Perimenopause is a transitional phase that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life. It typically starts in a woman’s mid-40s and can last up to 10 years. During this phase, hormonal changes can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and fatigue. However, with proper nutrition, it’s possible to manage some of these symptoms and support overall health and well-being.
Nutrition is crucial during perimenopause because it affects hormonal balance, bone health, cardiovascular health, and mental health. We will explore the importance of nutrition in perimenopause and provide tips on how to make healthy choices for your meals.
Perimenopause is characterised by fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone levels, which can cause a range of symptoms. A balanced diet rich in nutrients such as vitamins B6, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids can help support hormonal balance and reduce the severity of perimenopausal symptoms. For example, vitamin B6 helps to regulate hormone levels and may reduce mood swings, while calcium and magnesium support bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
During perimenopause, the body’s production of oestrogen decreases, which can lead to bone loss and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Eating a diet rich in calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K can help support bone health and reduce the risk of fractures. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fortified foods such as tofu and orange juice. Magnesium can be found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables, while vitamin D is primarily obtained through exposure to sunlight and fortified foods. Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables and fermented foods like sauerkraut.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, and perimenopause can increase the risk of heart disease. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help reduce the risk of heart disease by promoting healthy cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation, and supporting blood vessel health. In particular, Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines can help reduce inflammation and help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease.
Perimenopause can also affect mental health, causing mood swings, anxiety, and depression. A healthy diet rich in whole foods and low in processed foods can help support mental health by providing the nutrients needed for brain function and mood regulation. In particular, foods high in tryptophan such as turkey, eggs, and dairy products can help boost serotonin levels, which can improve mood.
In conclusion, nutrition plays a critical role in managing perimenopausal symptoms and supporting overall health and well-being. Eating a balanced diet rich in nutrients such as vitamins B6, C, and E, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids can help support hormonal balance, bone health, cardiovascular health, and mental health. By making healthy dietary choices, women can optimise their health and manage the challenges of perimenopause with greater ease.
We talk a lot about hormones, nutrition, supplements, and how they affect your body, and what you can do to help yourself in my perimenopause workshop. For the next date and more information please go to:
You may also like my blog post on xenoestrogens and why they matter so much in perimenopause particularly.
Xenoestrogens – What are they? How to avoid them and why (especially if you are in perimenopause or menopause)