You may have now picked up on, that in the menopausal year’s there are a variety of symptoms and risks that can come about. Hormones become imbalanced, various symptoms start to arise, insulin is less effective, and lean body mass decreases – which usually equates to fat increasing, along with higher risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease. Below are the things we can do to minimize many symptoms and weight gain.
- Eat foods that don’t turn into sugar fast (protein, fats, fibrous carbohydrates), as again insulin is less effective. Focus on more protein to maintain lean body mass, healthy fats to help with hormones and complex carbohydrates high in fiber along with ample fibrous vegetables. Also, because metabolism slows down, focusing on portion sizes, as about 200 less calories are burned in these menopausal years.
- Include foods rich in calcium along with weight bearing exercises to reduce risk of osteoporosis.
- Don’t eat too late. Late night eating can cause even more weight gain. Last meal should be at least 2 hours before bed time. Also give yourself a 12-hour fasting period. So, if you eat last meal or snack at 7pm, then wait till 7am the next morning, before eating again. That night fast gives the body rest from digestion to focus on other functions.
- Hormones need cholesterol to function, so it is very important to get in healthy fats, but limit saturated fats. Omega 3-6-9 ratio is an important balance. The north American diet has a huge imbalance with the ratio of Omega 6-3, being almost 20-1 because of heavy meats and processed foods with high levels of industrial seed oils (corn, soy, canola, etc.) The ratio should be more like a 3-1 or 1-1 ratio. Both are important as they counterbalance each other. This disproportionate balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, contributes to systemic inflammation, poor fat metabolism, weight gain, and obesity. To counterbalance this, more olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, butter or ghee, and nuts and seeds high in omega-3s, should be substituted in the diet. A great Omega-3 that helps with estrogen metabolism is freshly ground flax seeds.
Take an herbal supplement when needed for a period of time – but discuss with your doctor or naturopathic doctor first, to make sure of no interactions with medications or other supplements you may already be on.
- Ginseng – good for sleep and mood
- St. John’s Wort – helps with mood
- Kava – decreases anxiety but is hard on the liver
- Evening Primrose Oil – relaxes and minimizes hot flashes
- Black Cohosh – good for most estrogen related conditions (hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, vertigo, nervousness….)
- Magnesium – to also further avoid osteoporosis, but also for its relaxing and calming effect as well as it supports adrenal health (cortisol)
If premenopausal there are some other specific things you can do. It is important to stay well nourished and not under eat. As mentioned in this time both progesterone and estrogen can drop, but with progesterone dropping first. To help manage progesterone, try the following:
- Progesterone is a hormone so needs those important fats, same as above.
- Zinc supports ovulation and triggers progesterone production. Food’s high in zinc include oysters, grass-fed beef, pastured egg yolks, pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts.
- Vitamin B6 helps body develop corpus luteum that balances estrogen and progesterone levels. A, B-complex is best to support hormone balance along with hormone detoxification and stress.
- Chaste tree berry, an herbal remedy that has shown to increase progesterone levels.
I hope you enjoyed this menopause series. If looking for more direction or how to make a plan for yourself, then please contact me at DEEM Health.
*If this article or any past articles leaves you with questions, the want to be a better you, the courage to take the first step to a happier you, than please contact me at: