Just before a woman enters menopause, many changes can happen, most of which are uncomfortable and very unpleasant. Can you imagine having severe mood swings when you really want nothing to do with them? Or having a sudden intense feeling of heat just from nowhere? No one really wants that, but it’s a reality and a part of life. That’s why natural perimenopause supplements are essential to ease your transition and boost your overall health.
I know there’re other numerous supplements out there that can work wonders, but like any synthetic supplement, they often come with their set of side effects. So, taking supplements from natural sources is always the best way to go.
This article will look at the best natural perimenopause supplements to add to your diet.
What is Perimenopause?
Perimenopause simply means around menopause or the menopause transitional phase.
This refers to when a woman’s body is transitioning into menopause, marking the end of her reproductive years.
During this period, your ovaries start to make less and less reproductive hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which causes hormonal imbalances leading to a manifestation of various symptoms.
When exactly does Perimenopause Occur?
As stated above, Perimenopause means around menopause. But when exactly can a woman say they are in the premenopausal stage?
Most women will experience menopause between 40-58 years, with an average age of 51 years. However, the perimenopause stage can begin anywhere between 4-8 years before you hit menopause. So that means from your 30s or 40s.
However, for some women, this period can last as little as four months before menopause. So there’s no specific time as every woman is different.
Perimenopause may begin as a mere irregularity in your periods which often ends a year after your last periods as you usher in menopause.
So why does this happen?
During Perimenopause, your estrogen levels will begin to drop as the ovaries decline in function until you hit menopause. However, during this period, the woman can still get pregnant until estrogen ultimately declines and she can no longer produce an egg. That’s why some people can still conceive even in their mid or even late 40s.
Perimenopause may present with various symptoms, some of which are similar to those often experienced in menopause, like hot flashes, sweating, irritability, and mood changes.
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular periods
- periods that are heavier or lighter than normal
- Hair changes
- Weight gain
- Urinary tract infections
- Loss of sex drive
- Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before periods
- Difficult conceiving
- Heart palpitations
Best Natural Perimenopause Supplements to take
During perimenopause and menopause, the main issue is a decline in the female reproductive hormones.
Estrogen, for example, is an important reproductive hormone produced by the ovaries. Its deficiency is the common cause of hormonal imbalances. So the supplement you choose should at least work on boosting your estrogen levels.
Other types of supplements to consider are those that can help offset the various symptoms experienced during this period.
With that in mind. Here are the best natural perimenopause supplements to take.
1. Phytoestrogen-rich foods
Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like compounds found in plants. Like real estrogen in the body, they attach to your estrogen receptors, giving you an estrogen-like effect.
Although their estrogen properties may not be as strong as the real estrogen, they can still help relieve most symptoms associated with low estrogen levels.
In one review, researchers found that phytoestrogen reduced hot flashes in menopausal women, and since people in the perimenopausal stage can also experience hot flashes, phytoestrogen can help promote comfort.
Phytoestrogens have also been shown to support bone density and prevent osteoporosis in older women. This is because estrogen is an essential hormone for regulating bone metabolism. With declining levels in perimenopause and menopause, older women are often at risk of low bone density, often leading to osteoporosis and easy fractures.
So by increasing your phytoestrogens intake, you can better maintain bone density and prevent related complications.
Also, some phytoestrogens like isoflavones found in soybeans have been shown to lower the risk of various cancers, including breast, colorectal, and endometrial cancers.
The best sources of phytoestrogens include:
- Legumes like beans, peas, and peanuts
- Chaste tree berry
- Dong Quai
- Red clover
- Evening primrose
- Soy and its products, including miso, tempeh, and soy milk
- Flax seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Jasmine oil
- Licorice root
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids or omega-3 oils are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are considered essential, and since the body can’t make them, you have to take them through diet.
Their potential benefits include the following:
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Improving blood vessel function.
- Reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Improving sleep.
- Fighting inflammation.
- Improving bone and joint health.
Also, omega-3 fatty acids may improve hot flashes and night sweats associated with both perimenopause and menopause.
The best omega-3-rich foods to consume include
- Brussels sprouts
3. Vitamin D
Commonly referred to as the sun vitamin, vitamin D is essential for cholesterol synthesis, boosting immunity, and promoting strong bones.
While vitamin D is vital for every individual, women entering menopause should be more concerned with their intake.
This is because as estrogen declines, the bones lose their mineral density, thus making them weak. However, vitamin D has been shown to slow this process by promoting calcium absorption while reducing inflammation. Calcium is the major component of the bone, and it helps build and maintain strong bones.
So a regular vitamin D intake is essential throughout your perimenopausal and menopausal stages and beyond.
Vitamin D can also help stabilize mood and emotions, which are often out of control during these periods.
If you rarely get sun exposure, it’s good to include a vitamin D supplement in your routine.
Additionally, some foods may boost your intake, such as
- Fortified foods like fortified plant milk, fortified cereals, and fortified flour
Magnesium is a mineral that occurs naturally in most foods, added to some, or sold as a supplement.
It plays a vital role in more than 300 biochemical processes in the body, including controlling blood sugar, regulating nerve functions, and building protein.
Magnesium also helps maintain healthy bones. In fact, 60 percent of magnesium in the body is stored in the bones. This mineral helps regulate other bone-building minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which helps increase bone density and strength.
When the levels are low, it interferes with the bone formation processes, putting you at risk of osteoporosis.
Since bone density decreases as estrogen declines, having low magnesium, in addition, can only make things worse. Ensuring you get enough of these nutrients from the perimenopausal stage will help you have it smooth even during menopause.
