Updated: Dec 19, 2019
IN SHORT, YES.
Let's start first with what it is.
Menopause is defined as the period in time when the ovaries cease functioning and menstrual periods stop. In the years leading up to the onset of menopause, hormone production begins to decline.
Chances are you either know someone who has gone through this "change" or have heard horror stories about hot flashes, sleepless nights, emotional shifts and more.
In some languages and cultures, the word “menopause” doesn’t even exist. The hormonal transition that we call menopause is so smooth that they don’t have the typical symptoms that we in America associate with this phase of life. So, how is it that women in some cultures seem to get a free pass? Research points to lifestyle and diet.
What we know
The general wellbeing of a system is the best indicator of how someone will transition through menopause.
We know that people who exercise and eat a high-vegetable, high-fiber diet that is low in preservatives typically have a smoother transition.
In the right environment that’s culturally supportive, menopause can be a positive experience.
In a typical American environment - we still find women who transition through menopause quite easily. This ease of transition can be attributed to the overall wellness of their system.
We've found the more inflammatory processes you have going on, the harder it will be to transition through menopause with ease.
How do you prepare your system for a positive menopausal experience?
1. Consider your dietary intake.
How much of your diet includes processed foods, caffeine, or dairy?
In some women, we even have to consider how much spicy food they are consuming
2. Make sure your diet is as clean as possible
Opt for... organic fresh fruits and vegetables
Whole grains, nuts, and seeds (as long as there isn't an underlying grain or inflammatory issue)
Pastured and organically raised lean meats - I know this can be a bit more controversial but I am a firm believer in the importance of eating meat raised this way.
3. Minimize endocrine disruptor exposure
Endocrine Disruptors are chemicals that when introduced to the body, mimic natural estrogens but to a very high degree. They cause disruptions in your hormonal wellness. We know plastics can carry BPA but there is actually a whole list of bisphosphonates that should be avoided. Furthermore, there are about 16000 chemicals that have been approved to be in food that have never been studied. Which is why we recommend eating organic as much as you can.
4. Avoid processed foods
5. Increase daily exercise
Doesn’t have to be intense hour-long CrossFit sessions. Try for 20 minutes in nature or simply increasing heart rate for 20 minutes a day.
6. Strength Train
Muscles are your metabolic currency - so if you’re going through any kind of transition, having lean muscle mass can be helpful.
7. Talk to your doctor about limiting inflammation.