Menopause. That time in a woman’s life when inevitable changes begin to occur: hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, problems sleeping, mood changes, irregular periods, and weight gain. All are symptoms of menopause that women as early as their 20’s are already dreading. The good news is, nutritionists know more than ever about the hormonal shifts and nutritional needs during this phase of womanhood to help stave off or lessen the unwanted symptoms.
Below are some foods to begin integrating to relieve your menopausal symptoms.
Flaxseeds or Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseeds are the best available source of phytoestrogenic compounds known as lignans—with a concentration more than a hundred times greater than other lignan— containing foods, such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of fiber and of omega-3 fats. Since studies have shown significant hormonal changes in women who consume flaxseed, ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are among the best estrogenic foods for natural menopause treatment. In her book, The Wisdom Of Menopause, Dr. Northrup suggests using 1/4 cup ground flaxseed three to seven days a week.
Foods Containing Vitamin E
Vitamin E has been shown to relieve hot flashes. You can increase your Vitamin E intake with dark leafy greens, nuts, tropical fruits (like kiwi and papaya), and red bell peppers.
Foods Rich in Bioflavonoids
Bioflavonoids compete with excess estrogen for receptor sites and are therefore helpful for balancing menopausal hormones. The white, spongy inner peel of citrus fruits is a very rich source, as are cherries, cranberries, blueberries, many whole grains, grape skins, and red clover tea.
It has been suggested that cooling, sweet and soothing foods should be eaten to reduce hot flashes, urinary tract infections, and skin problems. Cooling foods would include cucumbers, grapes, apples, mangoes, melons, squashes, and bitter greens. Other great foods for menopausal symptoms are celery for relieving bloating and stress, bananas to aid in fighting off mood swings or depression, and broccoli for staving off osteoporosis and arthritis while removing toxins.
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– Casey Edmonds, MPH, CHWC, CMS, CPT, CILC