What we eat affects everything – our hair, skin, nails, bones, internal organs, brain, and emotions. Unsurprisingly, food can also impact our hormone production and secretion, which goes hand in hand with menopause. Here’s exactly how our diets impact our hormones and what to eat for menopause relief.
How Does Food Impact Hormones?
What we eat affects our hormones in several ways – through direct actions in the gut, changes in the concentration of metabolites in our blood, nervous reflexes, and changes in circulating hormone levels in the gut. What we eat and our hormone levels play roles in menopause, fertility, healthy thyroids, metabolism, and diabetes. For example, an Air Force veteran experienced infertility and was diagnosed with endometriosis. Her doctor recommended she get a hysterectomy. Instead, she changed up her diet to promote healthy levels of hormones, and now has three healthy children. Additionally, studies have shown that higher fiber, and lower-fat diets may help women’s hormones remain at a healthy level, resulting in a reduction in breast cancer risk.
There is also evidence that menopause is much easier for Asian women than for western women. While hot flashes have been reported in 10% of China, 22.1% of Japan, and 17.6% of Singapore, we estimate that 75% of women in America experience hot flashes due to menopause. The difference? Their diets. When women consume the Standard American Diet, they tend to carry more fat on their bodies. Diets high in refined sugars and carbs, hallmarks of the standard American diet are to blame. With more fat cells comes more estrogen. This results in sustained monthly estrogen dominance leading to a wide variety of medical problems stemming from unopposed estrogen side effects.
Raw Carrot Salad for Menopause Relief
Weston A. Price’s ancestral diet is highly recommended for women in menopause. It’s high in nutrients, vitamins, and protein, which help with menopause relief and symptoms. The diet also helps with fighting the negative impacts of menopause, like increased risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.
Part of the ancestral diet is eating whole foods. Carrots, in particular, are great for women in menopause. Ray Peat, a pioneer in the world of hormones recommends raw carrot salad for hormone health. When eaten, the fiber found in raw carrots binds with excess estrogen hormones in the body. This allows the carrot fiber to pull the estrogen out of the body, stopping it from being reabsorbed in the intestines. Excess estrogen, like what women with estrogen dominance experience, can cause major discomfort – menopausal symptoms, mood disorders, PMS, and more. Raw carrots can also help lower the amount of endotoxin, or bad bacteria, in the gut. Since intestinal bacteria are typically a main contributing factor to hormonal imbalance, this is huge.
Consuming a raw carrot salad frequently makes it easy to take advantage of these benefits. To it, simply peel and shred a medium or large carrot. Add a bit of white or apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and salt to taste. You can also add a bit of raw honey or added fruit, like finely diced apples, for more flavor.
DAILY CARROT SALAD – THE RECIPE:
Grate 1 medium-size carrot lengthwise
Add 1 tsp of organic refined coconut oil (or melted if it’s not refined) or olive oil
Add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
Add 1 to 2 pinches of sea salt and a little pinch of pepper ( I like Jacobsen Sea Salt – they have a variety of flavors which help to change the flavor up)
Mix it up and enjoy!
Raw carrots are a great addition to the diet for menopause relief, but remember that your doctor is your best source of information and medication. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms of menopause, talk with your doctor and discuss your medical history to take further action.