Healthy Snacks For Menopause and PerimenopauseMar 26, 2023
Did someone say snack? Yes, please!
Menopause can be a confusing time for our bodies. Whether it's bloating, lethargy, or hot flashes, women often begin to see symptoms that affect our moods, self-confidence, and day-to-day activities.
When we begin our perimenopause or menopause journeys, we are encouraged to make so many changes: eat less sugar. Get more sleep. Cut out caffeine. Stock up on melatonin.
It can feel pretty exhausting at times.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps and easy shifts we can make to feel better. Sourcing from my gluten-free journey to creating menopause-healing recipes, I want to make it easier for you to eat for your body type. For now, let’s begin with the ins and outs of snacking.
There is conflicting information in the news about whether or not to snack. Some might say that snacking adds unnecessary calories to your diet. Others may say that snacking helps to stimulate your metabolism. I say pay attention to your own body! No one is meant to suffer, and if you feel hungry, I suggest you eat - preferably the brain-supportive, energy-boosting snacks I mention in this article.
Read on as I highlight a few ways to make your snacks healthier, plus my go-to recipes when my cravings arrive. I also want to share some easy ways to modify your lifestyle with a few tips.
You can expect to learn about:
- Ingredients that make any meal healthier
- My 3 go-to healthy snacks
- Some easy lifestyle changes to enjoy menopause
Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive! Just go to Dr. Google and you will find countless other plant-based alternatives, gluten-free meals and sugar-free snacks to consider adding to your plate. These just happen to be my faves right now!
Let’s start off with some ingredients to support your journey.
Ingredients That Make Any Meal Healthier
Cooking, baking and meal prep: all the ways you turn raw veggies, extra fruit, organic meats and healthy carbohydrates into your favorite meals. So, what should a menopausal woman be consuming more of?
Well let’s take a tiny step back - I don’t recommend adding too many fruits to your routine. Fruits tend to have a high sugar content - even if it is the “healthy” type of sweetness. That sugar can lead to raised insulin and more, oh-so dreaded hot flashes.
Here’s my main tip to increase the nutrients in your snacks: my PFF Method!
PFF stands for Protein, (Healthy) Fat and Fiber. If you focus on adding all 3 to your meal, then you will find yourself with a satiated tummy, happy brain, and regulated hormones! Protein, healthy fat, and fiber are essential to keeping your body balanced during your menopause (or perimenopause) experience!
So, for now, let’s focus on veggies.
Cruciferous vegetables are ideal for managing menopause symptoms. They help to balance estrogen levels:
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
If you’re looking to blend the PFF method and cruciferous vegetables into a single recipe, then consider my Cruciferous Veggie Love: a blend of vegetables that address hormonal issues and taste AMAZING!
My 3 Go-To Healthy Snacks For Menopause
Snacks that are aligned with my PFF Method can help to reduce menopausal symptoms. My current top 3 go-to snacks are:
- Roasted almonds
- Sliced red bell peppers
An easy snack when you are craving something savory could be a small bowl of olives paired with a meat stick like Chomps.
Because olives have low-calorie density, you may feel full after consuming them. That can help to keep your caloric intake under control.
Olives are a great source of fiber, healthy fats and antioxidants, too! The meat stick will give you that boost of protein as well.
Coming in second…drum roll please!
There’s almonds! Please see that my Roasted Almonds recipe - the blend of almonds (protein & fiber) and olive oil (healthy fat) ticks all the boxes for the PFF Method.
Almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin E and Magnesium, that help to address issues caused by fluctuating estrogen levels. This study from PubMed shows that almonds have a huge effect on estrogen activity.
A common question I am asked is, “How many almonds should I eat?”
My answer? No more than a handful per day. While almonds are a powerhouse full of goodness, we can absolutely have too much of a good thing. Meaning, nuts tend to be calorie-dense and thus may add unwanted weight to your middle-section.
Also, I want to highlight that some of us are allergic to nuts. If this is the case, please consider experimenting with seeds to incorporate minerals in your diet. Some of my favorites: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds.
Sliced Red Bell Peppers
My third craving? It is as simple as sliced red bell peppers!
Along with incredible antioxidants, bell peppers contain amazing amounts of vitamin C - which helps to build and protect your immune system. Vitamin C also has great benefits for menopausal symptoms, like reducing hot flashes and warding off inflammation.
At this point in reading this article, I hope you are asking yourself, “I know I’ll get fiber from eating these bell peppers, but how do I get my protein and healthy fat?”
Great question my friend!
Let’s add some healthy and delicious protein and fat with my Sublime No-Bean Hummus! Use your red bell pepper slices as handy little spoons to dip up this yumminess!
Easy Lifestyle Changes For Menopause
Here are some more options to consider in order to alleviate some of the pesky perimenopause and menopausal symptoms you may be experiencing:
Drink More Water
You’ve been hearing this for most of your life, but it remains to be true - so many issues can boil down to staying hydrated. Change in mood? Unexplainable headaches? Craving salty foods? Drink more water!
Take Magnesium Supplements
As menopause slips into our awareness, you might notice you’re losing sleep or feeling constipated more often. Taking magnesium supplements can remedy that (please talk to your doctor first!).
Add More Herbs To Your Diet
Specifically: garlic, ginger and onions! A blend of these plants has been proven to strengthen your immune system and increase your energy. When added to your cooking, these herbs double as aromatics too!
To Wrap Things Up
As you reach for a snack, please keep the PFF Method in mind: protein, healthy fat and fiber! This will keep you satiated and help you balance your hormones.
Try some of my snack suggestions, or better yet - create your own (using the PFF Method) and then share a recipe with me!
I am in your corner as a Culinary Nutritionist, Health Coach and fellow menopausal woman. Check out more of my easy recipes for menopause here! There’s definitely a snack, smoothie or baked good that is just right for you!
Only YOU know what is best for your body. As you examine the snacks you choose, do not forget to pay attention to how you feel with each choice!
All my love,
P.S. You are invited to join us for my new Masterclass: How to Create and Execute Your Weekly Meal Plan in Under 30 Minutes! An organization method that can make (or break) your nutrition goals. Click here (or the image below) if you are ready to create more time and space in your life!