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Perimenopause and Diet

We’re going to be talking about diet and how it can help with negative symptoms you might be experiencing in perimenopause. Most women spend 4-8 years here on average , sometimes  more, up to 12  years. Perimenopause can start as early as 35 but the average age is 45 so let’s acknowledge  the changes you’re going through and address the simple things that you can do to ease those crazy symptoms.

As our hormones and metabolism change we experience symptoms we may never have had before. Focus on a healthy balance of  foods to help with issues like mild depression, mood swings and anxiety, hot flashes and night sweats, and lastly, digestion issues like constipation, bloating and weight gain.

Honestly, The first and easiest thing you can do is  shift your diet. I don’t recommend a specific diet but following the mediterranean diet approach seems to be ideal for most perimenopause symptoms. Be sure to consume Healthy fats like those found in olives, nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil. These are necessary for healthy skin, hair and nails.

Eat plenty of Green leafy vegetables, like kale, collard greens and spinach and include cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli for digestion. You’ve probably heard of the rainbow, it’s so true, each vegetable has its own magical properties. I know it’s easy to get in a rut eating the same thing each day or week. Switch up your vegetables throughout the week to get the benefit of all the vitamins and minerals they have to offer. Fruits, I know fruit is getting a bad rap because of sugar, that’s crazy! Berries have so many antioxidants, raspberries are full of fiber and, and citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C. Bananas are a great source of potassium, so don’t eliminate fruit because you heard it makes you gain weight, your body needs all the nutrients it can get. I can’t stress enough the importance of protein at each meal in perimenopause. Lean protein from fish, poultry,  eggs and beef. Incorporate Calcium rich foods like milk and cheeses, for your bone health and yogurt is great with the natural probiotics.

It’s important to note that at this time in perimenopause it’s not uncommon to develop food intolerances to certain foods that you’ve always eaten or even foods that are quote unquote, good for you. You may notice that every time you have let’s take peppers for example that you get gassy or bloated. If you feel like you’re having these issues, take note of how you feel 15 minutes after having a meal. Keep a food journal, this is easily done in the notes section on your phone, and this will help you pinpoint which foods are problematic for you. It can be tricky sometimes to figure this out, there are food sensitivity tests that you can take at home. Try eliminating any foods that you are having a reaction to as this is causing inflammation and can exaggerate negative symptoms or worsen over time. 

If you are experiencing  symptoms like anxiety or depression or are having sleep issues you might also limit alcohol and caffeine for a period of time. Not all at once, just notice how your body is reacting to these and really take note of how these might be  affecting your mood, your sleep and overall demeanor.

Your body and metabolism is going through a huge shift right now, give it the support it needs. You’ll be able to reintroduce these things as time goes on and your body settles into a new rhythm. Be open to the fact that you might have to alter your lifestyle for a while. 

Now is the time to eliminate as many of  ultra processed foods as possible to avoid allergies, headaches, bloating and weight gain. Things like soft drinks, Chips, Candy, Store-bought ice cream., Boxed cake mix, Instant noodles, you get the idea. 

There are some great benefits for using fresh herbs like parsley for bone health, mint to prevent indigestion, and oregano or turmeric for inflammation, ginger for digestive issues and ginseng for energy levels and mood.

Include foods rich in zinc and magnesium, like oysters, shellfish, broccoli, pecans and cashews for help with sleep issues and fatigue. There are Supplements you can include black cohosh for hot flashes and night sweats, maca for stamina, strength and libido. There are so many foods, supplements and adaptogenics available to us these days. I will do an episode solely on this topic in the very near future, in the meantime, do a little research on your own symptoms and find what works best for you

A lot of the symptoms of perimenopause can be controlled through diet but really it’s your lifestyle that’s going to have the biggest impact on the symptoms that you have. Not everyone experiences symptoms, they just breeze  through perimenopause and this is what I want for you. By focusing on your diet to get the nutrients you need you can improve symptoms over time. Decrease inflammation and digestions issues, get the sleep your body requires and feel your absolute best! 

Next time I will be talking about how to incorporate an exercise program to benefit you, your hormones and your body

Thrive in midlife  working with your body instead of against it. Please send this out to all the women you know that may benefit from this information or might need to hear this right now. If you would like to work with me one on one I’m accepting new clients currently. Use the contact button connect with me, I look forward to talking to you.

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