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One Veggie That May Ease Menopause Symptoms

One Veggie That May Ease Menopause Symptoms

In Sex and the City 2, Samantha announces she’s “leading the way through the menopause maze with my vitamins, my bioidentical estrogen cream, progesterone cream and a touch of testosterone.” When her creams and pills are confiscated at customs in Abu Dhabi, she is outraged. “I need to speak to an ambassador, or an embassy, or someone in menopause!”

While Samantha’s creams may have eased her symptoms, maybe she should have traveled with something less likely to rile the luggage police. Hello, fennel!

This licorice-tasting veggie is packed with phytoestrogens, food-based chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. And a tightly controlled study of 90 postmenopausal women found those who took two capsules containing 100mg of fennel daily for eight weeks had significant improvement in symptoms such as hot flashes and depression—with no negative side effects.

Although we have long said starting hormone therapy (HT) soon after menopause (for 10 or more years), using an FDA-approved bioidentical estrogen and micronized progesterone, is generally safe and effective (as long as you take a low-dose aspirin morning and night with half a glass of warm water) it’s always great to hear about alternative approaches that might be helpful.

So, if you’re suffering with symptoms of menopause, and can’t take HT with aspirin, ask your doc about trying fennel capsules. And while there are no large studies on the menopause-soothing effects of eating phytoestrogen-rich foods, they certainly won’t harm you. Try cooking up some soybeans, fennel, chickpeas, lentils and flaxseeds for an extra boost.

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

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