Eating for the pause

Written by Holly Mofitt | 23 November, 2022

Woman eating at the table

As women approach the transitional period of menopause multiple changes can happen. These can feel varied and unpredictable as no two journeys are the same. However, there are many self-care practices and holistic therapies that can support this initiation and reduce discomfort.

A simple strategy is through dietary intervention. Simple dietary shifts can make huge changes to symptom experience, plus they are easy to implement.

One massive influence during menopause is the impact of cortisol and stress on the body. Two things happen here – mood fluctuations can increase stress, and hormonal maintenance can add pressure to the adrenal glands that are responsible for managing cortisol.

A simple way to settle the body’s stress response via diet is to ensure regular mealtimes. For most women, this looks like a well-rounded breakfast, lunch and dinner with two modest snacks. Ensuring caloric needs at main mealtimes builds trust and stability to the metabolism and stress response.

Making sure you have a balanced and diverse nutritional intake is important here too. As for most times in our life, having a varied diet high in micronutrients found in fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates with a treat here or there is best. Aim for foods that are nutrient-dense help to provide an easy balance.

Specific compounds and nutrients that are particularly helpful during this time are:

  • Phytoestrogens: These assist in oestrogen harmonisation. These include alfalfa sprouts, chickpeas, flaxseeds, hazelnut, peas, raisins and whole soy products.
  • Magnesium: This assists with stress and can be found in almonds, cashews, chocolate, eggs, figs, green leafy vegetables, molasses, soy products and wholegrains.

Any times of stress within a person’s life can highlight food intolerances. These may be foods that are well tolerated on holidays or times of peace but can switch when times are tough. This is due to overall vitality and load on the system. To assist digestion during this time, it can help to remove any foods that are feeling difficult and try them again at a later date.

Menopause can also represent a shift in metabolic needs. Often the metabolism slows with age and with the extra hormonal load at this time this can compound. Having a personal assessment to determine energy requirements and some counsel to meet these can be very helpful.

And remember, general nutritional articles are for educational purposes only. It is best to check in with your health care provider and see which elements would be most relevant. Dietary advice can also be discussed at Endeavour Wellness clinics with final year Nutritional and Naturopathic students.

As with any time of change it can feel assuring to take back some element of control. Food is an area which offers us great flexibility and personal tailoring and can help immensely during this initiation.

References

Osiecki, H. (9th Edition). The Nutrient Bible-9TH Edition. AG Publishing.

Trickey, R. (2003). Women, Hormones & The Menstrual Cycle. Allen & Unwin.

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Holly Mofitt

The healing power of nature is nothing short of miraculous.

When Holly started her degree back in 2004 her life was forever altered as she saw first-hand the scientific evidence of traditional healing paths that had served her so well.

Graduating and starting on a path of clinical practice has gifted Holly the experience of working with hundreds of souls yearning to take charge of their health and wellbeing once and for all.

She has also been fortunate enough to be published in books and media publications. One particular career highlight was being invited to speak on national tours and feature in a health documentary.

Whilst currently working in her private practice, Holly is also educating at Endeavour College supervising in the student clinic in Brisbane.


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