Guest post by Dr Anna Cabeca, DO, FACOG
When scientists studied the effect of diet on menopause symptoms, they found that this time of life is much easier for Asian women than for us Westerners.
It’s because Asian women follow a traditional, mostly plant-based diet. By contrast, Western women eat much more meat, and about four times as much saturated fat, as women on traditional Asian plant-based diets, and only one-fourth to one-half the fiber that Asian women eat. And until recently, there was no word for “hot flash” in Japanese, and only about 25 percent of Japanese women even experience hot flashes!
Attitude factors in too. In Japan, for example, women do not consider menopause to be a sign of middle age; rather, they see it as a natural process. Their word for menopause is translated loosely as “renewal and regeneration.” I believe that when you develop a positive mindset, including with a perspective like this, it changes your physiology to greater physical well-being and good health.
As women, I think we can learn a lot from Asian cultures when it comes to easing menopause symptoms.
Relieving these symptoms is one reason why I created the six-day Keto-Green Plant-Based Detox in my new book MenuPause. It shows you how to be a plant-based eater, while incorporating the low-carb principles of ketogenic nutrition. Many vegans and vegetarians think they can’t go keto, but they certainly can. This Detox shows you how.
Another reason I created this plan is because I recommend that you pause from animal foods at least two to three times a year (or more), in 6-day cycles, as part of the Keto-Green lifestyle.
This plan is 100 percent plant based. It swaps out animal foods for plant-based substitutes such as beans, legumes, tofu, and tempeh, while remaining high in alkaline, nutrient-rich vegetables such as green leafy veggies.
One of the big benefits of the Keto-Green Plant-Based Detox is that it is effective for resolving many symptoms of menopause. Foods such as beans, peas, and lentils are rich in natural estrogen and help balance that hormone within your body. Green leafy vegetables, including kale, spinach, and Swiss chard, can also help keep you maintain hormonal balance.
Science stands behind all this. In a survey of 754 premenopausal and postmenopausal women who were either vegans or omnivores, the vegans reported fewer hot flashes, night sweats, heart palpitations, changes in blood pressure, and other bothersome physical symptoms than did the omnivores.
Consider this, too.
U.S. News & World Report recently reported that menopausal women who lose weight in the context of a healthy plant-based diet can greatly reduce or eliminate their hot flashes and night sweats.
You’ll be enjoying lots of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts on this plan—all of which contain high amounts of glucosinolates. These are natural detoxifying substances that help usher harmful estrogens from the body.
As for other benefits of a plant-based diet, we know from available evidence that plant-based eating can help you:
- Lose weight and maintain your weight loss afterwards
- Reduce your cancer risk
- Prevent Type 2 diabetes
- Boost your immune system
- Decrease inflammation
- Improve your digestive health
- Increase alkalinity
- Boost your mineral intake
- Ease joint pain
- Supercharge detoxification
- Strengthen your bones
- Improve your sleep quality
- Enjoy more energy
- Support longevity
What exactly does a plant-based diet to ease menopause symptoms look like in everyday life?
Here is an example of a one-day menu:
Green smoothie (nut milk, a handful of spinach or kale, a scoop of pea protein powder, ½ cup of berries, a tablespoon of almond butter – and any other plant food you enjoy)
Lentil soup with a side salad drizzled with olive oil or coconut oil
Sauteed (in olive oil) spinach, zucchini, onions, garlic, and chickpeas with Indian spices
The bottom line here is that eating a plant-based diet is definitely helpful for hormone balance and offers a wealth of other health benefits.
Want more information on how to get on a plant-based diet? Order your copy of Menupause now and start reaping the many benefits of this lifestyle. You can also get a taste of some of the recipes in this ebook: Recipes for Menopause.
We hope this helps you get started using a plant-based diet to ease your menopause symptoms!
About the Author
Dr. Anna Cabeca, DO, OBGYN, FACOG, is triple-board certified and a fellow of gynecology and obstetrics, integrative medicine, and anti-aging and regenerative medicine. She has special certifications in functional medicine, sexual health, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.
For the past 20 years, she’s served 10,000+ women in her private practice— and millions more through her books, online videos and articles.
When her own health took a troubling turn during menopause, she sought out the wisdom of healers around the world. She learned that modern medicine and time-tested natural remedies are not at odds. Working together, they create indisputable results and true well being. Using delicious, healing foods and simple lifestyle changes, Dr. Anna reclaimed her health and life.
Fueled by her belief that every woman deserves to be empowered and in control of their health and life, she developed the Keto-Green lifestyle, which has helped thousands of women opt out of menopause misery and experience a joyful transition to the next stage of their lives. With her methods, you, too, can breeze through menopause into your “second spring”, feeling the best you ever have.
Want to learn how to use Yoga to tackle Menopause Symptoms? Get Dr. Garner’s Free Yoga Video Library and Visual Breathwork Guide Now. Plus, you can give us a follow on IG!