Menopause is defined of the absence of a women’s menses (period) for one full year (1). Perimenopause is the time before the total loss of menses where the menses can become heavier, lighter or irregular. During this time (perimenopause and menopause) woman can experience a myriad of uncomfortable symptoms. This is largely due to the change in hormones, first the drop in progesterone levels in the body and then the drop in estrogen levels. The good news is that some foods can help to ease these uneasy side effects of the change in life!
1. Pomegranate. These fruits have a large quantity of phytoestrogens which may help woman in their menopausal health (2). In fact, pomegranate oil contains more estrogen than any other plant source!!! Therefore, woman with estrogen positive breast cancer should be cautious when taking pomegranate in high amounts.
2. Black beans. As an alternative to soy beans, try consuming more black beans. They contain just as much phytoestrogen and can be very tasty when added to rice dishes or soups and salads. They are also high in fiber and therefore excellent for the digestive system!
3. Celery- Mildly estrogenic, this can be a good snack choice throughout the day. Celery also is a great diuretic and when eaten every day may help to lower blood pressure!
4. Walnuts- High in omega 3 fatty acids these nuts can help improve skin, mood and memory. They are great along as a snack or mixed into trail mixes and salads.
For more info and ideas on how foods can help menopausal symptoms talk to your Naturopathic Doctor!
(1)The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 2006. Merck Research Laboratories, Whitehouse Station, NJ.
(2)Duke, James. The Green Pharmacy to Healing Foods. 2008, Rodale Inc: New York NY.