Aspire Magazine: Inspiration for a Woman's Soul.(TM) Dec/Jan 2019 Aspire Magazine Final - Page 22

Additionally, the right kind of nutrition plan for you can support your health and wellness through the menopause. Here’s how I use food as medicine to address any hormone imbalances that may influence symptoms during this powerful time of transition. Let’s start with what foods to avoid: 1 Caffeine It is important for hormonal balance, especially vasomotor issues—blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature control. Science shows caffeine, especially coffee, can increase the frequency and severity of hot flashes and none of us want that. Caffeine inhibits calcium absorption, which is essential for our bone density as we begin to go through “the change.” Caffeine also increases homocysteine in the body, a toxic amino acid, which in turn increases the risk of osteoporosis. It’s a marker of disease and inflammation, so the higher it is, the sicker you are. Your hormonal system is already feeling stressed; therefore, when you add caffeine to the mix it can cause more stress and discomfort in the form of exacerbated menopausal symptoms. 2 Alcohol It can increase moodiness and fatigue while stressing your liver. People who love wine are always looking for an excuse to drink it, but the fact is that the tiny number of antioxidants you may get from a glass (you’d need to drink a barrel to get a beneficial dose of antioxidants) are toxic to your body. Your liver conjugates estrogen—this is super important—and when you stress it out with alcohol, it can’t do its job well. 22 3 Spicy Foods 4 Refined Carbohydrates Avoid spicy foods which may increase hot flashes. If you start to have a hot flash, then it’s probably a good idea to stay clear of hot and spicy foods. You may also want to decrease the number of hot liquids you consume as they may cause the same reactions. Track your body and notice what triggers it. Pasta, potatoes, bread, and donuts, for example, can cause blood sugar instability and weight gain, while putting you on a roller coaster of moodiness and fatigue—a recipe for hormone hell. 5 Sugar It will lead to more weight gain, moodiness, and fatigue. You may crave it, so let’s deal with the deeper roots of blood sugar imbalance and stress management - you don’t feel worse. One trick for cravings and to help balance blood sugar is to take gymnostema, an herb known to cut cravings in about 30 minutes or less. | December 2018 / January 2019