Eating for Hormonal Health During Perimenopause

good foods furing perimenopause

Find out what foods can help you with your fluctuating hormones and health during perimenopause.

One thing you might notice as you move more and more into Perimenopause, is that what you eat becomes as important as what type of exercise you do.

Our bodies have become more sensitive with the changes and fluctuations of hormone levels. You might notice you are more sensitive to sugar and experienece blood sugar highs and lows. Or, you might feel more stiff and achey the next day after eating a rich meal, or you feel bloated and constipated.

Hormone fluctuation can be more than just our sexual reproductive hormones. During perimenopause, many women are diagnosed with hypothyroidism for the first time. Or, after years of taking care of children and/or working full time, our adrenals become fatigued. Generally, our level of energy and functioning metabolism starts to become compromised.

Here are some of the ‘super’ foods I make sure are in my cupboards and fridge, and have found to be really helpful during my worst hormonally charged moments:

1. Clean protein
By clean, I mean not packed with hormones, preservatives, and ideally predominantly plant based: Tempeh, hemp, quinoa, greens, hormone free chicken and grass fed beef are at the top of my list.

2. Healthy oils
Most of us know by now that the decades of being told that fats and oils are bad for our hearts and health has now been debunked. It’s actually really important to eat plenty of the healthy fats, like olive oil, coconut oil, raw butter and oils high in Omega-3’s (fish oils). I prefer a vegetarian version of Omega-3-6-9 oil.

Avoid oils like canola, safflower, corn or soy. These are high in Omega-6 which our diet is already too predominant in and encourages excess free-radicals in our system, which leads to cancer and various inflammatory conditions.

3. Reduce or Eliminate Dairy products
Except for raw dairy products, too much dairy, particularly cow-milk dairy, clogs your lymph system and many of us can’t properly digest it. Research is also showing that it is not the best source of calcium (unless it has been added in) and does not promote bone health. (here’s an interesting article on these points to think about).

Personally, I used to suffer endless ear infections, colds and stomach and bowel issues until I gave up dairy. It clogs my lymph system.

When hormones are fluctuating it’s really important to reduce stress on the eliminative pathways of your body.

4. Maximize fresh, raw, whole foods
With our busy lives, many of us, including myself, resort to quick and easy when it comes to our meals. We buy it pre-made, pre-packaged, frozen, or at the food bar at your local store or restaurant. The problem with this is that we don’t know what went into the making of that meal, and packaged food invariably has to include certain preservatives.

Restaurants, however well-intentioned and ‘healthy’, use cheaper oils like canola or safflower to cook their food.

One way to get around this is to make one of your meals each day a large salad with protein added. And to avoid the bad oils, keep a full supply of salad dressings made with olive oil on hand. For dinner, try and prep meals in larger batches so you can freeze or refrigerate them for other days.

For dessert eat fresh fruit and add a little yogurt.

5. Eliminate or reduce sugar intake
I know, this is a really hard one. But it is also one of the main disruptors of mood and sanity for many women during the perimenopause roller coaster ride!

Not only does sugar cause inflammation in the body and feeds cancer cells (yikes!), but it disrupts your blood sugar balance which in turn affects your moods. Many of us are already struggling mightily with our moods with all the shifts in hormone and PMS symptoms. Why make it worse!

One of the hardest things about sugar dependency is that when stressed out, our cortisol levels rise, and one of the first things our bodies want when our cortisol rises is sugar!

Read my article on the Sugar Beast to get some tips on curbing sugar dependency.

If you can implement or adhere to at least two of these tips on diet during perimenopause, you will feel a difference.

You’ll notice in my ‘store’ on my website I list foods that have helped me during my hardest times during perimenopause.

Super Foods for Perimenopause Support

Supplements for Perimenopause Support


 

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Dorothy

BrightyBodyFitness.com provides tips and information for staying fit and happy naturally during perimenopause and beyond, using the T-Tapp workout and more.

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