Perimenopause diet is the diet prescribed to women in the perimenopausal phase, which the phase when a woman transitions through the menopause years, and is characterized by hot flushes, weight gain, and mood swings, etc. It may set in many years before the actual menopause, and time periods are different with different individuals. The condition can be made easier and symptoms relieved if a person takes the right diet.
Perimenopause Diet Plan: Foods to Consume
- Fresh fruits and vegetables: These are rich in essential nutrients without harmful fat and calories. Most of these contain phytoestrogen, which brings relief from hot flushes associated with perimenopause, and also helps in other conditions like low bone density, breast cancer and heart disease.
- Whole grains and whole grain products. Examples of whole grains are brown rice and bran
- Low fat foods: These may include skimmed milk, low fat butter, canned salmon and sardines, fresh vegetables and fruits, etc.
- Herbal tea, which is rich in antioxidants, is also helpful in this condition.
- Flax seed and flax seed oil help in increasing estrogen to progesterone ratio and preventing hot flushes as well as cholesterol
- Increased fluid consumption, especially that of water. This helps in controlling conditions like fatigue and itchy skin associated with perimenopause in some women.
- Food Supplements: These include vitamin B6, E, D, zinc, magnesium, calcium as well as Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid supplements. The supplements help in relieving various symptoms associated with the condition.
- Organic foods or foods made with organic ingredients
Perimenopause Diet Plan: Foods to Avoid
- Trans fat rich foods: Foods containing trans fats or hydrogenated oils, that are often used to keep food fresh for a longer period of time, should be avoided in a perimenopause diet.
- White grain foods like white bread, cakes, white flour tortillas, etc.
- High glycemic foods that cause swings in blood sugar
- Starchy foods like potatoes should be avoided
- Sugary foods like desserts, sweets, cookies, candy, etc. These cause weight gain which, on the contrary, should be controlled during perimenopause.
- Alcohol, which is known to trigger hot flushes
- Caffeine, which is also known to aggravate symptoms including hot flushes.
- Processed foods and foods with added flavors, colors and sweeteners.
- Foods containing toxic substances like pesticides
For more information on perimenopause, please visit MayoClinic
For Frequently Asked Questions on perimenopause, please visit womenshealth.gov