Three Foods That May Be More Effective Than HRT for Menopausal Symptoms

If you’ve been looking into natural remedies to alleviate menopausal symptoms, you’ve probably read about phytoestrogen rich foods like flax seed and soy, or botanicals such as Black Cohosh and Dong Quai. But recently, while perusing The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing FoodsI came across three suggestions that were new to me. If you prefer to take the natural route through the menopause journey, consider following the advice of author James Duke PhD, who at one time was Chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Lab at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

Pomegranate  - abundant supply of estrogen.

healing foods for menopauseDr. Duke gives high marks to the delicious Pomegranate, which ranks # 10 on the “Duke’s Dozen,” – his picks for the 12 greatest disease-fighting foods. This biblical fruit is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for everything from nose bleeds to sagging breasts. He writes that it may be a source of beneficial compounds that guard against heart disease and cancer. When it comes to menopause symptoms, Dr. Duke suggests that it might work even better than HRT due to its abundant supply of estrogen – “more than any other plant source” -  making it as potent as two days of HRT pills.

Black Beans – Same amount of phytoestrogens as in soy extract.

Since “Healing Foods” was published five years ago, there have been a number of high-quality studies examining the effectiveness of soy extracts as a remedy for menopause symptoms. The results have been mixed, but mostly disappointing. But maybe black beans is worth a try instead. Dr. Duke suggests trying them as an alternative to soy beans to reduce hot flashes. “They contain the same amount of phytoestrogens,” as well as “the phytoestrogen compounds including isoflavones, lignans, and phytosterols.

Celery and Herbs in the Celery Family – mildly estrogenic.

natural foods for menopause symptomsCelery and dill, fennel and anise, Dr. Duke writes, “are four more in the long list of mildly estrogenic herbs. They all have some 40 to 50 phytochemicals.”

It certainly can’t hurt to try these suggested remedies and, at worst, you just might find that you love pomegranates. If you’re interested in learning more about this fruit and why it’s often referred to as the “ultimate health food,” read “Pomegranate: The Most Medicinal Fruit” by Robert A Newman PhD and Melissa L. Block.

For more information about natural remedies for menopause symptoms, visit the website of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.