Top 17 Perimenopausal Power Foods
In this Nutrition Bite (NB) we share the top foods for perimenopause, according to a well-known anti-aging diva. Find out which foods hold the most power to help your hormones, and why.
All experts in hormone balance encourage you to be smart about your food choices.
Not only can they protect you from a wide variety of health issues, they can also help you with hormone balance. And certain foods may be more powerful than others.
Here are the Top 17 Foods for Perimenopause
1. Almonds (raw, unsalted )
Almonds are a great source of protein, fiber and minerals, including:
Calcium and magnesium – Calcium keeps bones strong and promotes bone growth. Magnesium works in concert with calcium for bone growth and is a calming mineral needed by perimenopausal women. It is also good for assisting with constipation.
Iron – This mineral is necessary for transporting the active and usable form of thyroid, T3.
Potassium – Circulatory deficits happen with age and declining hormones; potassium ameliorates this by helping to support blood vessel health and reduce the risk of high blood pressure. A potassium-rich diet will prevent leg cramps and other muscle spasms. This is because of the role that potassium plays with muscle contraction and nerve impulses all over the body, including the heart.
Zinc – Research indicates that zinc helps balance female hormones, helps prevent PMS, and helps prevent acne.
Almonds are also high in vitamin E and unsaturated fats, keeping arteries supple. With the decline of minor hormones, cortisol goes high and is one of the main reasons women get (and die of) heart disease; almonds play a role in preventing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
All types of apples contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which in turn lowers the risk of damage to your arteries. An apple’s pectin is effective in lowering levels of blood cholesterol.
This fruit may prevent breast cancer as well as prostate cancer.
Beans are loaded with complex carbohydrates, as well as calcium, iron, folic acid, B vitamins, zinc, potassium and magnesium. They contain large amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol and normalize blood sugar.
Beets contain high levels of carotenoids and flavonoids, which are known to protect artery walls as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. In addition, they contain iron and also boost bone health, due to their calcium content, thus reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Berries are a great source of antioxidants that keep your brain and heart healthier. Blueberries also contain pterostilbene, which is effective in reducing bad LDL cholesterol.
This vegetable contains two powerful anticancer substances: sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol. Sulforaphane destroys ingested carcinogenic compounds and kills H.pylori (Helicobacter pylori) , a bacteria that causes stomach ulcers and increases the risk of gastric cancers. (If you eat in restaurants and consume nonorganic chicken, it’s likely at some point you will pick up H. pylori.) Indole-3-carbinol metabolizes estrogen, potentially protecting against estrogen dominance and breast cancer. It also has a good amount of potassium and beta-carotene.
High in fiber, vitamin A and minerals, cabbage stimulates the immune system, kills bacteria and viruses, inhibits growth of cancerous cells, protects against tumors, helps control estrogen levels and promotes balance, improves blood flow and boosts sex drive. It speeds up the metabolism of estrogen toward a “good” metabolite and slows the production of a bad one, reducing the risk of breast cancer, and inhibits the growth of polyps in the colon; cabbage also protects against stomach ulcers.
This power food increases the number of ovulatory cycles in perimenopausal women and increases testosterone at the time of ovulation. Regular consumption of flaxseed improves the progesterone/estrogen ratio in postovulatory women and helps with PMS. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of essential omega-3 fatty acids. Freshly ground flaxseed releases more nutrients than whole flaxseed.
This yummy bulb is an excellent cancer fighter, protecting against cancers of the breast, colon, skin, prostate, stomach and esophagus. Garlic stimulates the immune system by encouraging the growth of natural killer cells that directly attack cancer cells. Also, it has the ability to kill many of the antibiotic-resistant strains of MRSA (the hospital superbug).
Nuts and seeds provide excellent nutritional value. They are especially good sources of essential fatty acids, gamma tocopherol, vitamin E, protein and minerals. They also provide valuable fiber components; important phytonutrients in nuts and seeds include protease inhibitors, ellagic acid and other polyphenols.
12. Olive Oil
Regular consumption of this omega-3-rich oil helps protect against heart attacks, because of its unique polyphenol and monounsaturated fatty-acid content. Polyphenols in extra virgin olive oil help keep cell membranes soft and pliable, allowing for oxygenation and hydration, the elements of life, to flow through the membranes easily and thus give energy and vitality.
Oranges contain high quantities of hesperetin, which protects against inflammation. Eating these regularly can lower cholesterol because of the fiber/pectin. They are a good source of potassium, which reduces blood pressure, as well as folic acid, which lowers levels of homocysteine (high levels of this substance in the body are not good for the heart).
This is one of the top 50 foods with the highest antioxidant content. Antioxidants have been found to help protect cells from the damage of free radicals, which can break down muscles, increase aging effects and, as a result, lead to cancers and other chronic diseases.
15. Sweet Potatoes
This power food is full of protein, fiber, artery-protecting beta-carotene, blood pressure-controlling potassium, and antioxidants.
Black, green and now white teas are hailed for their anti-oxidant properties. The polyphenols in green tea are powerful antioxidants and protect against free-radical damage, which is a major cause of arterial aging. Green tea may inhibit breast, digestive and lung cancers as well.
Cooked tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, a nutrient that reduces the risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancers. Tomatoes contain potassium, vitamin C and lycopene; each is essential to your immune system and to keep your skin healthy.
Can you think of something delicious to make with these powerful foods?
Of course we recommend organic, wherever possible (especially berries). But these are great to mix and match… Flaxseed and nuts on your salad or steamed broccoli, or even on your sweet potato. Endless options!
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