Food & Menopause: What to eat and what to avoid?
Menopause isn’t easy for most women. Changing hormones can cause acne and mood swings during adolescence, and they can also wreak havoc on the body and psyche as oestrogen levels fall.
During Menopause, What happens with weight?
Women develop fat while concurrently losing muscle mass as they approach menopause. The problem, though, is not the fat that you can squeeze, visceral fat, which surrounds your organs, is the culprit.
Visceral fat increases your risk of heart disease, hypertension, and insulin resistance, all of which can lead to diabetes. The good news is that eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help ease menopausal symptoms as well as prevent weight gain.
As well as weight fluctuations, some of the other challenges that individuals face during menopause can be sleeping issues, mood changes, fatigue and more.
What to eat during menopause?
What you put in your mouth can make a major impact in how you experience symptoms, whether you’re experiencing hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, or any other combination of troublesome symptoms.
As oestrogen levels drop, we must be more conscious of what we consume and how much we eat. We must also ensure that we are getting a diverse range of nutrients in order to safeguard our bones and important organs.
Here are a few great essentials to keep on hand:
Vegetables and fruits
Antioxidants are abundant in many fruits and vegetables, and they aid to prevent cell damage. Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli, as well as bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and carrots, are favourites. Fruits with bright colours, such as mango, cherries, and berries, are also high in antioxidants.
Fish that are fatty
Several studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy fats found in fish, to enhanced mood and brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids can also aid to control blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure can help to control hot flashes. Salmon is one of the few food sources of vitamin D, which is important for both mood and bone health.
Eat plenty of high-protein meals like fish, chicken, beans, nuts, and seeds to help your body retain muscle.
According to Chinese medicine, “cooling foods” such as apples, bananas, spinach, broccoli, eggs, and green tea will help you cool down if you’re having hot flashes. All of these meals are high in nutrients and disease-fighting compounds, which is an added plus.
During menopause, it’s critical to stay hydrated. It will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it will also aid in the removal of toxins and the absorption of nutrients.
Oestrogen boosting foods
Phytoestrogens, often known as dietary oestrogen, are naturally occurring plant molecules that have been found to behave in a similar fashion to the human body’s natural oestrogen. Phytoestrogens can assist to lessen some of the unpleasant side effects of menopause by incorporating them into your diet. Phytoestrogen-rich foods may even help you lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
What foods to avoid
While it’s critical to focus on getting enough nutrients throughout menopause, it’s also critical to minimise items that can increase symptoms. Here is a handful to keep an eye out for:
Spicy meals, unsurprisingly, can exacerbate hot flashes. If you become hot easily or have high blood pressure, spicy foods like chilli peppers, jalapenos, and cayenne should be avoided.
A glass of wine once or twice a week is unlikely to make a difference to your symptoms. However, if you consume more than one drink each day, your health and well-being may be jeopardised. Alcohol disrupts sleep and can worsen hot flashes, anxiety, and sadness. Reduced inhibitions may lead to weight gain if they bring you to the snack cupboard.
Foods high in fat
Keep fat-laden foods to a minimum, with the exception of fatty fish and nuts. Fast meals, fried foods, and processed cookies, cakes, and snacks should all be avoided.
Some of the risk factors and symptoms associated with ageing and menopause are unavoidable. However, excellent eating might help prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms that can arise during and after menopause.