Every woman’s body goes on a unique journey as it experiences the numerous changes associated with menopause. Whether you’re symptomatic or not, quality nutritional support throughout menopause is imperative.
According to the Thyroid Foundation of America, over 11 million women have a malfunctioning thyroid. It is believed tens of millions more women may live with “borderline” underactive thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. Decreased thyroid function appears to strike women between the ages of 35 and 55 in perimenopause and menopause harder than any other group.
The symptoms of menopause like weight gain, fatigue, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, palpitations, and “fuzzy” thinking have been shown to be thyroid-related in many women.
Thyroid hormones are the main regulators of the body’s metabolism. They have a profound impact on weight because they control how the body burns carbohydrates and fats. Thyroid imbalances also affect appetite control. Studies suggest that thyroid hormones may modulate levels of leptin, a hormone produced from fat cells that controls hunger. In other words, the more tired you are, the more you’ll want to eat.
In light of the role thyroid function plays making or breaking your journey through menopause, let’s address some strategic goals to manage your hormones:
The fastest way to halt menopause in its tracks is to eliminate refined carbohydrates for one month. Load up on lean proteins, green vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and fresh fruit. After one month, add in ½ cup cooked grains per day. Slow-cooked oats, lentils and beans, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, and sweet potatoes are all great choices. This floods your body with nutrient-dense foods while stabilizing your blood sugar and insulin levels, a crucial step when trying to lose weight.
Going to bed by 10pm and getting good quality sleep is crucial to balancing your hormones. Your adrenals recover best from 10pm-12am; if you are awake during this time, you will not receive the same anti-aging and weight loss benefits. Put on a sleep mask, spritz some lavender on your pillow, and use a fan to circulate the air and keep the room cool and comfortable.
Take your supplements.
No menopausal prescription would be complete without a supplement regime. Put simply, it provides the extra support your body needs to balance out your hormones. These three are menopausal must-haves:
- Maitake SX
Fondly referred to by our clients as “the gut-buster,” maitake mushroom extract drives insulin into cells to stabilize your blood sugar. This works synergistically with a low-glycemic diet to shrink your waistline as your body becomes more adept at metabolizing carbohydrates. Take 1 tablet 30 minutes before meals. Read more about maitake mushroom benefits.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s work to sensitize cells to insulin. They also help turn on the genes that burn body fat and turn off the genes that store it. Omega-3s boost and sustain serotonin levels, correct both dry and oily skin, support thyroid function, and fight systemic inflammation. Take 6 per day for menopausal support and 9 per day for weight loss; take all with food.
- Weight Management
The Weight Management formula contains GLA, Carnitine, Acetyl-carnitine, Physician’s Antioxidant, CLA, DMAE, CoQ10, Lipoic Acid, and L-tyrosine. It helps regulate appetite and blood sugar, promote great energy, and antioxidant protection to fight the aging process. Weight Management also helps your body utilize fat more efficiently. Take 1 packet 30 minutes before each meal.
Whatever the state of your menopause journey, remember that you will get through it. Incorporating clean eating, exercise, and a quality supplement regime will help give you the tools you need to support your body naturally.
Esther Blum, MS, RD, CDN, CNS
NV Perricone, MD Flagship
791 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10065