This article explains how appropriate nutrition can help support female hormone balance at menopause, and considers the following factors:
Importance of additional nutritional supplements
If there was one daily habit that I would recommend to my clients at peri-menopause, it’s to add flaxseed to their diet every day. Packed with phytoestrogens, a good source of fibre and full of plant-based omega 3, flaxseeds can be a really useful ingredient for female hormone balance at this stage of life. Linwoods Menoligna is a new product that is specifically targeted to help support women at menopause. It is an interesting combination of sprouted flaxseed (sprouted to increase lignan level), milled chia and quinoa with added marine source calcium, and vitamins K2 and D3.
It is important to add flaxseed to your diet at menopause due to the high concentration of phytoestrogens that they contain. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring plant oestrogens. These plant oestrogens have a similar chemical structure to human oestrogen, and are able to bind to the same receptors. It has been widely reported that women with diets containing high levels of phytoestrogen remain less prone to the symptoms of menopause.
Flaxseeds are an important source of a group of phytoestrogens called lignans. These plant based 'balancers' have been shown to have a modulating effect on oestrogen, so at peri-menopause and menopause when our body’s oestrogen levels are naturally reducing, they have been found to gently and safely optimise oestrogen levels without any adverse side effects.
Lignans are concentrated in the outer shell, or hull, of the flaxseed, so to get maximum benefits it is important to have milled flaxseed. The sprouted form of flaxseed found in Menoligna is a particularly good source of lignans.
Oestrogen and progesterone have a protecting effect on bone density, so as our levels of these hormones start to reduce at peri-menopause, we have at increased risk of bone loss and the development of osteopenia and osteoporosis, so focusing on food to help to maintain healthy bones at this stage is life is vitally important.
Despite the hormonal changes at menopause, nutrition and lifestyle can help to maintain healthy bones and help prevent our risk of developing osteoporosis.
Of course we know that calcium is one of the key nutrients to support bone density, but it works in synergy with a whole range of other nutrients, including magnesium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 to help maintain the health of normal bones. Linwoods have added a marine source of calcium to Menoligna, as well as K2 and D3 to help support calcium absorption in this product. Using sprouted flaxseed as the key ingredient also helps to optimise the absorption of minerals by reducing the anti-nutrients phytate and oxalate. These are naturally occurring ingredients that can inhibit calcium absorption.
As we approach menopause, our risk of cardiovascular disease increases as hormone levels change and we lose the cardioprotective effects of oestrogen and progesterone. The combination of nutrients found in Menoligna, including the omega 3 fat ALA from sprouted flaxseed and chia, magnesium, B vitamins and antioxidants have been show to help maintain and support cardiovascular function and normal cholesterol levels.
B vitamins, magnesium and coQ10 are key nutrients for energy production and you will find all of these in your daily intake of Menoligna.
Adding flaxseed to your diet may also help support better blood sugar balance, reduce insulin resistance and in turn help with energy levels, mood and even weight management.
When it comes to nutrition it is the little daily habits that make all the difference. Of course there is no such thing as a quick fix, a magic bullet or a cure-all, but considering the powerful effects of food on your hormones at peri-menopause and menopause, adding flaxseed to your daily diet is worth trying.
I like to keep things simple, so here’s how I suggest you incorporate flaxseed to your daily routine:
- at breakfast – add a spoonful to your porridge, overnight oats or morning yoghurt
- at lunchtime – keep it handy to sprinkle on soups or salads
- at dinner – stir into curry, chilli or sprinkle on top of steamed vegetables
Egelioglu. CN, Saruhan. A, Kivcak. B. The Effects of Flaxseed on Menopausal Symptoms and Quality of Life. Holistic Nursing Practice. 2015;29(3):151-157.
The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods ceaseFull medical glossary
A condition in which the protein and mineral content of bone tissue is reduced, but less severely than in osteoporosis.Full medical glossary