric, or incompetent.
Some Of The Effects Of Menopause
The effects of menopause may be challenging to identify, but they can be uncomfortable to experience. Several women can experience anxiety and fatigue and don’t realize that this is from menopause.
Frequent honest and open conversations with other women can make it easier to deal with these effects. It is also best to check up on anything you experience with a professional.
Why Your Diet Is So Important During This Period
A lot of women report feeling fatigued, foggy-brained, and anxious or depressed during menopause. Sandra Greenbank identifies these symptoms as a result of hormonal changes in the body.
She stresses that alcohol, caffeine, and sugar can affect your hormones, thus worsening symptoms. Sandra presents that a healthy diet can help with balancing out your hormones during this time.
“Caffeine and estrogen are detoxified in the same way by the liver, and if you’re overloading your system with caffeine then your estrogen levels will also be affected.”Says Sandra Greenbank
What Foods Are Excellent For Combatting Certain Symptoms
During our conversation, Sandra advised that a well balanced whole food diet is vital during menopause. One can manage symptoms such as fatigue by incorporating protein and good fats into their diets.
“Your brain is 60% fat, so you need enough omega 3 fats to build a healthy brain. Unfortunately, the fats in prepackaged foods such as margarine and canola oil are the wrong type of fat.”Says Sarah Greenbank
Proteins, fats, and whole foods help keep a stable blood sugar level, helping with energy. Brain fogginess is a symptom that is best relieved with Omega 3 rich foods such as fish.
“Omega 3 fats come in different forms and what you need for the brain are DHA and EPA. The fish oils you consume in diet or capsule form will contain ready formed EPA and DHA and are important for brain health.”Says Sandra Greenbank
Should We Start Eating A Certain Way Beforehand?
We did not know that menopause symptoms can occur for up to ten years until speaking with Sandra. This perimenopausal period proves that it is crucial to adopt a healthy diet for most of our lives.
“Perimenopause is the period of time where your body starts to get rid of all your last eggs. When this happens, there is a hormonal shift that some women can have a really tough time with for years.”Says Sandra Greenbank
Hormonal imbalance can be a result of poor dietary choices, which makes menopause more challenging. Greenbank advises that all women try to supplement their bodies with the correct nutrition at all times.
“Make sure your body has the building blocks that it needs for healthy hormones and healthy bodily functions. Eat whole foods, avoid sugar, and try to get enough omega 3 fats and vitamin C.”Says Sarah Greenbank
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.