A time of great upheaval for many women, the symptoms of menopause can be helped by choosing the rights foods and making the right lifestyle choices.
Diet plays a large role in the management of menopause. Phytoestrogens are naturally-occurring plant compounds that are structurally or functionally similar to oestrogen and believed to help balance the oestrogen levels in the body. They can be found in many whole grains, seeds, cruciferous vegetables, legumes and certain fruits.
Try adding the following 6 foods to your diet to reduce the effects of menopause.
Tofu: this fermented soy product provides the highest amounts of the phytoestrogen isoflavone. Try replacing two or three meat meals a week with this high-protein vegetarian option to improve oestrogen levels. Be sure to choose GMO-free soy.
Fennel: the aromatic herb fennel contains good levels of phytoestrogens while also acting as a digestive carminative. Fennel may balance oestrogen levels while relieving IBS symptoms brought on by anxiety, another symptom of menopause. try tea made from fresh fennel.
Celery: this crunchy vegetable contains high amounts of flavones. Try this healthy snack in the afternoon with a scoop of nut butter to give you an extra boost of vitamin E, keeping your capillaries in good condition too.
Parsley: nature’s breath freshener, this herb is a must for every kitchen containing high amounts of oestrogen-boosting flavones while also being a great source of vitamin C, which may help keep your adrenal glands strong and anxiety at bay.
Seeds: flaxseeds and sesame seeds are among the richest source of lignans, providing a modulating effect on low oestrogen levels. Sesame seeds are also rich in calcium, making them a perfect addition to a diet during menopause. Try tahini on rye bread for breakfast.
Cabbage: the cabbage family group of vegetables, including broccoli (in particular the stalks), cauliflower, and cabbage are a great source of phytoestrogens. They are best cooked to avoid lowering thyroid function. Blended in a soup is a good option.
SMART TIP: Add sage to meals such as broccoli soup for extra flavour and to help reduce the sweats associated with menopause.