Nutrition and Hormonal Balance
Written by Dr Laila Kaikavoosi
What we eat directly affects our hormone health and general wellbeing. Without a nutritionally rich diet we cannot reach our optimal balance and health. This becomes even more important during the following three phases.
⭐ At perimenopause, when hormones are often secreted in imbalanced quantities
⭐ At menopause, when our cells are depleted of most hormones
⭐ When we are on the road to replacing hormones as it is vitally important that those hormones are processed out of our body in a timely way and do not accumulate causing side effects.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and green leafy vegetables help to metabolise estrogen, a hormone which can be excessively secreted during the perimenopause.
Healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil, oily fish, avocado and seeds replenish our good cholesterol or HDL which protects our heart as well as providing us with a good source of vitamin D. They are also the building blocks of hormones and this is one the reasons why women who follow a strict fat free diet can experience irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles.
Foods with anti-inflammatory effects include many of the spices like turmeric and cinnamon and herbs like sage and oregano as well as garlic and ginger.
Antioxidant foods like berries and dark chocolate should replace sugary snacks. These can help detoxify liver which is crucially important in elimination of hormones.
Avoid processed foods and food with added sugar which have very little nutritional value and cause dramatic sugar fluctuations leading to difficulty loosing or maintaining weight.
Reduce alcohol and caffeinated drinks. It is much more difficult to get rid of their effects during perimenopause and menopause and alcohol puts extra pressure on the very important organ which helps maintain hormonal health, the liver.
Make sure you drink plenty of water and include wholegrains and fibre in your diet. This can help avoid constipation which could slow down hormone elimination.
Have you found that you’re more sensitive to certain foods since becoming peri-menopausal/menopausal?
What dietary/lifestyle changes have helped you the most?
Your advise and tips could improve another woman’s quality of life, so please share them with us.