What do you imagine when you hear the word menopause? , as someone who has not personally experienced menopause, immediately thinks of hot flashes. Although I don’t like the idea of excessive sweating, frequently fanning oneself, and turning up the air conditioning, I view aging as a blessing, even if it means sweating buckets.
Menopause can also bring about changes in your body’s composition, strength, sleep pattern, sexual drive, bone and heart health, as well as changes to your sex life. You may wonder what you can do if you are menopausal. Certain foods can help to lessen symptoms and make them more bearable.
Menopause Nutrition: Why it Matters
Your body will produce less estrogen as you transition to menopause. This is a primary sex hormone. Reduced estrogen can cause lipid metabolism to be disrupted, resulting in increased body fat and cholesterol. These changes can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and brittle bone. Optimizing your nutrition is essential for managing menopause symptoms and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
What Is The Best Diet For Women In Menopause?
You’ll want to reduce foods that aggravate symptoms and focus on foods that promote heart health, bone density, and lean muscles during menopause. A Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes that are commonly associated with menopause. A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, olive oils, fish, and poultry, while limiting red meat intake, refined carbohydrates, and added sugar.
Menopause can be treated with a Mediterranean diet.
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Help to maintain bone density
- Prevent/delay cognitive decline
- Type 2 diabetes: Preventing or managing it
- Maintaining a healthy body weight is possible.
Take Vitamin D and Calcium in Increased Amounts
Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D may help maintain bone density. Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by brittle and weak bones, is widespread in women who are menopausal. Fortified cereals and milk contain vitamin D and calcium. Salmon, sardines, and tuna are naturally rich in vitamin D. Get outside because the sun helps your body produce vitamin D.
Omega-3 fatty acid consumption is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, a smaller waist circumference, and reduced insulin resistance. Eat fatty fish such as salmon and sardines to increase your omega-3 intake.
Include foods with Phytoestrogens.
Some foods contain phytoestrogens, which act as mild estrogen in the body. They may reduce the symptoms of menopause, which are linked to decreased estrogen levels. Soybeans and tofu are high in phytoestrogens.
Eat High Protein Foods
Increase your protein intake to maintain lean muscle mass. Protein is needed to build muscle. Our protein requirements increase as we age. Your metabolic rate is improved by more muscle mass, so you can burn calories all day long, even when at rest. Eat a protein-rich meal with each meal to preserve muscle mass and increase metabolism.
Consume Enough Fiber
Weight gain can be a side effect of menopause, and hormonal changes may also cause it. Focus on eating foods rich in fiber, along with more protein, to help manage your Weight. Fiber is known to relieve constipation, but it can also keep you fuller longer. The soluble fiber in foods such as oats, barley (check out our German Chocolate Overnight Oats recipe for an amazing, tasty idea), beans, and barley forms a gel that slows down the digestion of other nutrients. This prolongs a feeling of fullness. Aim to consume 25-35 grams per day. You’ll be less likely to snack throughout the day if you feel satisfied and full after eating.
We have put together an excellent resource, The 5-Day Menopause Diet Plan to Lose Weight. It is a comprehensive PDF and article!
How many calories should a menopausal woman consume per day?
Calorie recommendations can vary widely depending on your age, height, and level of activity. Women in their 40s and 50s need between 1500-2200 calls per day to stay energized. Physically active people need more calories because they use more energy.
Deprivation will never work. Weight gain during and after menopause is common. You can reduce cravings by cutting out certain food groups or skipping meals by reducing calories. This will only lead to weight cycling and increased cravings. Focus on eating more whole foods, increasing your protein and fiber intake, and incorporating physical activity into your daily routine.
Consult a dietitian who is registered to determine your ideal calorie range.
What foods should women avoid during menopause?
Avoid foods that may exacerbate hot flashes if you are experiencing them. You can reduce hot flashes by limiting your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. You can help identify hot flash triggers by writing down the foods you ate just before experiencing one.
Some women going through menopause have difficulty falling or staying asleep. You can get better sleep by limiting your caffeine and alcohol consumption.
A diet high in salt is also linked to decreased bone density among women in their menopause. By choosing fresh fruit and vegetables instead of salt, you can reduce your sodium intake. When buying canned food, choose low-sodium alternatives or rinse beans and vegetables in a strainer prior to heating them to remove any excess salt.
Menopause and the Best Food
Vitamin D Foods
- Fortified cereal
- Fortified milk
- Fortified orange juice
- Fortified cereal
- Sesame seeds
High Fiber Foods
- Whole grain bread
- Whole wheat pasta
- Apples without the skin
- Pears without the skin
- Sweet potatoes
- Black Beans
- Lima beans
- Brussels sprouts
High Protein Foods:
Omega 3 Foods:
- Chia seeds
Menopause Foods FAQs
What should I eat for breakfast during menopause?
What Fruits Are Good for Menopause?
What is the best way to treat menopause with eggs?
What Milk Is Good for Menopause?
What Foods Help with Menopause Belly?
What Supplements Can Help with Menopause and Symptoms?
What Is The Best Nutritional Plan For Women Over 50?
The transition to menopause can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including hot flashes and poor sleep. It can also lead to changes in the body’s composition. Menopause also increases the risk of heart disease and brittle, weak bones. Choose foods that promote heart health, healthy bones, and muscle mass, and reduce or avoid foods that cause menopausal-like symptoms. Consider a Mediterranean diet to lower your risk of health complications related to menopause. Eat foods rich in vitamin D, calcium, and fiber. Also, eat foods high in phytoestrogens, omega-3s, and protein. Although menopause symptoms can be unpleasant, the right foods will help ease them and make your experience more pleasant.