Perimenopause is known as the precursor to the menopause. Perimenopause can last years before your periods. During this period, there will be the starting of fluctuating of the women’s estrogen and progesterone. Level of the estrogen may go up and down a bit more before making the level out as your body settles into the menopause. You need to have different types of Perimenopause Diet.
Some of the symptoms of Perimenopause are:
- Dryness of vagina
- Irregular periods and change in the flow or frequency
- Change in mood, including depression or irritation
- Hot flashes
- Sweating in night
You will reach menopause after you have gone consecutive months without the menstrual period.
During that period, you will also need to have a Perimenopause diet. It is very necessary to have a balanced diet during that period. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will be good choices.
Perimenopause diet includes:
During perimenopause, your body goes through numerous changes. And your body will need more nutrients because of those changes. So it is very necessary to intake protein during that period. Protein is the best part of the Perimenopause diet.
Protein can help in maintaining muscle mass. It can also help to regulate the appetite and control the sugar levels. Proteins are also necessary to maintain hormone levels.
To get more benefits, consider the intake of protein in three meals and snacks. Instead of eating plain toast, consider adding some peanut butter. Add salmon or chicken at lunch. Lentils, yogurt, and eggs are also great high-protein choices.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help in decreasing the inflammation as well as helps in improving the moods. It is also linked in decreasing the depression which many women face during perimenopause.
It is recommended to add two 4-ounce servings of fish per week. You can also consult with the doctor about fish oil supplements. Adding flaxseed oil can also be helpful.
Another thing to add in your Perimenopause diet is fiber. Fiber helps to keep you feeling full for a long period of time. It will help in curbing the carvings. It is also very helpful for weight-loss efforts.
Fiber is also considered to decrease the risk of diseases of aging i.e. strokes, cancer, and heart diseases. Consider adding at least 22 grams of fiber every day. Fruits and vegetables are considered as great places to find fiber. Beans and whole grains are also good sources.
What you can do now
There are some of the things that you should consider when you enter perimenopause. They are:
- Quit smoking if you have the habit of smoking cigarettes
- Exercise daily
- Add more fiber, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein to your diet
- Limit the intake of sugar, high refined carbs, and saturated fats
- Limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine
The best suggestion for women going through Perimenopause (Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate).
Drink as much as water you can. Why? Hormonal changes that occur during perimenopause can result in increased gas and water retention, both of them can lead to bloating. The best thing to reduce the bloating is by drinking enough water. Minimum drink 3 to 4 liters of water in a day. If you don’t want to drink too much water, there’s another option too. You can go for the foods that are water-based. Foods like berries, cucumber, watermelon, lettuce can be best. You can also drink green tea (a natural diuretic) that can also help in reducing the bloating.
So above here we discussed the foods that you should take during the Perimenopause but what you should avoid? Well here we have mentioned some of the foods you should avoid during Perimenopause.
Added Sugars and Processed Carbs
A higher incidence of hot flashes in menopausal women is directly linked to high blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance. Added sugar and processed foods are known to raise blood sugar very fast. The more processed foods and added sugar you take, the more it will affect the blood sugar. That’s why you should limit the intake of added sugar and processed crabs foods.
Bread, baked goods and crackers are low in added sugar and can be very helpful in reducing the hot flashes during the menopause. Us guidelines recommend keeping the added sugar level less than 10%of the daily calories you take. So if you eat daily 2000 calories, your added sugar should be less than 200 calories.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Studies have found that alcohol and caffeine can increase the hot flashes in women going through menopause. Once the study was done in 196 menopause women, in most cases alcohol and caffeine intake increased the hot flashes but not frequently. On the other side, another study showed that the intake of caffeine reduces hot flashes. Therefore, it will be best to test whether taking caffeine will affect your hot flashes or not.
Another main factor that you should consider is that alcohol and caffeine are the sleep disruptors and many women going through menopause can have trouble sleeping after the intake. So it will always be better to avoid alcohol and caffeine near bedtime.
Avoiding spicy foods is a common suggestion for every woman going through menopause. However, evidence to support that the spicy foods affect menopause is limited but it will always be best to avoid spicy foods during menopause.
Once the study was done in Spain and South America in 896 women going through the menopause. They examined the association between the lifestyle factors and incidences of hot flashes and associated spicy food intake. They found out that the women eating spicy foods during the menopause have an increase in hot flashes that the women who were avoiding spicy foods.
Another study was done in India in 717 perimenopausal women. It associated the hot flashes with spicy food intake and anxiety levels. The researchers concluded that the hot flashes were worse for the women who have an overall poor health condition.
Hot flushes can increase in some women and might not be increased for some. So it will better to judge before including the spicy foods in your diet. If it affects your health, it will be better to avoid it.
High salt intake lowers bone density in postmenopausal women. In the study of over 9000 postmenopausal women, women taking more than 2 grams of sodium per day had 30% more chance to lower the bone mineral density that the women who were taking less than 2 grams sodium.
Moreover, the decline in estrogen increases the risk of high blood pressure after menopause. It will be better to reduce sodium intake. It can help in reducing this risk.
Likewise, there was a random study done in 95 postmenopausal women. In that study it was found that the women who followed the low-sodium diet experienced a better mood than the women who followed the healthy diet with no more salt.