MENOPAUSE : Foods that mess up your mood!

Managing Menopause by Sheila O’Hanlon

I wanted to share this story in the hopes of easing women’s menopausal symptoms.

I had female client in her mid 40’s that had being having terrible hot flushes, profusely sweating (mostly at night), no sexual desire, headaches, anger explosions for no apparent reason, craving salty foods and overall unwell feeling.

The treatment showed up an imbalance in hormone levels as oestrogen levels had dropped off dramatically and also her serotonin levels (the happy hormone) had decreased and the result was very low mood.  As well as lots of muscles out of balance and inflammation that was causing a worsening of the menopausal symptoms. After just 3 treatments the hot flushes have completely stopped.  

If you are going through hot flushes, sweating profusely, rising anger, not sleeping, no sex drive, forgetfulness, insomnia, mood swings, bloating, water retention, increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease….

There is a very good reason you are feeling like this, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and the menstrual cycle comes to a halt. When this happens your oestrogen levels lower significantly and because oestrogen is a hormone that lifts our mood the outcome can be very low mood and not feeling like yourself anymore.

What you eat can also affect your mood and by eating right at this sometimes disconcerting time of your life can reduce the unwanted side effects of the drop in oestrogen! I have listed foods that aggravate the symptoms of Menopause.

AVOID processed foods:

Crisps, white bread sandwiches, takeaways, fatty foods are all loaded with sodium and/or sugar. These foods will cause you to retain water, causing oedema type “cankle” effect. They also cause bloating in the abdominal/stomach area.

What to eat instead :

  • Fresh fruit and nuts
  • Vitamin E during MENOPAUSE helps your skin form drying out and to keep your hormone levels normalised.
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, legumes, almonds are rich in vitamin E and zinc, calcium and oils so I’d recommend these for better skin, muscle health and bone health.
  • Whole grain crackers and peanut butter
  • Carrot sticks and hummus
  • Sliced apples with peanut butter.

AVOID spicy foods:

  • Foods like hot chilli and salsas that contain capsicums, chilli peppers and chilli powders that score high on the heat scale can trigger hot flushes!
    Replace with other spices that have plenty of flavour without too much of the heat factor.
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Turmeric
  • Basil

Avoid fatty cuts of meat and rashers as they are full of saturated fats and can lower your serotonin levels. When serotonin levels drop you will feel angry, irritated and grumpy.
Eat foods that contain Tryptophan (turkey, cottage cheeses, oats and legumes)
Tryptophan is an amino acid that is involved in the manufacturing of serotonin – (serotonin improves mood, controls better sleep and appetite). Don’t miss or skip meals to keep your blood sugars balanced!

Avoid alcohol – Heavy drinking can lead to cardiovascular disease and during menopause it can cause more frequent and severe hot flushes! Treat have a white wine spritzer (there are 5% wines available in shops) mix with soda water and fruit.

Avoid coffee, caffeine, caffeinated fizzy drinks. A recent study of menopausal women found that women who drank these drinks got more hot flushes than women who didn’t!  You can drink calming peppermint tea or anti-inflammatory ginger tea. Or go for a quick walk to get a pick me up.

You can eat more foods that have more plant based phytoestrogens to reduce the sweating, mood swings.

  • Linseeds
  • Celery
  • Green beams
  • Rhubarb
  • Miso
  • Tofu
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
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