Women’s nutrition and the menopause
There are certain stages in our lives that call for a change in lifestyle and eating habits. When the body changes, there are some adjustments that must be made in order to manage what is happening to the body.
The perimenopause is often the time when a woman will begin to notice her body, moods and hormones changing. We ask Nutritionist Resource member and nutritional therapist, Nicki Williams her top tips for managing these changes and sailing through the menopause.
“If you’re a woman over 35, your hormones are starting to change. These are the perimenopausal years, transitioning you between your reproductive years and the menopause.
It is during this time that many women will suffer symptoms including fatigue, weight gain, mood swings, brain fog, hot flushes and PMS. But it’s not all bad news! Many of these hormone imbalances can be rectified by paying some extra attention to your diet and lifestyle. Nourish your hormones and they will repay you with a body that will look and feel great.”
Nicki’s top five favourite foods
1. Protein powder – Try to have a protein shake for breakfast (or as a morning snack). Not only does it give you a good intake of protein, but will also keep you full. Protein helps to balance blood sugar, reduce cravings and it will help boost your energy levels.
2. Avocados – Rich in healthy fats, avocados help you feel fuller for longer and are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
3. Cruciferous vegetables – Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket, watercress and Brussels sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrients and help to regulate oestrogen levels.
4. Flaxseeds – These nutrient-dense seeds contain lignans that help to detoxify excess oestrogen. Rich in fibre, flaxseeds help you feel full and keeps your energy levels up (an excellent way to help balance hormones and promote weight-loss).
5. Coconut oil – This is a saturated fat containing medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Instead of being digested in the gut, they are quickly converted into energy through the liver. This boosts your metabolism, helps your thyroid and increases the body’s ability to burn fat.
“An easy way to ensure you’re getting these nutrients every day is to make a green protein smoothie in the morning. Add a banana, blend with some ice, coconut water or nut milk and you’re ready for the day!”
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