Eat to beat the menopause (part 2)

Linda Garcia, health and fitness expert
Organic makes a huge difference!

Organic makes a huge difference!

There is no question that eating organic foods can greatly help your hormone balance. The question is – is what you are getting truly organic? Make sure to check the source carefully even to the point of ringing the company to discuss their exact commitment to ‘organic’ production.

If there is a local farmer’s market near you it might be well worth checking out their produce and methods of production. Very often the food will be fresher and have significantly less chemicals than what you might get in shops.

Reducing our intake of fruit and vegetables sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, as well as meat and poultry injected with antibiotics or hormones is critical to your hormone health. These chemicals behave like rogue oestrogens in the body and often are more powerful than our own hormones! There is no question that much of the problems with pre-menopause and menopause are down to the chemicals we are eating and drinking. Now I know there is an added cost to 
buying organic but what price do you put on your health and on your child’s health? If you are on a tight budget then prioritise on getting organic meats and poultry because they present the biggest danger.

Phytonutrients & fibre

Phytonutrients are natural plant chemicals, many of which have great health protecting qualities. Phytoestrogens are a family of phytonutrients that have oestrogenic like activity in the body. They are great hormone balancers. Eat enough of these and they can occupy some oestrogen receptors and so, minimise the damage of excess oestrogens in the body.

To get more phytonutrients focus on getting more fresh fruit and especially vegetables and fermented soya products like miso and tempeh. Vegetables should be eaten raw or lightly steamed and make sure your soya is fermented. Unfermented soya contains phytochemicals called phytates that can hinder the absorption of vital nutrients like zinc and iodine which are vital for energy, health and hormone balance.

Herbs like red clover, liquorice root and fennel also contain phytoestrogens and can help greatly with hormone balance. Herbs however because they are concentrated levels need to be used carefully so consult someone knowledgeable in this area for help.

Fibre is the indigestible part of plants that passes right through your digestive system. There are many different types of fibres with multiple roles much more than the role of easing constipation which most people associate them with. Fibre helps reduce 
cholesterol, provide food for our vital gut bacteria 
and helps trap and remove excess estrogens from 
the body.

The average intake of fibre daily is about 10g. For good health this needs to be 25g or more. The difference to your hormone balance will be great and you will have the added benefit of feeling fuller , eating less and losing weight when you add more fibre. More fibre equals less excess estrogen which equals less fat production which further reduces your excess estrogen levels. What a great deal! Fibre is be found in whole 
unprocessed foods including fruit and vegetables, whole-grains, nuts, seeds, beans peas and lentils. Juicing fruit and vegetables removes most of the fibre so be aware of this.

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