Let's start with what may happen in our 40's
As I'm sure we are aware, "the change before the change" also known as the perimenopause tends to kick in from our early forties. Again, as we know this is a transitory process that begins when symptoms (typically changes in period regularity) start to appear, and then menopause is actually reached when our menstrual cycle has been absent for 12 months.
During this process our oestrogen levels decline, which are thought to be the main driver of symptoms that we may experience, these may include hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and mood swings just to name a few. Wow! aren't we lucky?!
Can we reduce any of these symptoms with food?
Studies indicate together with various articles you may have read, that potential triggers such as caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods have been associated with vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) - aforementioned hot flushes and night sweats.
Which I must admit to experiencing more so together with insomnia if I have had a tipple or two!
So, if you are struggling, it's well worth reducing your intake, plus by doing this it will give you other health benefits including weight management, as described in some of my previous blogs. You could also try removing each of these from your diet one by one to see if this brings you relief.
In addition to the above, the good news is that various plant based foods such as legumes, linseed, soya products such as tofu & tempeh may help.
If however, we follow a well balanced diet, which has plenty of fruit, vegetables, legumes, wholegrains and fish this too supports menopausal health as well as our health whatever our age!
Eating a well balanced diet will aid bone density & muscle mass, which we know drops during the menopause, whilst also helps to protect against heart disease, which also can be a greater risk at this time. So, ensuring you include calcium rich foods in your daily diet is also key.