Hello dear friends!
Yes, you’re right- I’m not entering menopause just yet. But I work with many women over 40, who are struggling to find balance through these changes. And while I believe that some of today’s conventional wisdom can be helpful, I think that Anthony William’s approach to menopause (Medical Medium) makes so much sense. So, I wanted to highlight some of his recommendations for foods that support menopause in a healthy way. After all, it’s not meant to be a torture-fest!
Mother Nature has an infinite supply of nourishment for us, which we can draw upon during times of transition in our lives. Most of us already know the importance of a healthy, fresh diet, and that our bodies tend to feel best when we infuse them with radiant veggies, fruits, and other foods straight from nature. Building a strong foundation of nutritional support is key, because then you can add in things that are specific to your needs at any given time. Food truly is medicine, and when we can view it and honor it as such, we can reclaim our rightful harmony with the natural world. Foods are designed to shift our energy, so when we approach our eating in an intuitive, individualized way, we can find relief to whatever is bothering us.
In the time between perimenopause and menopause, we women experience a whole host of changes- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Thankfully, food can work on all four of these levels of our being! In the midst of things like hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, fatigue, and loss of libido, we can adjust our diet to give ourselves the optimal amount of support. The transition to menopause was never meant to be one of anguish; over the decades our world has gotten increasingly stressful, not to mention filled with toxins and chronic infections, which can make the aging process much more difficult. Before the 1950s, menopause was actually thought to bring renewed energy, better sleep, and heightened immunity...not the other way around. So, what has happened since then? Quite a lot!
Since the chemical revolution, and the rise of the hyper-productive internet age, we’ve become exposed to more harmful substances and radiation than ever before. Many of us have latent or chronic infections with pathogens like the Epstein-Barr virus, the shingles virus, Streptococcus bacteria, and other sneaky microbes. And while we would have been able to clear these infections easily way back in the day, in our age, the toxins we’re around have weakened our immune systems. The combination of infection, along with toxins like heavy metals, plastics, pesticides, and endocrine disruptors has sent our bodies into a tailspin. And this can make menopause quite a wild ride.
While the conventional wisdom holds that nutrition for menopause should focus only on balancing hormones, a more modern, holistic approach says that we also need foods that are detoxifying and antimicrobial (the foundation of the Medical Medium approach to menopause). We should be emphasizing foods that sweep out underlying infections, help our cells release stored toxins, and support our bodies’ natural energy pathways. Because in the end, our bodies know what to do. Women have been going through menopause since the dawn of time! Our ancestors didn’t have nearly the trouble we have today, with horrible menopausal symptoms. Thus, our collective pain around menopause must be a product of our modern era. And thankfully, Mother Nature is still here, and she still has our back.
Medicinal foods, just like herbs, are designed to build a strong foundation for your wellbeing, and this may take some time. Unlike popping a pill, or using something short-term like an essential oil blend, investing in a menopause-friendly nutrition plan is something that pays dividends over time. All of these foods are meant to support, nourish, and balance your system, and you can include any and all that you wish. You can get additional healing benefits by taking the time to connect with the energy of the food before you eat it- remember that everything is energy! When you eat something, you are absorbing that vibration, so start getting into the practice of giving thanks for these foods, for Mother Nature, and for all the resources that it required to get these into your hands.
Here are some of the best foods for women, during the times of perimenopause and menopause:
1. Wild blueberries
These highly colorful blueberries are more nutritionally dense than their larger, cultivated cousins, and are powerful detoxifiers for the brain and nervous system. Wild blueberries can help support the liver, sweep out heavy metals, and provide a burst of energy when you’re feeling depleted. They carry the energies of resilience and rebirth, and are known as a potent source of spiritual nutrition too.
Benefits: energy, detox
Uses: Best eaten raw. Eat them however you would a “normal” blueberry!
Symptoms like fatigue, vaginal dryness, and even insomnia may be rooted in dehydration, which can be a serious issue for women over 40. Most of us are chronically dehydrated, and the best way to remedy that is through foods like cucumber. Cucumber has one of the highest water contents of any food, plus it has supportive vitamins as well as cooling properties, which are great for hot flashes.
