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Sierra

Menopause Foods

How to deal with menopause?

1/3rd of the life of a woman is spent in menopause. Thus, making a whole lot of reason for you to change your habits and adapt them to keep taking care of your health and metabolism during this phase. There is one key factor that affects everything in our lives and that is food. In this article you will find there are many menopause foods that help alleviate the symptoms and also which ones should be avoided as they actually exacerbate them. 

Menopause cannot be avoided, and so it’s more beneficial to embrace this new phase in our lives. The suffering that comes with certain symptoms can be kept away or reduced by the actions and decisions we make in our daily activities.

A diet, not as in a weight-loss one, but rather as a new way of eating, is a great ally to have when dealing with menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep problems, weight problems, fat and even vaginal dryness.

 A well-aware diet allows a smoother transition making the journey a little enjoyable.

 

What is menopause?

Menopause is a phase in a woman’s life where the menstruation ceases to exist. It is characterised by 12 months of no-period. The effects of menopause tend to differ for every woman. There are chances that the symptoms associated can last for several years.

Symptoms associated with menopause can start to show up around 4 years before the actual menopause. This preceding period is called perimenopause.

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Symptoms associated with menopause can start to show up around 4 years before the actual menopause.

Menopause Foods That Help

 

1. Calcium-rich Food and Vitamin D Supplements

Women experience deficiency of calcium or bone loss, even osteoporosis during menopause.

Consuming green leafy vegetables like okra, spinach, broccoli, kale provide much more Calcium than dairy products which helps to strengthen the bones.

Vitamin D is required by our bodies to store calcium. We need sunlight to get that precious vitamin D, so if you can’t get the recommended daily dose, you might consider vitamin D supplements.

The IOM and The Endocrine Society recommend calcium and vitamin D supplements to improve bone health. Vitamin D supplements aid the process of storing calcium in the body. However, menopausal women have shown signs of renal stones due to intake of Vitamin D supplements. Hence, ask for your doctor’s advice before taking supplements.

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Vitamin D is required by our bodies to store calcium.

2. Fruits and Vegetables

Menopause eventuate with less production of oestrogen and progesterone. A low level of oestrogen causes oxidating risk, cardiovascular disease and vasomotor disturbances.

Antioxidants mitigate such risks involved in the reduction of those hormones.

Fruits like blueberries and cranberry showcased result in controlling oxidative stress in postmenopausal women.

Vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, beetroots, are abundant in fibre which helps easing down constipation. Also maintaining blood sugar levels and keeping the gut healthy. 

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Vegetables like bell peppers, carrots & beetroots keep blood sugar levels stable.

3. Drink Enough Water

Water has been a saviour during periods and also in menopause. Experienced bloating during periods? and drinking water was a common suggestion?

Well, the same thing continues in your menopause.

DRINK ENOUGH WATER!! It is effective in dealing with dryness of the skin caused by low production of oestrogen. Moreover, it decreases your chance of bloating as well.

4. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds contain a compound known as lignan that helps maintain hormonal balance. It also prevents depression.

In a study, for women who used flaxseed for 3 months, the menopausal symptoms decreased. Also, the quality of life increased. Yet, it is inconclusive but advisable to add it in your list of menopausal food that will help you.

Consume it with yoghurt, smoothies, salads, or also mixed with other seeds. Remember to use the grounded form rather than whole seeds, as they might lead to constipation.

 

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Flax seeds contain a compound known as lignan that helps maintain hormonal balance.

5. Omega 3

 Add Omega 3 rich foods like hemp seeds, tofu, tuna, trout, salmon, mackerel, to your diet.

These foods contain fatty acids. They help to ease the psychological distress and depressive symptoms that come with menopause as per research at Universte’ Laval’s of Medicine.

Further, Omega 3 fatty acids reduce osteoporosis and vaginal dryness.

 

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Omega 3 helps ease the psychological distress and depressive symptoms that come with menopause.

6. Nuts and Other Seeds

Walnuts, pistachios and peanuts are other menopause foods that can relieve its symptoms. As well as being a great source of vegan protein. Therefore, consider a regular intake, for example as a mid-morning snack.

Linseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, are abundant in potassium and fatty acids which, among other effects, aid in uplifting your mood. Additionally, they tone down the harsh effects of menopause.

Be mindful that nuts and seeds are rich in calories and that over-consumption can cause constipation and hinder your bowel movements. 

 

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Intake of walnuts, pistachios and peanuts can relieve the symptoms of menopause.

7. Whole Grains

Whole Grain (WG) foods like oats, brown rice, millets, are rich in fibre. They are great at controlling sugar levels during menopause. 

