|Shockingly, statistics show that suicide rates in women are highest between the ages of 45-54, the age group in which most of us will experience peri/menopause.
A recent study of over 1000 women between the ages of 50-55 also reported that nearly half (48%) felt that their mental health was adversely affected by their peri/menopausal symptoms.
I don’t think that it is any coincidence that many marriages breakdown during this time too…
Increased anxiety and stress during peri/menopause are very real… I know that at times, I have been able to relate to these symptoms myself.
I know many of my clients can too… How about you?
Why does this happen? Well, it can be yet another symptom of our changing hormones…
In fact, I probably don’t need to tell you that symptoms of peri/menopause are not just physical, many can be psychological too.
Brain fog, anxiety, mood swings, worry, sadness, depression, nervousness, and panic attacks… are all things I hear about regularly.
These symptoms can scare us and make us feel that we aren’t ourselves anymore.
Our changing hormones can have a big impact on our brains!
And it is because of our hormones that women’s brains are much more susceptible to cognitive decline than men
How nutrition could help
You may now be wondering what this got to do with nutrition…
Well, your brain is the organ that can be most affected by what you eat and drink.
Dr Lisa Mosconi PhD a neuroscientist who specialises in women’s brain health, especially around the time of menopause says
“A healthy diet is crucial in protecting our brains”
Over 80% of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter that supports your mood, is made in your gut. So, if your gut health is compromised, this can have a big impact on your mood too.
This is one of the reasons why (more than ever) peri/menopause is a critical time to support your health and well-being.
A time to adapt to your body’s changing needs.
Michelle Obama former First Lady (and all round great advice giver) has been quite open about her own menopause experience. She says
” We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our to-do list”
I happen to think that she is quite right!
Here are my top 3 nutrition tips for supporting your brain health
- Support your gut health by eating foods that feed or promote an abundance of the beneficial bacteria in your gut. You can learn more about these types of foods here. Testing can also be helpful.
- Eat 3 regular meals a day and avoid long periods of time without eating. If you are already experiencing stress and anxiety this can just add additional stress to your body.
- Include lean protein, healthy fats and fibre (veggies) with each meal. Research has shown that eating 2 portions of dark green leafy vegetables a day could help to support brain health
I am unable to give advice on HRT, other than to say that some women do find HRT helpful for mind and mood symptoms, but others do not… this is something that you will need to discuss with your GP or healthcare provider.
Finally, I would like nothing more than for you to take Michelle’s advice and put yourself at the top of your to-do list starting right now.
Originally sent on 8th November 2022 to my email subscribers. If you would like to join my list click here