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Jan 13, 2020 Diet & Nutrition Samantha Mainland 391 views

Give yourself the best shot of cruising through menopause. Take control over the food you eat, ensuring you add lots of these goodies to your routine.

  1. Blueberries, or other berries

Berries, particularly blueberries, are rich in antioxidants. A 2018 study has found that the higher the dietary intake of antioxidants, the greater the reduction in hot flushes, sweating, sleep problems, anxiety, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating[1].

  1. Flaxseed

Try eating 5g of flaxseed daily for 3 months. A 2015 study found that 5mg of flaxseed daily for 3 months resulted in a statistically significant improvement in the total menopausal symptom scores[2]. Physical and mental health scores significantly improved, as did the quality of life scores (when compared against a control group – who did not receive any treatment or flaxseed).

  1. Vegetables – all of them

Sorry to be vague, but eat ALL the vegetables. A 2018 study looking at vegans vs omnivores found that those who ate a diet abundant in vegetables reported an easier adaptation to the menopause transition[3]. Interestingly, more vegetables and berries resulted in less vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes and sweats), while more vegetables and leafy greens correlated with less bothersome physical symptoms. Replacing some of your meat with vegetables (especially if you are having a slab of meat with each meal) may be quite beneficial to your transition.

  1. Soy

Soy consumption improved painful intercourse[4], improved sweats and flushes by 78%[5], improved bone mineral density after menopause[6] and helped with a slight decrease in body weight in healthy postmenopausal women[7]. However, soy consumption may benefit only some – the impact of soy for you is strongly dependant on your gut microbiome[8]. The benefits of soy require a certain presence of a gut bacterium, without this bacterium, the benefits are not felt.

 

[1] Abshirini, M., et al. (2018). “Dietary total antioxidant capacity is inversely related to menopausal symptoms: a cross-sectional study among Iranian postmenopausal women.Nutrition 55-56: 161-167.

[2] Cetisli, N. E., et al. (2015). “The effects of flaxseed on menopausal symptoms and quality of life.Holist Nurs Pract 29(3): 151-157.

[3] Beezhold, B., et al. (2018). “Vegans report less bothersome vasomotor and physical menopausal symptoms than omnivores.Maturitas 112: 12-17.

[4] Najaf Najafi, M. and M. Ghazanfarpour (2018). “Effect of phytoestrogens on sexual function in menopausal women: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Climacteric 21(5): 437-445.

[5] Imhof, M., et al. (2018). “Soy germ extract alleviates menopausal hot flushes: placebo-controlled double-blind trial.Eur J Clin Nutr 72(7): 961-970.

[6] Abdi, F., et al. (2016). “Effects of phytoestrogens on bone mineral density during the menopause transition: a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials.Climacteric 19(6): 535-545.

[7] Glisic, M., et al. (2018). “Phytoestrogen supplementation and body composition in postmenopausal women: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.Maturitas 115: 74-83.

[8] Kolatorova, L., et al. (2018). “Phytoestrogens and the intestinal microbiome.Physiol Res 67(Suppl 3): S401-s408

Samantha Mainland

About The Author - Samantha Mainland

Samantha is a highly educated Naturopath having graduated from both Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Naturopathy, and University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Medicine Management with Professional Honours in Complementary Medicine.

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