There is any number of supplements and treatments advertised as the answer to a menopausal woman’s prayers. You could spend a lot of time and money trying them all. Some do work but the best way to help menopausal symptoms is to eat a balanced diet. Check out some important Menopause dieting tips.
WHAT SHOULD I EAT?
Try and include something from each food group to get your diet balanced. Aim to eat grains, carbohydrates, proteins (and protein alternatives), dairy products, fats, and a lot of fruit and vegetables. Try to take it easy on fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Aim to eat three meals a day – especially if you have been in the habit of skipping breakfast. Have a small, nutritious snack between meals, to keep your energy levels up. To keep your weight at a healthy level, check your portion sizes – eat on a smaller plate if it helps! Have an occasional treat – you’re only human and it will keep you focused on your new eating plan…but keep them occasional!
HOW YOU CAN USE FOOD TO MANAGE SYMPTOMS
You may be experiencing hot flashes, swings in your mood, and be putting on weight. These can all be helped by eating right. Let’s look at what you can do to help these symptoms.
Along with night sweats, these are probably the menopause symptoms that women hate most. Waking up several times at night in a pool of sweat is not fun. Hot flashes can make you feel unwell, be embarrassing at work, make it difficult to get to sleep, and can drive you nuts.
Try and identify what triggers your hot flashes. For many women, these are coffee, tea, alcohol and spicy food. Try and reduce your intake of these. Increasing the amount of water you drink can really help. Aim for at least 8 glasses each day – it’s great for your skin too!
Try to eat foods containing phytoestrogens. These are plant estrogen-like compounds that can help a lot of your symptoms. You’ll find them in beans, legumes, seaweed, yams, apples, potatoes, and carrots. Soy is a high source of them.
Caution: if you are a breast cancer survivor and your tumor was estrogen positive, I’m afraid you’ll have to give the phytoestrogens a miss. Ironically, tamoxifen given to estrogen-positive breast cancer ladies can cause horrible hot flushes. But anything containing estrogen must be avoided.
During menopause, hormones fluctuate and this can cause mood swings and even depression. People who are depressed often have a low level of serotonin in their brain. Eating carbohydrates can help to bring up your serotonin levels and ease the depression. Go for bagels, whole-grain bread, and cereals. And Omega 3 essential fatty acids such as those found in salmon, are great for alleviating depression.
As estrogen levels go down during the menopause, fat in the body redistributes itself, unfortunately settling around the stomach. Muscle mass also decreases, which slows down your metabolism and can result in your weight going up. Cut down your fat intake and aim to avoid saturated fats. Broil and grill food instead of frying and if you do fry, use a little olive oil. If you are retaining water, drinking water will help to flush out your system and may help to increase your metabolism. And nothing boosts your metabolism like exercise!
After menopause, women are more at risk of heart disease. Eat oily fish, rich in Omega-3, to help your circulation. Reduce saturated fats and swap processed flour for whole grain.
To guard against thinning bones, aim to have between 1200 and 1500mg of calcium each day. Eat low-fat yogurt, cheese, sardines, and leafy green vegetables. Go easy on caffeine, as it can prevent the body from properly absorbing calcium.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.