Benefits: hydration, cooling
Uses: Best raw. Make fresh cucumber juice, chop into a salad, spiralize them into cucumber noodles.
3. Sesame seeds
These tiny powerhouses are chock full of protein and calcium, which are essential for weight loss, bone density, and preventing headaches. Sesame seeds also contain trace minerals like copper, folate, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and antioxidants, which all help to balance out sleep patterns, reduce pain, and calm the nerves. Plus, they nourish the hair, skin, and nails!
Benefits: weight loss, pain relief, beauty
Uses: Best raw. Sprinkle them on salads or soups, or use tahini (sesame seed butter) as a base for dressings and dips.
Known as the “mother’s fruit,” avocado is prized worldwide for many reasons. This creamy, rich food has an ideal balance of monounsaturated fats and minerals, rebuilding the body tissue, and increasing our levels of glutathione- the master antioxidant in detoxification. Avocados help to support the heart and reproductive systems, especially.
Benefits: detox, heart health
Uses: Best raw. Scoop onto toast, include in a salad, throw into a smoothie, make guacamole.
The beautiful, vibrant green leaves of spinach hold a tremendous amount of nutrition in such a small space. Spinach is packed with minerals, folate, chlorophyll, and more protein per cup than beef! This leafy green is great for detoxifying the body, strengthening the immune system, and regulating digestion. Additionally, it helps to nourish the brain, improving cognition and eyesight, and giving some relief from neurological fog.
Benefits: immunity, mental sharpness
Uses: Best raw. Make a big salad, put into a smoothie, include it in a fresh juice.
A powerful cancer-fighter, gut cleanser, and liver supporter, the often-overlooked apple is a fantastic food for menopause. Apples contain a unique combination of acids that sweep the liver and gallbladder, along with high amounts of pectin, which can detox the GI tract and aid in weight loss. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples can help prevent neurodegenerative disease, stroke, and many types of cancer (especially colon, liver, breast, and lung).
Benefits: disease prevention, detox
Uses: Best raw. Chop up for a healthy snack, make into juice, put on top of salads or oatmeal.
Many of us don’t automatically reach for asparagus at the market (well, okay, I don’t…), but we may want to start. Asparagus is an incredible detoxifier, especially for those experiencing the neurological symptoms of menopause. The high amounts of trace minerals, silica, and B-vitamins make asparagus supportive for the adrenal glands, and can actually help to inhibit new toxins from being absorbed into your system.
Benefits: detox, energy
Uses: Either raw or cooked. Chop up in a salad, lightly steam, blend into a soup.
Packed with antioxidants, bioflavonoids, resveratrol, and other protective compounds, grapes are a superstar for anti-aging and preventing disease. Grapes also contain high levels of nitric oxide, which opens up the blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and encouraging circulation, which is crucial for both, energy and detox. They can also regulate digestion and protect the nervous system from damage. The darker colored grapes are best!
Benefits: anti-aging, disease prevention
Uses: Best raw. Snack on them whole, slice up in salads, make into fresh juice.
9. Raspberry leaf
Although technically an herb, rather than a food, red raspberry leaf has been used for centuries to support every stage of a woman’s life. The leaf contains many bioactive compounds that balance the reproductive organs, reduce cramping, and give tone to the uterus and pelvic floor. Known as the “woman’s herb,” raspberry leaf has a soft, nurturing energy, and can help ease the transition out of regular menstruation.
Benefits: menstrual regulation, pelvic tone
Uses: Makes for a delicious herbal tea, or infused honey.
During the transition of perimenopause and menopause, it’s helpful to know that we have a whole host of allies right in our grocery stores and farmers markets. These foods work to address the underlying issues, like viral infections and toxic buildup, that may make menopausal symptoms worse (you can read more about this in Medical Medium!). But hey, even if you’re nowhere near menopause, or you’re far beyond it, these foods are still very beneficial!
What you eat has a tremendous impact on how you feel, so try to incorporate as many of these healing foods as possible, especially during periods of high stress. Mother Nature has provided these tools for us to use, to bring harmony to our bodies, minds, and spirits in every stage of life.
Which of these foods is your favorite? How do you like to eat it? Leave me a comment below!
As always, my friends…
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~