Dietary Fibre and perimenopuase

nutrition perimenopause Nov 18, 2022
Dietary Fibre and perimenopuase

Whilst not a macronutrient, fibre is an important component of a healthy diet.


Building your diet around vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds is important for health and disease prevention.
It's also great for satiety and managing hunger. One of the most common complaints from menopausal women is weight gain. This isn't really due to hormonal changes per see but more so to the fact that dietary habits remain the same whilst output has reduced, resulting in a calorie surplus. 

The types of carbs you eat during perimenopause matter; switching your white carbs like rice, and pasta breads for more nutrient-dense whole grains.

Why? When hormones flatline, we increase our insulin resistance. Estrogen dominance contributes to elevated blood sugar because we have less ability to pull sugar into our cells. 

When both estrogen and progesterone flatline, we have a decrease in insulin sensitivity; they both work together to push glucose into the liver and muscle.

We still need carbs, but focusing on nutrient-dense whole grains can help balance your blood glucose & promote a healthy gut microbiome. Lots of fruit and veggies, lots of colours and variety!

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and kale, particularly because they convert to DIM, and DIM helps block the enzyme that converts testosterone to estradiol.


🥜 Dietary fibre is a non-digestible polysaccharide, a complex carbohydrate form.


Fibre has 2 general categories.
  • SOLUBLE FIBRE- is fermentable and can lower our blood cholesterol.
  • INSOLUBLE FIBRE helps to bulk up stool volume.


🥖 Fibre plays an important role in immunity since GI health is synonymous with immune function. Fibre can stimulate bacterial fermentation.


Women should aim for 25-35g of fibre a day or around 15g per 1000kcal


Soluble fibre is the single greatest IBS diet aid for preventing IBS symptoms. This can be found in Rice, oatmeal, barley, soy, quinoa, and potatoes.


🥕 Vegetables high in soluble Fibre (tend to be safer for those with gut issues) carrots, squash, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and beets.


Vegetables high in Insoluble Fibre include spinach, kale, peas, corn, bell peppers, cabbage, broccoli, and onions.



The vegetables that are high in soluble fibre but lower in insoluble fibre (and thus tend to be safer for those with gut issues) include:
Carrots, Winter squash, Summer squash (especially peeled), Starchy tubers (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes), Turnips, Parsnips, Beets, Plantains
Soluble fibre is the single greatest IBS diet aid for preventing Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms in the first place and relieving them once they occur.
Here's the kicker, soluble fibre is NOT typically found in foods most people think of as "fibre," such as bran or raw leafy green vegetables. Rice, Pasta and noodles, Oatmeal, Barley, Fresh white bread such as French or sourdough (NOT whole wheat or whole grain)*, Rice cereals, Flour tortillas, Soy, Quinoa, Cornmeal, Potatoes, Carrots, Sweet potatoes, Beets, Squash and pumpkins, Avocados (though they do have some fat), Bananas, Mangoes.


As long as you're getting a good mix of fibre into your diet, your gut health will be in good order, poop regularly and have little digestive discomfort.


Whilst some research shows that dietary fibre (phytoestrogen) can help reduce vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, more research is still needed in this area.