Foods to Eat during Perimenopause and Menopause


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Flaxseed can help regulate the menstrual cycle, reduce inflammation, and keep the vagina lubricated. Women who consume 4 Tbsp. of freshly-ground flaxseed daily have cut their hot flashes in half over 6 weeks and have reduced their intensity by 57% (Pizzorno, 2016.)


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Maca is an adaptogen, which helps modulate the body’s response to stress. It gently aids in the body’s innate production of estrogen and lowers cortisol levels. Maca improves sleep, mood, energy, and mental clarity. 1 Tbsp. of maca daily can decrease anxiety, depression, insomnia, and hot flashes, and increase bone density and sexual function (Pizzorno, 2016.)


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Vitex (chasteberry) increases the production of progesterone and dopamine, our happy hormones. Vitex can lower PMS symptoms by half in 3 months. In perimenopause, it can regulate our menstrual cycles and keep the vaginal wall strong.


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Our personal favorite food/herb for everything, especially immune support (anti-viral!) Garlic relaxes vascular muscles, increases the flexibility of blood vessels, and lowers blood pressure. Garlic constituents also support our cardiovascular health by absorbing the plaque-forming molecules on our blood vessel walls.

Green Tea

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Green tea helps us balance our blood sugar. While coffee and black tea give us that caffeinated brain boost that comes with blood sugar spikes, green tea gives us a balancing, smooth focus. Rich in antioxidants and neuroprotective, green tea is being studied as a therapeutic agent to slow down the brain-aging process. It can also help protect against osteoporosis and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
seeds beans and greens by Sage+Sisters

Greens, Seeds & Beans

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Leafy greens, seeds, and beans, including soy, are rich in compounds that help balance our fluctuating hormones. These vegetables can help reduce moderate hot flashes, slow bone loss, improve cholesterol numbers and blood pressure, and reduce cardiovascular risk.


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Turmeric reduces oxidative stress and the systemic inflammation that is at the root of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's. It improves the conversion of plant-based omega-3s into DHA in the brain, thereby protecting the brain. The active component of turmeric (curcumin) can be used to soothe menstrual difficulties, especially pain and bloating. Curcumin has been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory.


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The omega-3s in fish not only promote the feeling of fullness after a meal, they are also linked to lower rates of obesity and healthier weight. Western diets are severely deficient in omega-3s. Omega-3’s are found in sardines, salmon, eggs, fish oil, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, and algae.


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Kelp (seaweed) is full of all the bone and heart-healthy minerals. It can help keep our bones strong while lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. During the perimenopausal years, higher anxiety and difficulty sleeping can be related to thyroid; iodine and other minerals in seaweeds help us maintain adequate production of all our hormones, including thyroid hormone.

Holy Basil

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Holy Basil (Tulsi) is an adaptogen which has antidepressant, antioxidant, antiviral, and immune supportive properties. Holy Basil can improve the body’s stress response, balance blood sugar, and enhance memory. Holy Basil can help reduce brain fog and improve mood. In ancient Ayurvedic texts, the daily use of holy basil is described as helping to maintain the chakras (energy centers) of the body and of "bringing on goodness, virtue and joy.”


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Nettles top the menopausal nutrition list because they are full of the vitamins and minerals critical to staying healthy in these transition years and beyond. There is as much calcium (~300mg) in a cup of nettle tea as in a glass of milk! Nettles nourish us, strengthen us and support our changing hormone production. They help stabilize our blood sugar and support our adrenal function.


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Shatavari translates as “she who has hundreds of husbands” and has been used for thousands of years to maintain youthful energy and improve memory. We recommend Shatavari for perimenopausal women struggling with PMS, hot flashes, night sweats and digestive concerns.

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