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Perimenopause is an inflammatory state - 5 things to eat to compensate, naturally

Perimenopause is a long-term, low-grade, self-perpetuating inflammatory state, caused by the decline in oestrogen.

Oestrogen is anti-inflammatory, so when it declines, inflammation in the body increases.

Inflammation is often the reason for all those aches and pains, stiff muscles and joints and other health conditions that arrive in perimenopause and beyond.

The good news is we can compensate for this inflammation, naturally. Here’s how:

The Mediterranean diet, low-carb diets and vegetarian diets have all been shown to reduce inflammation. The common factors in these diets are:

  • Loads of fruit and vegetables that reduce inflammation – half a plate at lunch and your evening meal, focusing on the red, yellow and orange fruit and veg which contain inflammation-reducing carotenoids and flavonoids.

Brassica family vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, kale, sprouts, and cabbage contain plant chemicals that exert an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. They also reduce production of inflammatory chemicals by the body. Eat at least 4 serves per week from this family.

  • Fibre consumption is associated with less inflammation. People who eat a lot of fibre have lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is associated with arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. In a study of post menopausal women higher dietary fibre intakes were associated with lower levels of inflammatory markers. A high fibre diet is an anti-inflammatory diet.

Peas, raspberries, lentils, pulses and chia seeds contain very high levels of fibre, followed by apples, broccoli, avocado and oats.

  • Fruit – especially deeply coloured berries and cherries. Anthocyanins in berries are anti-inflammatory, so eat blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and blackcurrants. 90 g berries a day

  • Olive oil is healthy and anti-inflammatory. Consume at least 30ml olive oil a day - the easiest way to do this is with home-made vinaigrette.

  • Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, herring, anchovies. Eat 4 serves a week and supplement if you don’t achieve this

  • Spices are packed with anti-inflammatory chemicals – turmeric, cinnamon, ginger are key. Aim for teaspoon of each daily. This is easy to achieve by adding spices to your smoothie, overnight oats or chia pudding. Turmeric can be drunk as Golden Milk, which is simply turmeric in a cup of warm plant milk. Build up to 1 teaspoon over time.

As your body goes through the natural transition that is perimenopause and beyond, it needs support - you just cannot ‘get away with’ not taking care of yourself like you could before.

Food is the key to reducing inflammation, no prescription required.


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