How to support the perimenopause?
This is a hot topic – often not really understood and dismissed. I see many clients with symptoms such as brain fog, mood swings, low energy, altered gut health, trouble sleeping and managing weight. Despite all these changes that have a real impact on day-to-day life, many women just carry on, forgetting what it was like to be thriving.
Nutrition can help in managing those symptoms and balancing the hormones – obviously, it can’t reverse a completely natural process, but it can help make this transition smoother and keep on thriving!
Here are some nutrition tips to support you through perimenopause and menopause.
Balance your blood sugar
fluctuating hormones and reduced resilience to stress can increase cortisol (stress hormones) levels. Cortisol can increase insulin resistance and blood sugar level, leading to weight gain, fluctuating energy levels and disturbed sleep.
Following a low glycaemic diet, full of whole grains and complex carbohydrates such as grains, full of fibre, and limiting simple sugars can support you in this. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent example of a low glycaemic diet, which is tasty, with plenty of options to suit all the family!
Support your gut microbiome
Studies show that during perimenopause and menopause, the variety and number of “good” bacteria in our gut reduces. This can have an impact on our metabolism but also on digestion and nutrient absorption.
Including fermented foods such as live yoghurt and kefir, sauerkraut, miso, tempeh and kombucha can help increase the number and variety of bacteria in the microbiome, as well as having plenty of fibre to ensure the health of our gut microbiome.
Avoid hormonal disruptors
Cling film, soft plastic bottles, and plastic containers used to reheat food contain Bisphenol A (BPA) and can impact and interfere with oestrogen in your body. Also, parabens and phthalates in beauty products are endocrine disruptors, so it is essential to read labels and avoid those as much as possible.
Support bone health
Keeping active and practising strength training is a great way to preserve bone health. This doesn’t mean suddenly taking up bodybuilding, but practising a form of exercise where some resistance is applied – resistance bands, press ups, squats, machine pilates and active yoga count!
Diet wise it is essential to consider calcium, magnesium, boron, vitamins K and D, which are all vital to preserve bone health.
Take care of your stress levels
Be sure to take time for yourself and relax – no need to run 1000 miles per hour after a bad night's sleep! Meditative practices such as yoga, breathing techniques and meditation can help bring cortisol levels down, as well as spending time with friends and family! Getting exposed to sunlight in the morning and to natural light dimming in the evening can help support your circadian rhythm, and consequently sleep.
Nutrients-wise, having plenty of green leafy vegetables, which are a source of magnesium, can help your nervous system relax, as well as a lovely lemon balm tea before bedtime to support sleep.
Consider targeted supplementation
Working with a registered practitioner is the way to go! A professional can assess your current situation and suggest the best supplement combination to support you where you need the most. It is really easy to get overwhelmed by all advice available in the media and end up taking a huge number of supplements that won’t work together or at all. Let yourself be guided and advised.
Get in touch if you feel you can benefit from extra support from a personalised nutrition and supplement plant to help you thrive!