Navigating menopause and perimenopause can be a transformative journey for many women. During this phase, hormonal fluctuations, particularly a decline in key sex hormones like progesterone, oestrogen, and testosterone, can lead to various symptoms.
It's important to pay attention to your nutrition during this period to support your overall health and well-being. In addition to a healthy diet, certain key nutrients through supplementation can play a vital role in helping manage menopausal symptoms and maintaining good health.
The importance of iodine
One essential nutrient that deserves special mention during perimenopause and menopause is iodine. Iodine is crucial for women's health at all stages, but it becomes particularly important during this phase, as many symptoms of menopause, early menopause and iodine deficiency share similarities.
Analogous symptoms can include depression, anxiety, memory issues, fatigue and hot flushes which are often exacerbated by hormonal imbalances. In parallel, iodine deficiency can manifest with symptoms like mood swings, fatigue, and even changes in body temperature regulation, mirroring some menopausal discomforts. Could you be iodine deficient? Click here to take our 20 second quiz to find out.
Which foods are best?
To address these issues, it's essential to focus on your nutrition. Avoid or limit foods and beverages that can worsen menopausal symptoms, such as alcohol, refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine, saturated fats, spicy foods, and high-sodium foods. Sugar, in particular, can exacerbate problems like sleep disturbances, hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain, and energy levels.
On the flip side, a well-rounded whole-food diet can help alleviate menopausal symptoms. Complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, provide sustained energy, maintain gut health, and help eliminate toxins and waste.
Incorporating healthy fats, such as those from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and oily fish like salmon or mackerel, is crucial. These fats contain omega-3, an essential nutrient for hormone production, inflammation reduction, improved skin, brain function, blood sugar stabilization, and joint health.
Protein, whether from nuts, seeds, dairy, legumes, or high-quality meat and fish, is vital for hormone production and supports muscle, bone, cartilage, skin, and blood health, all of which are particularly important during menopause.
Consuming a variety of coloured vegetables is also beneficial, as different nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in vegetables can help balance estrogen levels and reduce inflammation.
Staying well-hydrated is equally crucial, as even mild dehydration can lead to lethargy, poor concentration, mood changes, and affect your skin and digestion.
Regular meals can help maintain stable blood sugar levels, boost metabolism, and provide sustained energy, helping you adhere to a healthier diet.
Key nutrients for women's health during the menopause include the following -
Vitamin D and Calcium: These nutrients are essential for strong bones and teeth. Protecting bone strength is vital during menopause, as there's an increased risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps regulate calcium levels and can be obtained from dietary sources like oily fish, eggs, and red meat, while calcium is found in dairy products, nuts, cabbage, and kale.
Magnesium: This vital nutrient supports hormone production, helps regulate cortisol (the stress hormone), and eases premenstrual symptoms like bloating and mood swings. Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts, beans, and whole grains.
B Vitamins: B Vitamins are beneficial during menopause, aiding in stress management, energy boost, mood enhancement, and cognitive function protection. A balanced intake of B Vitamins is essential, with Vitamin B12 supporting bone strength, memory, and red blood cell production, and Vitamin B6 helping with serotonin production. These vitamins can be found in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and quality meat, fish, and eggs.
Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C supports immune function, stress reduction, and collagen production, which is crucial for skin, joint, and pelvic floor health. It's also essential for iron absorption and blood vessel health. Foods rich in Vitamin C include yellow and red peppers, kale, broccoli, and berries.
In your journey through menopause, try to ensure that your diet includes these key nutrients to help manage symptoms and support your overall health. Incorporating Doctor Seaweed's award-winning Menopause+ Supplement provides you with essential nutrients such as iodine, B-vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin D to further support you during this transformative phase of life. To learn more about natural menopause relief, click here.