Menopause marks the end of menstruation in women and could be accompanied by hormonal changes leading to emotional and physical symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweating. Although there isn’t any specific diet to follow, maintaining good nutrition along with some form of physical activity will help simplify this midlife transition for you.
What causes menopause?
It’s all down to hormones estrogen and progesterone. As we age, estrogen levels start to deteriorate causing irregular periods and longer time intervals in between periods. Some women experience menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and even weight gain.
But the good news is: you are still in control to make it less challenging for yourself.
What to eat for healthy menopause?
Eat right to improve your health and help keep menopausal symptoms at bay:
- Eat plenty of starchy foods: base you meals on starchy, wholegrain foods such as brown bread and whole meal pasta for a healthy gut.
- Drink plenty of water! Water helps move fiber through your system, keeps you hydrated and may mitigate hot flashes.
- Eat five portions of fruits and vegetables per day. Studies have shown that vitamins and minerals from these can help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. A portion can be a small apple, a banana or three heaped tbsp. of cooked vegetables.
- Find the right fats: avoid foods high in saturated fats such has butter and fast food that increase the risk of heart diseases and go for healthy unsaturated fats found in olive oil and fish.
- Calcium: it helps to keep bones strong and prevent risk of osteoporosis. You can opt for low fat versions of milk and yoghurt.
- Protein: to maintain muscle strength and assist the body against infections, consume good sources of protein such as fish, eggs, pulses, beans and lean cuts of meat.
- Reduce sugar intake to help prevent obesity and other health problems. Avoid sugary drinks and sweets and focus more on fresh fruits and vegetable alternatives instead.
In order to avoid muscle loss, which is often accompanied by menopause, it is crucial to keep your body on the move! This will not only prevent any unwanted weight gain but will keep your metabolism buzzing. Incorporate 150 minutes per week (30 minutes per day, 5 times a week) of physical activity including aerobic and strength training to stay healthy.
Maintain a positive attitude
Going through menopause can become increasingly challenging; however, remember to adopt a good attitude as it is only a transitory state. Keep stress and mood swings at bay by combining good nutrition with moderate exercise.