Moreover, they are also beneficial in reducing the risk of heart-related diseases and cancer as well as dealing with Type 2 diabetes and digestive health.

8. Phytoestrogen

Phytoestrogens are plant compounds with oestrogen-like properties. These partially cover up the loss of oestrogen in menopausal women. A low level of oestrogen causes, among other conditions, depression. Thus, including phytoestrogen-rich food in your diet uplifts our mood.

Soy, legumes, beans, apples, oats, are abundant in phytoestrogens which, in addition, help deal with hot flashes and night sweat.

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Soy, legumes, beans, apples and oats are abundant in phytoestrogens.

9. Proteins 

Eggs, good quality meat, pulses, peas and nuts are heavily rich in proteins. These are useful to counter some of the effects of menopause.

Proteins are necessary to combat the loss of muscle mass, a critical factor in keeping a good quality of life as we age.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. Fish, chicken, citrus fruits, garlic, red and yellow vegetables, are high in collagen.

Collagen-rich food is one of the key menopause foods that help soften the changes our bodies undergo during this phase. According to this study, specific collagen peptides improve bone mineral density and bone markers in postmenopausal women.

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Proteins are necessary to combat the loss of muscle mass, a critical factor in keeping a good quality of life as we age.

10. Magnesium Rich Foods

Avocados, cocoa, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, dried fruits (a handful) are magnesium-rich food.

These are important to prevent loss of sleep and improve blood pressure. Also, magnesium is needed for our hair and nails and it keeps our heart healthy and strengthens our bones.

Magnesium acts as a catalyst to absorb calcium in the human body. It is essential in treating a few symptoms like low mood, low bone density and lack of sleep.

 

Well, now you know more about the menopause foods that help dealing with certain menopause symptoms but pay attention to the other side of the coin. Avoidance of the below habits will make your menopause an easier phase and keep you healthy.

 

Menopause Foods That Don’t Help

 

 1. Spicy Food

Are you suffering from hot flashes? If yes, avoid spicy food. 

A study on women in urban India suggests that the intake of spicy food leads to higher anxiety levels. Anxiety and hot flashes have a very close relationship according to this other study.

Spicy food increases the chances of hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms. So, it is recommended to, at least, try it, and if avoiding spicy food helps you, then the conclusion should be clear.

 

2. Alcohol

Symptoms of hot flashes, night sweat, broken bones, depression, are related to alcoholism. As per study, many women experience hot flashes due to consumption of red wine.

Ageing causes tendons to lose water hence the capacity to hold water in the body decreases. 

Furthermore, the loss of oestrogen causes low retention of water. The more the water in our body, the better is the dilution of alcohol.

Therefore, with a lower capacity to store water, the negative effects of alcohol get aggravated. Thus, plain simple,  avoid ALCOHOL as much as you can to ease your menopause symptoms.

3. Processed Sugar 

 Indeed, one of the most difficult things to give up on, especially during menopause.

We are dealing with mood swings and have an urge to eat sugary food, but processed sugar is poison to our bodies. And there is a reason it’s so difficult to give up: it directly affects the pleasure receptors in our brain.

Among other things, processed sugar causes an imbalance in weight, affecting our mood and energy levels. It also increases our risk of heart diseases and blood pressure levels.

If you don’t feel like giving up sugar completely all of a sudden, start by reducing its consumption little by little until you don’t even think about it.

 

4. High Salt Intake

Postmenopausal women are prone to low bone density as per a study conducted by the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Sodium intake above 2000 mg/day is a risk factor for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

In addition, if sodium intake is not reduced, it may lead to increasing BP (blood pressure) and hypertension.

Take away

 

A dedicated, balanced and healthy eating routine increases the chances of an easy menopause. It is difficult to manage menopause without healthy eating habits. Necessarily, include menopausal food that helps you to cope with the struggles of it because what was healthy before might not be now as we are in a new phase.

Want to increase metabolism and lead a healthy lifestyle? A balanced intake of proteins, calcium and minerals are necessary. Leafy vegetables, fruits and seeds are a great source of nutrients. 

If you need an extra boost of energy consider nuts as your go-to rather than carbs.

Adding phytoestrogen-rich food is a great way to minimise the risks involved due to diminishing oestrogen levels.

Avoid processed sugar, salty and spicy food and alcohol as they negatively affect the body. 

Menopause and ageing are difficult factors to deal with for a woman but with good eating choices and dedication we can enjoy a healthy weight and metabolism that will make it easier for us to embrace this new phase in our lives.

Sierra

Mother, wife, school teacher and yogini. Finds peace and a much needed exercise in yoga. After a few years of just yoga, she’s now exploring other kinds of training and eating routines looking to stay fit to keep enjoying traveling and discovering the world.