How Anxiety and Gut Health are linked in Menopause

How Anxiety and Gut Health are linked in Menopause

Anxiety is now considered the #2 Menopause symptom, just behind Hot Flushes. Altering what food you eat, and when you eat it, not only will affect your gut health for the better but it becomes a massive part of how to manage your menopause – from sweats to anxiety.

Just like you I’ve had low level anxiety every day and I’ve worked to overcome it mainly with supplements and eating better, and Ashwagandha has been amazing; if you still haven’t got it, get it!

However I still get the odd day where anxiety is bad in the morning and I’ve been keeping tabs on it and its whenever I don’t eat well the day before, and to be more precise – when I’ve had too many carbs/sugars.

During the Menopause years we have to fine tune our bodies more and more, altering regularly as new sensitivities and symptoms appear, and the biggie is what we eat and drink.

Our bodies crave more vegetables – you can’t go wrong if you add more and more veg into your daily life.

Berries for Breakfast, crunchy carrots at lunch or thick and warming vegetable based soup and a colourful medley of veg with your dinner (minus potatoes, pasta, rice, bread!)

DID YOU KNOW?

Vegetables are carbohydrates, they’re just good ones!

The more colour your fruit and veg has, the more sugar it has. This isn’t a bad thing when its healthy veg like beetroots or tomatoes, or strawberries as they have so many nutrients that are great for us. It’s just the richer the colours the sweeter the flavour. Your health greens like broccoli and kale are packed full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals, and aid reduction in inflammation, as well as help cleanse your liver. All in all – Green veg are great!

I spoke to a menopause chef at an event a few months back and she gave me a good idea on how to create your main meal of the day – Start with deciding what vegetables you want to eat. It sounds too simple doesn’t it? Plus another menopause nutritionist said ‘don’t think 5 a day, think 30 a week’. Another great tip, to get a real variety of vegetation into your system – your gut bacteria will love you for it.

Now I choose anywhere up to 6 or 7 veg, a medley is a great way to get tons of nutrients, you can roast them, stir fry them, or cook in a variety of ways. You can decide on what seasoning you want, I’m a sucker for lemon and some ground chilli/garlic spice, a little spicy kick is always great for the metabolism. Then I think what protein shall I finish off with and I’ve found I can now eat less of it, as its a smaller percentage of my meal now.

BUT WHY DO WE NEED ALL THIS VEG AND HOW DOES IT RELATE TO ANXIETY

Our gut is known as ‘the 2nd brain’, it is packed full of neuro receptors so we need to keep a clean gut that works well, as its directly connected to our brain. Our gut is also packed full of LIVE bacteria* and these little critters are like bunny rabbits, they need veg to feed on. If you only put sugar/carbs and processed foods into your system the gut bacteria dies out, it will literally be starved or poisoned. Sounds awful right?

Veg is known as a pre-biotic, its the fertilizer of the gut, once the bacteria are thriving and healthy your gut will begin to heal and become more efficient. You’ll get less of that squirmy, ‘can’t quite place your finger’ on it feeling! When we have a strong gut, we have a strong head, we feel invincible, and we go and get on with the day feeling like Wonder Woman!

So next time your head /body is registering anxious, just think back to what you ate yesterday, did you feed your little critters plenty of veg so that they’re thriving and happy?

*If you don’t have healthy gut bacteria start taking a pro-biotic, this repopulates the gut. Especially if you have had anti-biotics as they will kill all your healthy gut bacteria.

A BIT OF THE CHINESE MEDICINE STUFF

You can have hot and cold conditions within your body and this affects what’s coming out the rear end; if you get my drift!

If you’re constipated you are hot inside, and not getting enough water to the colon to ease your stools – Aloe Vera gel is cooling and may help if drinking a lot of water isn’t helping.

If you pee a lot, or your stools are loose/watery then you have ‘cold’ in your system, and you may benefit from having gentle warming spices in your food, like popping cumin, cinnamon, cardamom into roasted foods. Don’t have too many steamed foods as this adds more water into your system, have your foods more on the roasted side with the ‘gentle’ spices in; we’re not talking vindaloo here J

 

K N O W L E D G E . P A U S E . F L O U R I S H

Andrea is a Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine Practitioner who has specialised in helping women alleviate symptoms and understand perimenopause from the earliest signs. Since shocked but relieved to find out all her symptoms were menopause related 4 years ago she has dedicated her business to helping women find relief, she aims to help you ‘Blossom in Your Menopause’!

 

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