Perimenopause symptoms are not something you may openly discuss at the dinner table. However, as a natural part of life and the aging process, menopause is nothing to feel embarrassed about.
Many perimenopause symptoms can be controlled by healthy lifestyle habits, such as a healthy diet, being a non-smoker, and exercising regularly. In this article, you’ll learn the best foods to help ease menopause and perimenopause symptoms.
When estrogen and progesterone levels drop, many women may start to notice new symptoms. This may include mood swings, weight gain, insomnia, and hot flashes.
Here are some other perimenopause symptoms you may experience:
- Irregular periods
- Food cravings
- Depression, anxiety, irritability or other mood disorders
- Skin and vaginal dryness
- Cognitive disruptions, such as lack of focus, brain fog, and memory trouble
- Heart palpitations
- Low libido
Foods That Ease Perimenopause Symptoms
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) viewpoint, menopause is mainly associated with kidney deficiency, either in yin or yang. As the entire body’s yin and yang relies on the kidney’s yin and yang, any deficiency in either the kidney’s yin or yang or both would lead to a decline in overall endocrine and physiological function.
Warming the kidney yang helps boost the overall body condition in menopausal women, particularly for those with dull complexion, limb coldness, fatigue, back soreness and frequent urination. Nourishing the kidney yin would especially help menopausal women who face hot flushes, anxiety, insomnia and dry complexion.
Women will experience different symptoms during this time. Some will only have them for a short time while others may have serious symptoms that last for years. As a result, nutritional requirements vary from woman to woman and often change during the transitional process. Every woman should eat according to their own particular health needs. Some beneficial foods are listed below.
Beans And Soy Products (Soy Milk, Tofu, Edamame, And Tempeh)
Beans and soy products contain plant-based hormone called isoflavones. Isoflavones may help to reduce menopause symptoms by regulating the disrupted female’s hormones balance.
Royal jelly is a nutritious substance produced by young nurse bees. It contains significant amounts of proteins that are important for cell growth and reproduction.
Research shows that royal jelly can help to reduce menopause symptoms and improve feelings of well-being in long term consumption.
Chlorella And Spirulina
Perimenopausal women are encouraged to consume chlorella and spirulina because they are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, iron, calcium and magnesium. Vitamin B6 helps with emotional control while vitamins B6, B12, calcium and magnesium promote better sleep.
Walnut contains isoflavones, vitamin B complex, and vitamin E, which are essential in hormone production. A handful of walnuts per day may promote female hormone secretion and reduce perimenopause symptoms.
In TCM, kidney health is related to menopause. Black foods may help nourish the kidneys and promote good kidney health. Hence, consume black garlic, black bean, black sesame, black fungus, seaweed or purple rice to promote the kidneys’ health and reduce symptoms. Also, black foods help to prevent premature gray hair, hair loss, and osteoporosis.
Sesame seeds help reduce perimenopause symptoms in several ways. First, they nourish kidney yin to reduce symptoms like dizziness, ear ringing, lumbar soreness, knee weakness, hot flashes, night sweating and thirst.
They also replenish essence and enrich marrow to reduce symptoms like lumbar soreness, knee weakness, gray hair and general weakness. Lastly, they support stomach health and fluid production for symptoms like thirst, mouth dryness and dry stools.
Red dates invigorate the lungs to help with symptoms like shortness of breath, sweating and getting cold easily. They also promote the production of qi to reduce symptoms like paleness, lusterless nails and hair, dizziness and palpitations, and replenish heart blood to reduce palpitations, poor memory and insomnia.
Herbs That Reduce Perimenopause Symptoms
In addition to the foods mentioned above, add these herbs to your diet to help reduce perimenopause symptoms:
- Rhemannia rhizome and cassia bark: Cassia bark is pungent and hot in nature to promote yang elements of the body while rhemannia rhizome invigorates the kidneys and enriches essence
- Ginseng: Ginseng has calming, anti-inflammatory effects and enriches the primordial energy of the body
- Wolfberry: Wolfberry (also known as mulberry) nourishes yin and clears heat to reduce symptoms like hot sensations in the chest, palms and soles, night sweating, hot flashes and flushed face
- Licorice root: Licorice root invigorates the spleen to help reduce symptoms like fatigue, weakness, poor appetite and loose bowels
- Astragalus: Astragalus invigorates the spleen and restores energy levels
Taking an herbal menopause supplement that contains many of the ingredients listed above can help you manage perimenopause symptoms by restoring estrogen levels and invigorating the kidneys and liver.
Remember to work with your doctor and a registered TCM practitioner for personalized tips to make this time in your life more manageable.
- Journal of Women’s Health. 2016. Perimenopause: From Research to Practice. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
- Journal of Mid-Life Health. 2015. Overview of research studies on osteoporosis in menopausal women since the last decade. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
- Circulation. 2020. Menopause Transition and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Implications for Timing of Early Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
- National Library of Medicine. 2019. Effect of royal jelly on menopausal symptoms: A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
- Journal of Clinical & Diagnostic Research. 2017. The Effect of Soy Isoflavones on the Menopause Rating Scale Scoring in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Pilot Study. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
- National Library of Medicine. 2017. The Effect of Soy Isoflavones on the Menopause Rating Scale Scoring in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women: A Pilot Study. [Accessed on 28 January 2022]
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