5 Foods To Kick To The Kerb During The Menopausal Years

5 foods to avoid

When it comes to the menopausal years, regular readers know we’re all about natural solutions here at MenoMe. And one of the most powerful ways of handling menopause symptoms is by removing food that can exacerbate the signs.

Goodbye

Yes, it’s true. Some ladies can get away with the odd splurge but for the comfort of most of us, it’s best to say goodbye. At least in the short term. Personally, I’ve struggled with this one. Particularly with wine, coffee and curry because I know that the minute I have them, my body temperature will surge.

But this isn’t all. The hormonal changes of menopause such as lower estrogen and higher cortisol can also lead to digestive disturbances such as bloating, belching, diarrhoea or constipation. 

One of the most powerful ways of handling the signs of the menopause is by removing food that can exacerbate the signs. Click To Tweet

Here’s the upshot:

1. Coffee

For all of the coffee aficionados out there, studies show that imbibing caffeine may worsen hot flushes and night sweats. Conversely, a 2014 study found that limiting the intake of coffee and cola might help minimise the signs. However, the findings were different for those just beginning their menopause journey (perimenopause) as it suggested caffeine could boost their mood and concentration. That makes it a little confusing doesn’t it? Suffice to say you’ll know if your body’s reacting and swapping to a herbal tisane offers a fix.

2. Alcohol

There are so many jokes and funnies about women in midlife reaching for their wine. However, there comes a time for some of us (that would be me; it may be you too) when it brings on a flush. Menopause aside, alcohol has many effects on the body and not all of them are good. It dilates the blood vessels (hello hot flush), goes straight to the liver which has to work hard to get rid of it, contributes to weight gain (non-nutritious calories) and increases our chance of breast cancer. The wine lover in me finds that sad, but the bonus I’ve found is that reducing my intake has resulted in more energy.

3. Sugar & Refined Carbohydrates

I know, I know. You’re hearing sugar being demonised all over town, but it is for good reason. White sugar and white carbs are incredibly processed and addictive which doesn’t help create happy hormones. For that matter, sugar’s not very friendly when it comes to weight management either. Our hormones are going through massive changes during the menopause years and the impact of these foods on our blood sugar can make us irritable and cause our moods to be all over the place. And our hormones are already doing a pretty good job of that all by themselves. As well as that, spiking blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance and fat storage. Read our sugar series: part 1, part 2 and part 3 for how it works.

4. Spicy foods

I don’t know about you but I love my curry. Indian, Thai, it’s all-good in my book. Unfortunately, my blood vessels don’t think so these days; give them a dose and they’ll trigger a hot flush. Curry powder is a killer and the capsaicin in chillies – which is so good for us in other ways – isn’t so friendly during the menopause transition. 

5. Processed foods

We’re living in an era of clean eating. One of the reasons for this is the knowledge we’ve gained about the effects of processed foods on our bodies. These foods have become ubiquitous since the industrial revolution. Man-handled foods have so much taken out of them and/or added to them such as sugar, sodium and other rubbish. While these make the food last longer or look pretty the human body doesn’t thrive on them. Particularly sensitive menopausal bodies.

That’s why we recommend swapping out heat and eat meals, potato chips, and factory-made victuals for food from Mother Nature. Add in loads more vegetables, lots of greens, a salad a day with a sprinkling of seeds and you’ll literally feel the difference. It’s incredible how balancing this way of eating can be for your hormones, your weight and your skin. Bloat goes, constipation disappears and weight comes off easily. It’s not magic, it’s just balanced, mindful living.

So there you have it. Five foods to minimise to help balance your hormones. Some of them are addictive so it won’t be a walk in the park at first. But if you can manage to incorporate it into your life the way you will feel will be like night and day.

Besides, it’ll repay you in spades in the looks department too. 😊

If you need help please reach out – we’re here for you. 💙

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.