Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Food Cravings during Menopause

Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Food Cravings during Menopause

Menopause comes with different issues that need to be addressed. Some might even not notice that there appears some additional desire for certain foods that seems hard to be avoided. Food cravings are more common in men and during menopause it is something that needs further attention to avoid more severe health problems or simply try to look and feel good.

Food cravings is a part of a premenstrual syndrome. There are also other symptoms like fatigue, headaches, mood swings, irritability, etc., but fatigue and food cravings usually appear even before menopause (up to 2 weeks). These might be indications as of the prior signs of hormonal imbalance the body is facing. There is research showing that hormonal imbalance affects 74% of women.[1] This fact should be enough signal that this is a problem that needs further attention. With the right understanding, it is possible to achieve good results.

Hunger hormones

Hormones can affect appetite. During menopause, most of the women are facing hormonal imbalance and thus can also have problems to control appetite. Certain hormones also have relation to gut and its coordination with the brain to regulate weight. This indicates an another problem when the ability to control the appetite is lost. During menopause, there are also hormones which are directly linked to the weight loss as their task is to regulate metabolism.

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Major weight control hormones

Insulin

This hormone “determines whether blood sugar gets used right away for immediate energy, or is alternatively stored as fat.”[2] An additional help to control insulin level would be to add to diet more balanced choices of carbohydrates, fiber, fat, and protein.

 

Thyroid

Thyroid imbalance can cause problems with the regulation of metabolism. With age, thyroid levels drop. Also, if the metabolism is slower, there is an additional pressure from how much you eat and weight gain also often occurs.

 

Stress hormones

It is a known that when people are stressed, they feel the need to eat more, especially sweets. This might occur even without the person noticing himself. Anxiety, stress and cortisol production lead to intense cravings and binge eating. This issue might also lead to other diets to fail.

 

Sex hormones

Some researches proved that balanced level of estrogen can help to regulate hunger. With women in menopause, estrogen level tends to drop thus also the sensation of being “full” becomes looser. The same effect is when there is an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone level as it can also trigger food cravings.

 

There might be different treatment options to help to deal with food cravings. One of the first ones to start with is eating healthy that can help to naturally balance estrogen and low progesterone levels with herbs, B vitamins, food rich in fiber, low in animal fats, avoiding chemicals. Food cravings might also become stronger because of bad blood sugar control, deficiency of magnesium and essential fats.[1] They need additional supplementation and also additional protein in a lot of cases is a good thing.

 

Some solutions to minimize food cravings

  • Reducing stress levels
  • Regular exercising
  • Appropriate diet
  • Supplementation
  • Reduced alcohol intake
  • Liver detoxification

It is possible to determine if the hormones are out of balance by simple tests. Appropriate changes in diet can immensely help. A good solution might be natural progesterone cream. Some of the hormone-friendly diets might include consumption of fresh and high-variety of vegetables on daily basis, beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu and other soy products, ground seeds or seed oils daily, brown rice, oats, lye, corn, herb teas, a lot of water (at least 6 glasses or based on weight), whole grains (brown rice, oats, lye, corn), no excess fat or fried or browned food and hydrogenated fat, organic food, avoiding sugar, minimization of coffee, tea and alcohol, additional multivitamin and mineral supplement.

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Trying to balance food cravings might be essential to lower the menopause severity. Hormone-friendly diet is one of the solutions that needs special attention. Some hormones might even send hunger signals. Thus it is not only about genetics, willpower, and a tendency of eating. The problem needs the right addressing especially in a menopausal time as the body can have various other symptoms that mainly affect the overall life quality.

 

Reference:

[1] ION Archives. Accessed from: http://www.ion.ac.uk/information/onarchives/femalehealth

[2] Hunger hormones. Accessed from: https://www.womentowomen.com/healthy-weight/hunger-hormones/

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