Perimenopause: Top 5 Foods

blog blog page clean eating wellness Mar 10, 2024
Foods to alleviate perimenopause symptoms

Reading time: 4 minutes

Perimenopause is an unpredictable stage in our life that must come to pass. Some women sail through it unphased, others suffer immeasurably. The symptoms experienced are very common, however, they are not normal. They indicate that something is occurring internally with our hormones and it is affecting our physical body and mental wellbeing.

What if I told you something as simple as adding these 5 foods to your diet can alleviate some of these unwanted symptoms?

First things first, let us do a quick review on estrogen:

Hormone 101:

Estrogen is a hormone that plays many critical roles in the female body

Estrogen's main functions include:

  • Regulating our menstrual cycles
  • Balancing the effects of progesterone
  • Maintaining body temperature
  • Regulating energy levels
  • Balancing mood, cognition, and memory
  • Regulating serotonin (our happy hormone)
  • Facilitates bone building
  • Supports heart health

During perimenopause our ovaries naturally stop the production of estrogen; these fluctuations result in unpleasant symptoms.

We are exposed to three different sources of estrogen

  • Estrogen produced in the body
    • Ovaries naturally produce estrogen; which has a positive effect on our body 
    • Adrenal glands (stress glands) naturally produce estrogen after menopause (when they are not under stress); has a positive effect on our body
  • Estrogen from external factors: all of which have a negative effect on our body
    • Pesticides 
    • Medication
    • Chemicals such as phthalates and BPA
    • Alcohol
  • Estrogens from food- called phytoestrogens; can have a positive or negative effect on our body 

Hormone fluctuations are a natural process during perimenopause, however, accumulating excess estrogen in our body will exacerbate perimenopausal symptoms.

3 ways to accumulate excess estrogen which results in negative effects on our bodies:


1.  We make our estrogens in our body and can not eliminate it


  • Fat cells produce their own estrogen
    • Negative effects: increased belly fat, fatigue, and breast tenderness
  • Sleep deprivation increases estrogen
    • Negative effects: fatigue, headaches, cognitive decline, and depression.
  • Constipation recirculates estrogen in the body due to the inability to detox or eliminate them through bowel movements. 
    • Negative effects: cognitive decline, moodiness, headaches, and depression. 


 2.  We are exposed to estrogen from the environment


  • Chemicals such as phthalates and fragrances found in cosmetics, personal care products, and cleaning products
  • Pesticides used in lawn and garden care; include weedkillers, and insecticides
  • Medications such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and birth control pills 


 3.  We consume it in food


  • Overconsumption of phytoestrogens- soy, fennel, flax seed, alfalfa, nuts and seeds   
    • Negative effects: weight gain, headaches, and toxin buildup.
  • Some phytoestrogens come in the form of processed foods with many additives
    • Negative effects: toxin buildup, headaches, weight gain, and constipation.
  • Alcohol consumption raises estrogen levels in the body
    • Negative effects: increased belly fat, sleep deprivation, and fatigue.

Excessive estrogen that we take in from the list above is going to intensify perimenopausal symptoms. Consuming the following foods, listed below, can help balance the hormones to reduce perimenopausal symptoms.

Quick recap: excess toxins lead to excess estrogen, which leads to aggravated unwanted symptoms. 

Suffering from digestive issues such as constipation increases toxicity and estrogen in the body. A key component in reducing perimenopausal symptoms is proper digestion and elimination. This is why it is so important to consume a high-fiber diet to maintain balance. 

Let's take a look at the top 5 foods that offer the biggest impact in alleviating perimenopausal symptoms. These foods are key in removing toxins and excess estrogens as well as introducing some phytoestrogens to maintain hormonal balance. 

Top 5 Foods to Incorporate During Perimenopause

  1. Raspberries- contains components that are specific to excess estrogen and toxin removal
  • Supports hormone balance
  • Reduces hot flashes
  • Supports adrenal gland (stress glands) function (the most critical component to healing)
    • Aim for 1 serving 4 times/week
  1. Broccoli Sprouts- contains 50 times more nutrient content than mature broccoli
  • Supports removal of excess estrogen 
  • Supports hormone balance
  • Supports adrenal glands (stress glands) function which is key to healing
    • Enjoy liberally
  1. Fresh Ground Flaxseed- high in phytoestrogens; contains components that are specific to estrogen removal
  • Supports mood and reduces depression symptoms
  • Reduces hot flashes
  • Supports hormone balance
  • Reduces vaginal dryness
  • Supports digestive system
    • Aim for 1 Tbsp per day
  1. Pumpkin seeds- high in phytoestrogens; contains components that are specific to estrogen removal
  • Relieves hot flashes
  • Reduces headaches 
  • Supports hormone balance
    • Aim for 2 Tbsp per day
  1. Sauerkraut- fermented cabbage; contains components that are specific to excess estrogen and toxin removal
  • Supports gut health
  • Supports hormone balance
  • Supports cognitive health and improves mood
  • Reduces irritability and depression 
  • Supports adrenal gland (stress gland) health (which is a significant factor in healing)
    • Aim for 1 Tbsp per day

Bonus tip: consume protein, fat, and fiber with all meals to balance blood sugar levels. Blood sugar spikes and crashes from skipping meals or consuming high-sugar foods aggravate irritability, depression, hot flashes, and fatigue. 

Although perimenopausal symptoms are common, they are not normal. You do not need to suffer through this phase of life. We are naturally designed to reduce hormone production as we age, and our adrenal glands (stress glands) are naturally designed to support this process. When we consume foods that support hormonal balance and adrenal gland (stress gland) function, we can progress through this phase of our life as nature intended.

Get more than just tips as you embark on this new phase in your life. Advice, support, compassion, and more are available when you connect with Dr. Jodi.

Join our Perimenopause Workshop on March 27th, 2024 to learn more.

Click here for more details: Perimenopause Educational Workshop 


Written by Stacey Zacharias, RituWell™ Intern