Like I said, the key to taming Menopausal symptoms is balance. Stress, poor diet, lack of appropriate exercise, and poor sleep can all play a part in taking you out of balance, so try to take control of what you can. If it is within your power to make better choices (go to bed earlier, ask for help, take a yoga class, go for a walk) then try to do that to the best of your ability. Stress happens, what matters is how you handle it.
In terms of diet, start with a healthy diet, rich with dark green, leafy vegetables, berries and other fruit, as well as other seasonal vegetables, like squash, pumpkin and root vegetables. Small amounts of grass-fed beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs, brown rice, quinoa and legumes will round out the basics. Eat organic and non-GMO when possible. To specifically target menopausal symptoms, which you can read about in my previous post, you will want to eat foods that build Yin and Blood.
Foods that Build Blood:
- Barley, oats, rice
- Apricots, cherries, dates, figs, raspberries, grapes
- Beets, collards, kale, swiss chard, spinach, yellow squash
- Aduki beans, black beans, kidney beans
- Eggs (especially the yolk), beef, liver, octopus, oyster
- Millet, alfalfa sprouts
- Asparagus, sweet potato, string beans
- Cranberries, strawberries, lemons, limes, mulberries
- Aduki beans, black beans, black soybeans (ideally fermented), black sesame seeds, walnuts
- Clam, duck, oyster, pork, eggs (especially the yolk)
- Rosehip, algae, seaweed, marjoram, nettle, salt (high quality sea salt)
Other useful foods and supplements are:
- Organic, non-GMO fermented soy products-- miso, natto, tempeh
- Flaxseeds, licorice, black cohosh: they have phytoestrogens or plant estrogens which may be helpful in balancing the drop in estrogen that happens at menopause.
- Pycnogenol-- can help with hot flashes and night sweats
- Omega 3 foods-- Flax, chia, hemp, salmon, anchovy, walnut
- Vitamin D3 (especially for depression, mood swings, irritability, and especially in colder Northern climates in Winter). Adults can take 2000-4000 IU daily when sun exposure is minimal.
- Alcohol--it produces dampness and heat in the body (you don't need any additional heat).
- Stimulants like coffee or black tea; green or herbal tea is okay.
- Spicy foods like cayenne, dried ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, mustard, horseradish, chili. These increase internal heat and make you sweat (you don't need any help in that department).
- Artificial sweeteners and sugar. These increase inflammation in the body, which can produce more heat as well. They are also just not good for you.