A Perthshire woman is on a mission to help women going through menopause with a special sourdough loaf of bread.
Charlotte Blacker is the founder and creator of Mena range of menopause-friendly food products.
The Glenalmond scientist claims her loaf is filled with ingredients to help counter the effects of menopause.
Hope loaf proves to be among best food for menopause
Charlotte says each Mena bread, which sells for £4, is packed with plant oestrogens.
She explains these can provide a natural hormone replacement therapy thanks to a similar chemical structure.
She says: “Natural plant oestrogens counterbalance the natural drop in biological oestrogen.
“I want bring women natural relief from unwanted symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause.”
The idea behind the range came when Charlotte observed the cultural differences in how menopause is experienced by people across the globe.
She said: “Japanese women eat greater levels of plant oestrogens or phytoestrogens which are naturally found in a vegetable and soy-rich diet.
“This has proved to be the key to a symptom-free menopause.
“I am aware that not many of us in the west are likely to embrace a daily helping of tofu, so I created Mena bread and snack bars.
“It’s a simple and easy addition to your daily routine that can make a big difference to how you feel.”
Perth bakery gets involved with Mena bread
To turn her concept into a commercial loaf Charlotte turned to her friends Francesca Polegato and Denis Casella at the Perth-based multicultural artisan bakery Casella & Polegato for help.
Mena Bread undergoes a lengthy fermentation process before being baked in a stone-based oven.
The loaf contains a secret mix of wholemeal, white, malthouse, rye and soya flour, which gives the loaf a malty, rye flavour, as well as water, soya milk, olive oil and miso paste.
A selection of seeds, salt and edible flowers add nutrition and flavour.
It is available to buy online, collected from local hubs or bought direct from Casella & Polegato’s shops and other local independent retailers.
Charlotte is keen to increase the number of distribution outlets.
She says: “I’m open to the opportunity to licence bakeries across the UK to bake Mena bread.
“The ultimate aim is to make it available to as many ladies as possible who would like to manage their hormone fluctuations.”
Charlotte also runs a food subscription business, called Herb Majesty. This sells free-range turkey, pork, lamb and chicken raised and grazed on wild herbal pastures in the Perthshire hills.
Herb Majesty supplies meat to Andrew Fairlie Restaurant at Gleneagles and other top Scottish restaurants.