Menopause & Phytoestrogen Rich Foods

A selection of phytoestrogen rich foods, which are helpful in menopause, against a light wood background

We all know we should be eating a healthy, balanced diet with at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but picking a diet plan to follow can be tricky.  There are so many diet plans and eating styles out there that picking the right one for this transitional stage of life gets complicated.  One of the ways of eating we enjoy in the Bomimo office is the Mediterranean diet, as many of the ingredients are high in fibre and it's heavy on fresh fruits and vegetables.  It is easy to incorporate beneficial foods into Mediterranean style meals and snacks. 

The main issues we can avoid with the right diet are thinning bones, weight gain and, to a certain extent, hot flushes.  A key component of all these issues is oestrogen.  Because our natural production levels of oestrogen fall and fluctuate during perimenopause our bodies try to compensate for this by laying down more fat cells.  Fat cells produce oestrogen and will pick up the slack when the production in our ovaries declines.  It's therefore really important to manage our weight and oestrogen levels through a combination of tools.  HRT can help, but our diet also plays a role here.

Foods like soya (including tofu and tempeh), linseeds, pumpkin seeds, dates and apricots contain high levels of phytoestrogens which mimics the natural hormone produced by the body.  Having two or three portions of these a day can help reduce the frequency of hot flushes by regulating oestrogen levels in the body.  This can help stop our bodies from laying down extra fat cells to replace the production of oestrogen, so there's a double benefit to increasing our intake of these foods.

Making our shake with soya milk instead of water or other milk/non dairy alternatives will give you an extra boost of a phytoestrogen rich food, while a soya yoghurt, or a sprinkling of linseeds (or flax as it is otherwise known) on your cereal adds another.  Pumpkin seeds can be eaten as a snack, while pumpkin seed crackers topped with a soy based spread and fresh tomatoes is another healthy, Mediterranean style snack idea.

Oestrogen has an effect on our bone density, and the natural ageing process also contributes to thinning bones.  While phytoestrogen consumption helps address the hormonal aspect of this issue, calcium and vitamin D are both very important for building new bone cells to maintain our density through the later stages of life.  Calcium is the building block ingredient of bone, but vitamin D regulates the levels and ensures it is absorbed properly – you need both to get the full effect.  Many non-dairy substitutes are enriched with calcium, but sesame seeds are also a good source that can be added to cereal bowls and salads.  Vitamin D and calcium are included in the MenoShake™ so you can be sure you're getting enough of these nutrients every day,

Getting absolutely every nutrient we need from our diets is hard – having the time and energy to cook the ingredients containing those vital nutrients and the ability to stick to only healthy snacks is difficult when you have a family, a career and your own life to juggle.  The combination of ingredients in our MenoShake has been balanced to ensure that a daily serving gives you the balance of nutrients you need no matter what you've eaten that day.  As an added bonus the delicious chocolate flavour gives you a proper treat, satisfying the sweet snack craving in a very efficient way.

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