Menopause is the time of a woman’s life when her menstrual cycles have ended. It’s a time during which you have not had your menstrual cycle in an entire year. The average age for menopause is in the 40s or 50s, and is marked by symptoms that disrupt normal functioning and an increased risk of certain diseases.
However, food can have a positive role to play here. Food is not just fuel but also has certain healing properties that you can benefit from. In this article, we’ll discuss how tweaking your nutrition and adapting a good menopause diet recommended by the brand, Simply Menopause, may prove beneficial for you.
Let’s explore the power of nutrition during menopause.
What are some of the symptoms of menopause?
Menopause has a transition period, which is the time leading up to the point when your menstrual cycles end. The menopause transitional period can be anywhere between 7 to 14 years.
The changes that come with menopause include many aspects, such as physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Some common symptoms associated with menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, changes in sleeping, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and changes in the menstrual cycle.
How can menopause be treated?
Menopause is a natural part of aging and can’t be treated; it’s your body’s natural response to aging. Your reproductive cycle slows down, and your body decreases the creation of estrogen. It leads to a series of changes as your body adjusts to the new level of hormones. All the symptoms of menopause are your body adapting to these changes.
Women have an advantage over men in terms of cardiovascular disease, which decreases when the body declines estrogen production during menopause. There is also a loss of bone density which puts women at a higher risk of fractures.
There are many things you can do during menopause that can help you alleviate at least some of the symptoms, and paying attention to nutrition is one of them. A proper menopause diet can help ease the transition through this tough period and improve your quality of life.
Monitoring nutrition during this time is essential to prevent the loss of bone density and avoid the risk from cardiovascular and metabolic food. A lot of research has gone into finding foods with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties during menopause. These will help reduce blood pressure, regulate cholesterol levels, and also help reduce fat.
Foods to Eat During Menopause
Here are some food categories that will help ease your transition into the next phase of your life.
The decline in estrogen levels puts women at an increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Dairy products contain calcium and vitamin D, which are all necessary to maintain bone health. Calcium is a must in your diet for healthy bones and also helps with nerve function and muscle. Studies have recommended aiming for around 1,300 mg of calcium daily which comes to around 3 serves of dairy food.
Although foods like milk, yogurt, and cheese tend to be the best sources of calcium, there are also some non-dairy foods such as almonds, leafy green vegetables, fish, and tofu that contain calcium.
Vitamin D is just as important because your body requires it to use calcium properly. Thus, calcium and vitamin D should go hand in hand. The good news is that you’ll find it in some dairy products, such as milk. Other vitamin D sources include foods like egg yolks, plant milk, fatty fish, salmon, and mushrooms.
The best source for getting Vitamin D, however, has to be spending time out in the sun for a few minutes every day.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are filled with nutrients, rich in antioxidants and fiber, and packed with vitamins and minerals. A study conducted with menopausal women indicated that participants with a higher fruit and vegetable intake reported having more energy and indulging in more physical activity than those with lower intake.
Every type of fruit and vegetable has some benefit, but some foods to prioritize include leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli, and kale, and others like tomatoes and bell peppers. A study showed that broccoli was linked to a decreased breast cancer risk.
Berries and brightly colored fruits such as mangoes and berries are packed with antioxidants that provide loads of benefits.
Fruits and vegetables can also help reduce the impact of hot flashes, a common symptom of menopause. Apples, bananas, broccoli, green tea, and spinach tend to have a “cooling effect”.
Menopause is a period marked by muscle and bone strength decline. Therefore, women going through menopause should pay close attention to their protein intake. Through a new study, researchers suggest that the body’s requirement for protein increases during perimenopause. If these protein requirements aren’t met, the body will still be hungry and make you intake unnecessary calories until satisfied. Foods high in protein include dairy products, eggs, meat, legumes, and fish. You can also include protein in your diet through protein powders.
Menopause is a period linked to many changes especially with the increase in the risk of certain diseases and reduction in bone density. Menopausal women also experience uncomfortable symptoms such as loss of sleep, hot flashes, change in mood, and weight gain.
While menopause is an unpleasant experience, changing your diet and including things like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and more protein can help. Try adding the foods mentioned in the article to your daily diet; you’d be surprised how much they can ease your transition into the next phase of your life.