- Pumpkin seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Black beans
- Rolled oats
5. Adaptogenic herbs
Adaptogenic herbs are plants that have been studied and found to be effective in relieving stress and maintaining hormonal balance.
During perimenopause, hormones like estrogen and progesterone are often low, resulting in various symptoms experienced during this period.
Also, other hormones like serotonin, Cortisol, dopamine, and insulin can be disrupted, causing more problems with your mood, glucose regulation, immunity, metabolism, and others.
Taking an adaptogen can help restore body balance and thus alleviate the symptoms.
Some of the best adaptogens for perimenopause and menopause include:
This is probably one of the best-known herbs for hormonal imbalances. It has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine due to its ability to calm the body by increasing your resistance to stress.
For perimenopause, the herb can help improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression, improve cognitive function, and improve sex drive.
In one study, ashwagandha root extract was shown to be effective in relieving mild perimenopausal symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia. Ashwagandha is a great example of many good perimenopause supplements.
ii. Black cohosh root
Black cohosh root extract is the most powerful adaptogen in treating stubborn perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, excessive sweating, vaginal dryness, and moodiness.
It works as a phytoestrogen, mimicking the actions of estrogen. However, some researchers think black cohosh is not a true phytoestrogen. Nonetheless, it has been shown to offer relief, and including it in your regime can alleviate your symptoms.
Black cohosh can also help improve fertility during perimenopause. Low estrogen levels in perimenopause make it difficult for most women to conceive. So if you’ve been trying to get pregnant to no avail, try taking a black cohosh root supplement.
This supplement is often available in capsules, tea, or liquid extract.
The dosage may vary depending on the brand, but most recommend 20mg daily.
Black cohosh should, however, not be taken for more than six months to 1 year as some experts believe it may increase the risk of liver damage. Black Cohosh is another great example of many good perimenopause supplements.
Ginseng is a common herb that can offer benefits for the whole body. It’s mainly touted for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and has been shown to boost the immune system, enhance brain function, and regulate blood sugar levels.
In women, ginseng has been shown to improve sexual function, mitigate menopausal symptoms, and improve the general quality of life. As a result, ginseng is often used as an alternative to conventional therapies in promoting menopausal health.
These benefits are due to its active compounds, ginsenosides, also known as steroid-like saponins. These compounds stimulate estrogen biosynthesis and increase estrogen receptors in the target organs.
According to experts, a woman should take about 1-2 grams of raw ginseng root daily or 200-400mg of the extract daily for not more than eight weeks.
It’s often better to start with less than the stated doses to help your body adjust and get used to it as you work your way up.
Ginseng should be taken within 2 hours of a meal to lower the risk of side effects. Taking it too early before meals may cause your blood glucose to drop too low. This also puts a precaution on those taking blood sugar medications. So always consult your doctor to find the right way to incorporate this supplement into your routine. Ginseng is another great example of many good perimenopause supplements.
6. Vitamin B6
Various B vitamins may help improve the symptoms associated with perimenopause. Vitamin B6, for example, promotes the creation and activation of estrogen in the body, which may help improve things like hot flashes and moods.
Vitamin B6 may also improve the menstrual irregularities often experienced during this period which may help increase the chances of conception.
In addition, this vitamin increases serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical that increases the level of happiness in the body. This can thus help relieve the anxiety and depression associated with the phases surrounding menopause.
You can easily meet your daily vitamin B6 requirements by consuming foods like:
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Hazel nuts
- Brussels sprouts
7. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin important for various functions, including bone health and the production of red blood cells, DNA, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin.
However, the hormonal imbalances that occur during perimenopause and menopause periods are often associated with a decrease in vitamin b12, making the symptoms worse. So by getting enough of this vitamin, you can improve common symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and low energy.
Although vitamin B12 is high in animal food sources, plant-based sources of vitamin B12 are limited to nutritional yeast, nori seaweed, sauerkraut, tempeh, chlorella, and fortified foods. These sources may, however, not be sufficient to provide the required daily intake. So even though they can boost your levels, it’s good to include a good quality vitamin B12 supplement. Vitamin B-12is another great example of many good perimenopause supplements.
Passionflower is another natural perimenopause supplement that can help relieve common symptoms like hot flashes, depression, and sleep disturbances.
It works by increasing GABA, a chemical in the brain that often decreases during the menopausal transition.
A study examining changes in GABA levels in the Anterior Cingulate Cortex of Perimenopausal Women with depression found that perimenopause was associated with low GABA levels, which directly correlated with depression and anxiety during this period.
Passionflower can be taken as a tea or tablet for up to eight weeks. For tablets, a daily dose of 1-2 grams is recommended, while for tea, you can take 2-3 cups throughout the day.
It, however, may cause confusion, drowsiness, and uncoordinated movement in some individuals. So if you experience any of these side effects after taking it, it’s good to seek medical attention. Also, if you have any underlying condition or if you are on any medication, talk to your doctor before using passionflower. Passionflower is another great example of many good perimenopause supplements.
- Natural Remedies for Menopause Symptoms
- 8 Common Signs of Hormonal Imbalance
- 14 Foods High in Estrogen
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Perimenopause is the period just before a woman enters menopause.
It’s often associated with low estrogen levels, which may result in various symptoms, including hot flashes, sweating, mood changes and more.
While these changes are natural and normal, they can be pretty unbearable, but it doesn’t have to be so.
Various supplements like phytoestrogen-rich foods, adaptogen herbs, calcium, vitamins b6 and B12, and vitamin D have all been shown to offer relief.
So add them to your diet and enjoy the smooth transition that comes with them.
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