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Menopause foods can help balance hormones, reduce or eliminate symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings, and slow down lifestyle diseases of aging such as heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis.
Menopause foods are easy on your digestion and high in nutrients compared to calories.
I often begin my research for writing a web page by typing in the same keyword in Google to see what's already been written. I like to offer my readers something extra or different, because otherwise there is no reason to keep reading!
I'm sad to say that doing my research for this page about menopause foods could be as easy as stating the exact opposite of what is on Google's first couple of pages of search results:
It would go something like this:
Do NOT eat more soy. If you are eating lots of soy now, you probably should eat LESS
Eat MORE saturated fats, not less
Do NOT eat margarine or canola oil. EAT BUTTER.
Do NOT consume low-fat foods. Drink whole milk, eat whole fat cheese and yogurt.
Sound crazy? Well, do you know the state of health in this country? Is obesity on the rise or decline? How about diabetes? How about heart disease? How long have we been hearing about low-fat foods being healthier? Think there might be a correlation? Well, as it turns out, there is.
When I first moved to where I live now and began conducting herb walks and classes, I met another herbalist living nearby, Candace Cantin. She invited me to visit her gardens, which I did. We got to talking about various herb-related topics, and she mentioned a book that had recently come to my attention, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by Weston Price (the Weston A Price Foundation had been founded just a year before this conversation).
It was not the first time this book had come to my attention, and I went out and bought it. It was fascinating, to say the least. This dentist (Price) had traveled around the world studying indigenous people still consuming only their original diets. The pictures of these people were astounding! The vitality and perfection of their features was unbelievable. Around this same time I took a nutrition class from another well-known herbalist, Susun Weed. She introduced me to Sally Fallon, her book Nourishing Traditions, and the Weston A Price Foundation
The information discovered by Dr. Price is very different from what you normally read about diet and health. There are a few reasons for this, and if you “follow the money,” those reasons will become obvious.
Menopause foods for balancing female hormones, supporting thyroid and adrenal glands
A healthy thyroid is required for optimum hormone production. Your thyroid requires many nutrients, among them vitamin A, which can only be obtained from animal foods. This is misrepresented almost everywhere.
You will see people write about how much vitamin A there is in carrots, or some other vegetable or non-animal food. What they are referring to is beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
But many people cannot make vitamin A from beta carotene, including people with low thyroid and diabetes, people eating low-fat diets, people without enough zinc in their bodies, people consuming high amounts of alcohol or polyunsaturated fats (mostly vegetable oils), and on and on.
Most Americans are deficient in vitamin A, especially compared to people eating their native diets.
Vitamin A comes from foods such as grass-fed meat, pastured poultry and eggs, wild fish, raw whole fat cheese and milk. Other nutrients found only in animal foods include complete protein, vitamin B12, vitamins D and K2 and cholesterol.
Your female hormones are built from cholesterol. You need a high functioning endocrine system to go through menopause easily while protecting your health.
Almost everyone recommends soy as one of the menopause foods. Here is what they usually don't know or don't discuss: The idea that Japanese women have less breast cancer due to consuming more soy is a THEORY. There are many other variables that have not been taken into account.
Most soy products eaten in the U.S. Are in the form of soy milk and tofu.
Both of these products are extremely difficult to digest, block absorption of calcium, magnesium and zinc, and can slow down your thyroid.
If you are determined to eat soy, then you need to eat it in its fermented state. That means, miso and tempeh, not soy milk and tofu.
Can Menopause Foods Help Prevent Osteoporosis?
If you read a lot about nutrition like I do, you've probably heard that high protein diets cause calcium loss, and therefore could contribute to osteoporosis.
According to Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, PhD., in their article Dem Bones: Do High Protein Diets Cause Bone Loss? (2000), the studies that led to this conclusion used “isolated, fractionated amino acids from milk or eggs.” They go on to state that when protein was given as meat, the studies do NOT show calcium loss.
This is why you must ALWAYS question studies when quoted. Who funded the study? What types of data were collected? What was left out?
In February 2011, the Weston A Price Foundation held a press conference on the misinformation in the USDA Dietary Guidelines and the Foundation's proposed Food Pyramid. See here Healthy 4 Life
Menopause Foods and Digestion
Most of our food today is not prepared with digestion in mind. It is prepared with convenience and maybe price, in mind.
If you want to be healthy, you MUST start with digestion. You can eat the healthiest food in the world, but if your body cannot extract the nutrients from it, you will not look well or feel well.
Traditional diets used to prepare foods so that digestion was easy. They made lacto-fermented vegetables and dairy products, they soaked grains, and they made broths from bony parts of animals. They ate organ meats more than muscle meats. There are many websites now that offer instructions on lacto-fermentation along with recipes. Just google fermented foods.
There are also herbs that can help with digestion. For more information, see menopause and digestion