Menopause and The Gut
Tips to Support your Gut Health and Balance your Blood Sugar during Menopause
As estrogen and progesterone levels plummet when women transition through the menopause, common frustrations include weight gain, digestive issues, insulin resistance, low energy, depression, vaginal dryness and hot flashes.
A key reason behind this is thought to be down to the close interplay between our gut health, blood sugar balance, and hormones. The drop in hormones during the menopause can lead to gut imbalances and insulin resistance, whilst disruptions in the gut microbiome and blood sugar levels can affect hormones, making symptoms of the menopause much worse.
As such, improving both gut health and blood sugar balance can support women on a smoother ride through the menopause.
Here are our Nutritional Therapist Pippa's top 4 tips to improve gut health and balance your blood sugar:
- Eat a high-fibre colourful diet based on whole foods. By increasing the diversity of colours and high fibre foods on your plate, you are both nourishing your healthy gut bacteria and providing your body with slow release energy. Get creative with different fruit and vegetables, and sprinkle over nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.
- Include a source of quality protein with every meal. This will slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, thus balancing blood sugar levels and reducing insulin production (the fat storing hormone!). Load up on eggs, wild fish, grass-fed meat/poultry, nuts, seeds, tempeh, tofu, and yoghurt.
- Incorporate fermented foods into your daily diet. These contain live bacteria strains that populate your gut and provide systemic health benefits. Suggestions include kimchi, sauerkraut, live yoghurt (unsweetened), kefir, miso, tempeh.
- Avoid ultra-processed foods. These contain chemicals, additives, and sweeteners that seriously disrupt the microbiome and blood sugar levels, and are lacking in nutrients that your gut and body needs and deserves.