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Eating to help ease the menopause

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By Fiona Reid
Eating to help ease the menopause

CONTINUING our menopause series, nutritionist Emma Ellice-Flint, above, has spilled the beans on the top menopause friendly foods.

She specialises in helping women through their diet, creating recipes that nourish, heal and help to balance hormones, which can help to ease some of the most common symptoms.

And this week she’s sharing her tips with readers.

  • Vitamin C

Emma said: “The humble vitamin C is known to be great for everything from skin health to hormone health. But importantly it doesn’t work in isolation. In nature Vitamin C is found in all plant based foods that also contain phytonutrients, which can help to boost your immune system – something that can take a bit of a knock once we start menopause.”

Some of the best sources are red peppers, pomegranate, plum, brussel sprouts, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants/blueberries, cabbage, broccoli and oranges.

  • Fermented foods

Regularly eating live fermented foods, such as kefir and sauerkraut, can help to improve gut health and microbiota, says Emma, adding: “Adding fermented foods into your diet can help to reduce bloating and improve your digestion which can both be impacted when we hit the menopause.

“However, fermented foods aren’t for everyone, and should be avoided by those with an intolerance to histamines.”

  •  Magnesium rich foods

“Magnesium plays a part in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body contributing to everything from bone health to energy. It is an important mineral to maintain at healthy levels since it can affect mood, sleep and vitality. Plus it is used more in the body during times of stress,” said Emma.

It is naturally found in wholegrains, green leafy vegetables, muesli, nuts, legumes and pulses.

The NHS recommends adult women have 270mg of elemental magnesium per day.

  • Oily fish

Omega 3, found in oily fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel, is a type of fat essential to our bodies.

In perimenopause and menopause, it can support gut health, reduce inflammation, and help with mood and anxiety.

Emma said: “Since the body cannot produce its own Omega 3 fats, it has to get them from what we eat so adding some form of oily fish, nuts, seeds or soy into your diet is a great way to keep your levels up.”

  • Pre-biotics

This fermentable fibre is found in plants and intestinal microbiota thrive on it, making it vital to maintain a healthy gut.

Examples include: Jerusalem artichokes, rocket, garlic, onion, leek, spring onion, asparagus, beetroot, green peas, mangetout, sweetcorn, cabbage, pulses, nuts, seeds, whole grains, apples and dark berries.

For more information on Emma, visit

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