As you approach menopause, your body starts to change, and you may begin to experience symptoms that are not the most comfortable. Whether it be the hot flashes, night sweats, or insomnia, it can be so challenging trying to deal with the common menopausal symptoms. Fortunately, some lifestyle changes can help make this transition period more manageable for you. One of these steps involves your diet and the food you eat.
Eating right with an optimal diet is considered as part of the natural menopause solution as you learn how your food intake can affect your hormones and, consequently, your symptoms. Proper nutrition can also prevent illnesses from arising, so you stay healthy and avoid aggravating whatever uncomfortable feelings you may have. While there is no one clear-cut diet or meal plan to follow step-by-step, there are guidelines that you can follow in terms of the nutrients you need.
High Calcium and Vitamin D
During menopause, you need to intake more calcium since the decrease in estrogen can lead to bone loss. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products like yoghurt and milk, fish canned with bones like sardines, legumes, and others. It is typically recommended for postmenopausal women to take 1,200 mg of calcium per day through a combination of diet and supplements. This way, you can promote healthy bones and prevent the occurrence of osteoporosis.
Aside from calcium, vitamin D is equally essential for you since this nutrient helps you take in the calcium effectively. Vitamin D can be sourced from foods such as fatty fish and fortified juices, as well as from the sun. Taking supplements, however, may also be helpful if you do not incorporate enough into your diet or during the winter seasons when there is no sun.
Fruits and Vegetables
As with other healthy diets, fruits and vegetables are an excellent addition to your meals as they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Since metabolism slows down as you get older, having fruits and vegetables on your plate every day can help you maintain a healthy weight or, in some cases, lose weight. You can think of it as food that can help with weight loss and cravings without the strict diet, much like the premise of the natural menopause solution.
Brown rice, cereals, quinoa, oatmeal, and other whole grains will provide you with fibre and B vitamins, which are crucial to keeping your digestive system functioning properly. These fibre sources may also help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Soy is known to contain isoflavones, which may trigger the production of equol, a type of estrogen, for some women. It is also a great source of fibre and acts as a great plant-based substitute for processed food. If you can, try to substitute soy for red meat once or twice a week, and you will see significant changes. You can get soy from foods like tofu, edamame, and the like.
Healthy fats include your omega-3 fatty acid, which you can get from fatty fish and seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds. Other sources of good fat include eggs, nuts, and oils like extra virgin olive oil. These healthy fats can have significant health benefits, including weight control, hormone production, and good joint health.