The Menopause Hormone Diet: Balancing Hormones with Nutrition


By John R. Lee, M.D. and Virginia Hopkins

Although natural progesterone can have wonderfully curative effects on the symptoms of premenopause syndrome, it works best when you eat wholesome foods, pay attention to possible food allergies, and take nutritional supplements. The rewards of eating a nutritious diet are more than worth the sacrifices. You'll decrease your risk of future heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and arthritis. If your diet has consisted largely of high calorie, nutrition-free foods such as candy bars and cookies, your energy and moods will improve dramatically. If you suffer from indigestion, gas, bloating, and constipation, you'll be happy to know that eliminating food allergens and good nutrition are nearly always a cure. You'll catch fewer colds and flus because your immunity will improve, it will be easier to drop excess fat, and your skin will clear up. In some cases, a well-designed, individualized diet, supplement and exercise program is all that's needed to restore balance during the premenopause years and beyond. Depending on your exposure to xenohormones, you may well find that you don't need to use natural progesterone.

Create Your Own Personal Eating Style

What are these magical foods you're supposed to be eating? Which of the endless diets touted this month is the one to follow? Which of the hundreds of supplements found on health food store shelves should you be taking? There's no one answer for everybody, but this chapter gives you enough guidelines to begin to create your own personal hormone balance program.

Some women are coming from a lifetime of hardly thinking about what foods they put in their mouths, except for those times they've tried to lose weight. The more ambitious have gone to the bookstore for the latest best-selling diet books. Some say they've tried the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets and felt worse than ever, while others say they feel great on such a diet but can't seem to stick to it. Still others swear by the popular diet books that promote balanced intake of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, while some feel them to be too regimented, unpalatable, or hard to follow. There's a lot of frustration around food for most women, and this is especially true of premenopausal women who are starting to gain some serious weight for the first time in their lives and can't seem to do anything to stop it.

Don't Worry, Be Conscious

Your first assignment is to stop worrying so much about the weight gain. This is not in any way an encouragement to become obese, but rather to let go of the starving model ideal. To the extent that you accept your womanly body you will be giving that gift of acceptance to the next generation of women as well! Mother Nature designed women so that they would put on little bit of weight premenopausally. It will get you through menopause more gracefully and protect you from osteoporosis and strokes. If you don't allow the weight gain to become obesity, the latest research shows that you won't be at a higher risk for heart attacks and cancer, especially if your keep your hormones balanced. You can assume that you are obese if your weight is interfering with your ability to move around physically, or if it is causing weight-related problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and difficulty breathing.

In spite of the charts and graphs and studies put out by everyone from the American Heart Association to the federal government, there is no one diet that is right for everyone . Nobody can hand you a piece of paper or a book that tells you exactly what you need to eat unless they have collected a lot of data first. Anyone who has done the work of figuring out their ideal foods and supplements can tell you that it's a process that takes some time, attention and tracking. It takes trying new things. It means getting rid of the processed foods you depend on for comfort and replacing them with real, nourishing, substantial whole foods. It also means paying close attention to how your body responds to different foods and eliminating those that are having adverse effects on your health. No one can do this for you. The good news is that it can be a fun piece of detective work with great rewards.

To read more about how the right foods can help you achieve hormone balance and optimal health, please read Dr. Lee's book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause.

Excerpted from: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer, Chapter 16

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