Nutritional Support for Perimenopause & Menopause
Perimenopause and menopause are transitional phases that can bring about various physical and emotional changes, but did you know that nutrition, strategic supplementation and herbs can play a vital role in helping to manage these changes?
Perimenopause and menopause are both stages in life that are characterized by hormonal changes and the cessation of menstrual cycles. Perimenopause is the transitional phase that occurs before menopause, and can last anywhere from a few months to several years. During perimenopause, hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, begin to fluctuate irregularly. This hormonal fluctuation can lead to various symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and changes in libido.
Menopause is recognized as the point in time when the person has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, marking the end of the reproductive years. Menopausal symptoms may continue for a few years after menopause but generally become less intense over time.
The fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone during these phases contributes to symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and changes in weight. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body by binding to estrogen receptors, ultimately compensating for decreased levels of natural estrogen.
Incorporating more sources of phytoestrogens into your diet can help have a positive impact on hot flashes and night sweats, mood swings, bone health and cardiovascular health. Blended flaxseeds, lentils and chickpeas, wild rice, walnuts, sunflower seeds, berries, and broccoli are some examples of foods high in phytoestrogens.
Ensuring you are getting enough minerals and vitamin D is very important for supporting changes in bone density that often occur during and following menopause. Calcium is probably the most well-known mineral for bone health, but it's also important to ensure you’re getting all the other cofactors (vitamins and minerals that help with calcium absorption) such as vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc to name a few. Vegetables (especially leafy greens, cruciferous veggies and green herbs) and sprouts are some of the best dietary sources of vitamin K, vitamin C and minerals. Nuts are another food that contain a great variety of minerals. It can be challenging to get all these nutrients through diet alone, so consulting a nutritionist or doctor on starting a strategic supplementation regime is a great option to consider.
Increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids through consuming more cold-water fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, seaweeds and/or taking an omega-3 supplement can also help with uncomfortable symptoms related to menopause, as well as support cardiovascular health. Ensuring you are well hydrated is also key for helping with menopause symptoms, as dehydration can increase the severity of hot flashes.
If you’re experiencing overwhelm as you transition through perimenopause and menopause, seeing a
nutritionist can be a game changer. As a certified nutritionist, when I work with clients I help them develop realistic, accessible strategies to achieve their health goals in ways that don’t add more stress to their lives. If you’re interested in learning more about working with me I offer free 20 minute discovery calls where you can share your symptoms/health concerns and your health goals. During these calls I also share my approach so you can get a better idea of whether you’d like to go forward in working together.
Call the Laya front desk at 647-438-9032 to book a free discovery call to discuss your concerns related to perimenopause, menopause, other hormonal conditions, digestion and nutritional support for ADHD.
~ Liv Bochenek
Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner