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Improving Your Gut Health in Perimenopause

Improving Your Gut Health in Perimenopause

By Leslie Weidner

Registered Dietitian

 

Are you experiencing uncomfortable digestive symptoms in perimenopause? You’re not alone!

The estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in the gut that is also involved in estrogen metabolism.

As our estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate wildly during perimenopause, the estrobolome takes a direct hit.

Food passes through the digestive system more slowly.

IBS-like symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, and indigestion may happen as a result of an imbalanced gut microbiome caused by hormonal shifts.

Furthermore, gut imbalances wreak havoc on our hormones.

It’s a vicious cycle!

Supplements and Elimination Diets – Essential or a Waste of Time?

What do you think of when you hear the term “gut health” or “healing your gut?” Maybe you’ve heard you should buy a bunch of probiotics, greens powders and various expensive supplements in order to improve your symptoms. Or, maybe you’ve heard it’s essential to follow a super restrictive diet that requires you to cut out all of your favourite foods and constantly check ingredient labels. Believe it or not, you don’t need to waste your time or money on any of these things! Instead, making simple, sustainable dietary changes with an emphasis on ADDING rather than subtracting will yield the best results.

4 Tips for Building up the Gut Microbiome

Perimenopause is a time when our bodies could use abit of extra TLC. Luckily, our gut microbiomes are incredibly adaptable, and by implementing a few simple dietary changes, you will start to feel relief relatively quickly. Here are my top recommendations for building and supporting a healthy gut.

1. Fiber

A high fiber diet helps regulate bowel movements, and adds bulk and form to stool. If you are experiencing constipation, take a look at your overall fiber intake.

Symptoms like constipation and bloating can often be solved by increasing fiber and fluid intake to assist in colon transit.

Aim for 25-30 grams a day by incorporating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds into your diet.

high fiber foods

2. Varied Diet

Instead of focusing on what you should eliminate from your diet to help improve gastrointestinal symptoms, focus on variety!

Maintaining a varied diet helps us diversify our gut microbiome. A greater diversity of microbes is shown to contribute to a stronger and more capable gut. Gut bacteria serve to support immune function, digestion, absorption of nutrients, metabolic processes and nervous system regulation. So the more diverse your gut is, the better these processes can be carried out in the body.

3. Fermented Foods

Fermented foods contain live strains of probiotics. They also increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. Several sources include sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, miso and kimchi.

fermented foods

4. Pre and Probiotic Containing Foods

More often than not, if you get adequate pre and probiotics through food, there’s no need to supplement. Probiotic foods contain a combination of good bacteria to maintain balance in the gut microbiome. Most probiotic-containing foods are fermented foods.

Prebiotic foods are plant fibers that help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics are found in many fruits, vegetables and whole grains including apples, onions, asparagus, bananas, berries, oats, legumes and artichokes.

prebiotic foods

Implementation

It can be difficult trying to manage all of the bodily changes that occur during perimenopause, but implementation is the key to finding symptom relief. If you’re struggling with GI distress in perimenopause, the above tips can help get you started on the path towards easing symptoms and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.

 

If you need more support with improving your gut health and improving your perimenopausal symptoms without dieting or gimmicks, let’s chat!

I’m all about helping you find balance, not just with nutrition but in all areas of your life.

My unique nutrition coaching program, the Perimenopause Protocol helps you learn EXACTLY what to do to feel better during perimenopause so you can get your energy back and start living your best life!

To determine if it’s a fit for you, schedule a free 30 min clarity call here.