Veganism and the menopause: what’s the link?
Veganism is, without doubt, the hot potato of the moment. The campaigns to eat less meat in an effort to restore some equilibrium in our planet’s welfare have been a major driver, but a lesser-known benefit of a vegan diet is its impact on menopause symptoms.
It is fair to say that the menopause brings with it a number of negative symptoms. For many, the symptoms creep up without recognition that the high emotions in one previously a calm and collected individual might just be a result of the menopause.
Symptoms such as irritability, aggression, weepiness, panic attacks and forgetfulness are often associated with the menopause, and these have often led to women mistakenly being treated for depression or believing that the issue was all in the head. If the body is experiencing stress, high levels of cortisol are released to offset the tension and that impacts on the level of hormones produced. An unhealthy diet means the body does not have the basic ingredients to produce the right amount of hormones.
How does a vegan diet help the menopause?
With that in mind, many women are turning to a vegan diet to reduce any impact and aid symptom-free menopausal years. A high alkaline diet is very good for bodies going through hormonal changes and a natural diet made up of foods from shells, skin or peel is going to work hard for the body.
A high alkaline, vegan diet could help you manage symptoms such as brain fog, insomnia and hot flushes. A vegan diet could also help to retain good bone health. Red and white meats and dairy all produce acid in our blood when they are digested, which has to be neutralised. This is done by leaching calcium from our bones. A wholegrain varied diet is the most protective diet for bone health that we can have.
It is important to recognise that post-menopausal women have higher rates of heart disease, partly due to the lack of oestrogen produced. A diet high in animal fats can mean the liver produces ‘bad’ cholesterol whereas a vegan diet can promote the creation of antioxidants which helps reduce such a risk.
It may be worth checking out whether you can make the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet, or even just pay more attention to how food can impact your menopause symptoms. For more advice on the menopause, why not have a look at our menopause help and advice hub.