All women will experience menopause in their lifetime and many will deal with bothersome, life-altering symptoms. There are various natural methods women can find relief from their menopause symptoms, including choosing the right foods to eat.
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The foods you eat can and will affect your menopause symptoms. In addition to lessening symptoms, changing your diet may enable you to prevent certain symptoms and protect yourself from illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
During menopause, your estrogen levels begin to decline. This will negatively affect your metabolism, which may cause unwanted weight gain for many women. The hormone changes may also lead to loss of bone density.
Luckily, with a few dietary changes, much of this can be prevented.
Foods To Control Your Menopause Symptoms
A lifestyle change may help to reduce menopausal symptoms, keep bone density and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Increase Calcium and Vitamin D
Both calcium and vitamin D are linked to good bone health. It is imperative to maintain these nutrients in your regular diet. Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, are a great source of both calcium and vitamin D.
Our skin produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. As we age, our skin is less efficient at making it and a supplement may be needed.
Aim for 2 – 3 servings each day of calcium-rich foods, like the following:
Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Your metabolism slows down as you get older, and women in their mid-forties and up tend to become more sedentary. This all adds up to weight gain, one of the most dreaded menopause symptoms. By filling up on low-calorie fruits and vegetables, you can help minimize weight gain while getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Fruits & vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Dietary guidelines recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
Women whose diets are abundant in fruits and vegetables are likely to experience fewer physical and mental health symptoms related to menopause.
Foods high in fiber can decrease the fluctuation of estrogen levels, which will reduce the risk of menopause symptoms.
Enjoy the Benefits of Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are a natural compound found in plants and plant-based foods. When eaten, they may affect a person in the same way as estrogen produced by the body, which may be beneficial for women looking to rebalance their hormones as they approach menopause.
Phytoestrogens offer a natural alternative to the synthetic estrogen used in hormone replacement therapies.
The following are food sources of dietary estrogens:
During menopause, women often experience dryness. This is likely caused by a decrease in estrogen levels. Drinking water can reduce the bloating that naturally occurs with hormonal changes in the body. Water can help prevent weight gain and aid in weight loss by helping you feel full and slightly increasing metabolism.
Drinking more water is the one simple lifestyle change that can possibly improve brain function, make skin, hair, and nails healthier, relieve nausea and hot flashes, reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches, and ease muscle cramps.
Water contains nutrients, electrolytes, and minerals that the brain and body need, so be sure to drink enough to benefit.
Drinking 8 – 12 glasses of water each day can help with menopause symptoms.
Take a Probiotic
Unlike prescription medication or hormone therapies, natural solutions for menopausal relief are growing increasingly popular due to their effectiveness with little to no side effects. This includes the use of probiotics.
Probiotics are live, good bacteria that are not just beneficial for the digestive system but can also help women’s bodies in other ways, including immune response, weight management, menopausal symptoms, and overall health.
Many factors can decrease the number of good bacteria in the digestive system, including lower hormone levels, stress, certain antibiotics, smoking, and alcohol and caffeine consumption. Probiotics differ from other hormonal remedies in their ability to help women be free from experiencing side effects and risks of developing diseases.
Foods to Avoid
Avoiding certain foods may help reduce some of the symptoms linked to menopause, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and poor sleep.
Processed Sugars and Carbs
Processed foods and added sugars are known to raise blood sugar rapidly, which has been linked to a higher incidence of hot flashes in menopausal women.
Some of the most common hot flash triggers include spicy foods.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Studies have shown that caffeine and alcohol can trigger hot flashes in women going through menopause and are known as sleep disruptors.
High Salt Foods
High salt intake has been linked to lower bone density in postmenopausal women.
I hope you have learned which foods are best to consume during menopause, and which should be avoided. Knowledge is power, and the more you understand menopause, the easier it will be to navigate through it.
Check out my other posts for more menopause-related information:
Tips for Better Sleep During Menopause
Rosacea and Menopause Acne
Why it’s Important to Track Your Menopause Symptoms
3 Must-Read books on Perimenopause
Hot Flashes: What Causes Them & How to Get Relief
For a closer, more detailed look at the hormones that become unbalanced during menopause, please check the guide The Power of Hormones.
References for this article from: healthline.com, webmd.com.