Question: Why diet if you’re perimenopausal?
The answer: To keep off the fat, of course!
But unbeknownst to most women who answered the question is that a special diet designed for women may be eliminate the symptoms of perimenopause.
A lot of factors affect weight gain. It could be that you are using birth control pills or the wrong type of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), you don’t exercise much, genetics (sure, sure! Blame it on your 250-lb grandma), and stress.
If you are now perimenopausal you should know by now that if that worked for you then that because of your age and hormonal imbalance it may be impossible for it to work on you now.
Be careful because studies show that chronic dieting may lengthen the duration of your perimenopause symptoms.
If you are currently on a low-fat, but high-carbohydrate diet, then this would definitely play a role in any mid-life weight gain.
So why do we need to have a healthy diet aside from reducing weight gain?
You will be able to manage and relieve most of the perimenopause symptoms based on your food intake. Also, the risk of post menopause diseases such as breast and colon cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes and even heart disease will be greatly reduced.
Make sure you include whole grains in your diet. Brown rice, corn, pasta, crackers and other whole grain foods contain antioxidants, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin E, phytochemicals and lignan (a type of phytoestrogen). But please be careful of wheat as some women experience worsened PMS symptoms and endometriosis (commonly found in women with infertility problems.)
Phytoestrogens have the ability to mimic real estrogen – they are also known as ‘weak estrogens’ and they can be found in various fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes and seeds. They reduce episodes of hot flashes, breast cancer risk, and heart disease and are known to be helpful to bone density.
Also widely believed to be helpful are soy/isoflavone supplements which stimulate the growth of normal breast cells. But in the absence of progesterone, they can be a risk for developing breast cancer. Before taking more that 100 to 160 mg of any type of isoflavone (as recommended), consult an expert for further information.
A half cup serving of soy milk, tempeh or tofu gives out about 35 to 50 mg of soy isoflavones. Processed soy foods are poor sources so please stay away from any processed soy products.
Flaxseed lengthens the menstrual cycle. In doing so, it increases the estrogen-progesterone ratio and alleviates hot flashes. It is also rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, phytoestrogens, and stabilizes cholesterol levels.
Cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts contain the phytochemical indole which can stimulate progesterone production.
Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce bone density loss, heart disease and aids in the treatment of depression and short-term memory loss.
Green tea has antioxidants and phytochemicals. 3 to 6 cups of green tea daily can, it is reported, contributed to weight loss.
The best part about having a healthy diet is not just obvious physical weight loss. The focus should be on your total well-being, and everything will just follow naturally. Improve your diet, improve your health and live a longer stress-free life.
If you want to find out more about perimenopause and its treatment please click on the link below.