Does nutrition need to change with age and more so after menopause? This is a common question that nutritionists encounter every day, especially from their female patients. The answer is definitely yes and adopting a healthier feeding program is necessary.
Menopause is associated with a wide variety of hormonal imbalances characterized by weight gain, irritability, weak bones, and hot flashes, among others. Aging is inevitable, and consequently, we have no control over how hormones impact our bodies. However, there some dietary tips that postmenopausal women can adopt to help cope with these changes.
Studies suggest that eating certain foods such as whole grains and leafy greens can help ease the symptoms. Are you looking you struggling to prepare healthy meals necessary for the management of your postmenopausal symptoms? This article is designed just to do that.
For Optimal Nutrition, The Following Foods Are Recommended.
What Are The 9 Best Foods To Eat During Menopause?
Salmon is rich in two nutrients that are essential during menopause. Both vitamin D and Omega-3fats have been proven to work miracles. The omega-3 fatty acids are associated with reduced night sweats and risk of breast cancer.3
Vitamin D, on the other hand, is essential for healthy bones. During menopause, women’s bones are said to grow weak. Still, you are assured of healthy bones with vitamin D. Further studies indicate that it also helped in cancer prevention, among other chronic illnesses highly associated with menopause. Lastly, vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk of early menopause.3
Eggs are full of irons and rich in vitamin D. There are nutrients that most women lack in their diet. Eggs are a great source of proteins. Study reveals that these irons, proteins and vitamin D from the eggs are great at reducing obesity and heart diseases all which are contributed by menopause stage.3
Whole grains are highly rich in fiber and vitamin B. A diet rich in whole grains is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, and early deaths. All these are health problems that are likely to become paramount after menopause.3
Whole-grain foods are foods such as whole-wheat bread, brown rice, barley, among others. While buying foodstuffs, check for those listed whole grain as their first ingredient on their package.3
During menopause, estrogen levels decrease and can put women at the risk of fractures. However, dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in calcium, vitamin D, and K, essential in balancing the hormones.3
Poor sleep is a common problem experienced by women who at their menopausal stage. However, further study reveals that amino acid glycine in daily products such as milk can help with good sleep during menopausal.3
Another study indicated that a high intake of vitamin D and calcium, which is largely available in these dairy products, can reduce the risk of early menopause by 17%. Yogurt as a dairy product is rich in both calcium and vitamin D compounds. Additionally, the probiotics in this diet promote a healthy gut for improved digestion, immunity, and skin.3
Apart from being a great weight loss but it comes with a wide range of benefits. Green tea promotes longevity, heart health and reduces inflammation. Matcha is a high-quality ground powder making it a more powerful antioxidant source than any other regular green tea.3
Soy has a great nutritional value that has been proven to be of great importance to women at the Menopause stage. Soy acts on weak estrogens in the body necessary in reducing menopause symptoms and strengthening bones. Research has also proven that soy plays a significant role in breast cancer prevention and tumor cell growth.3
However, avoid highly processed soy as most nutrients would have been removed. Instead, go for edamame and tofu soy-based products.3
Oatmeal is a great champion for your breakfast for a reason. The benefits exceed being affordable. The study has indicated that this diet can help prevent diabetes, weight gain, inflammation, and high cholesterol levels.3
In addition to preventing weight gain, it plays a significant role in maintaining energy levels steady during menopause.3
Decreases in estrogen during menopause can contribute to reduced muscle mass and bone strength. To maintain the hormone balance, a high protein intake can do the trick. Chicken is a great source of protein, and regular intake can promote estrogen balance.3
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, fibers, essential minerals, and antioxidants. For this reason, they can reduce the menopause symptoms. The study indicates that those who eat lots of vegetables and fruits reported a 19% decrease in hot flashes. Research has proven that eating broccoli frequently decreases estrogen, a hormone linked to breast cancer while promoting a similar hormone that protects breast cancer. When it comes to dark berries, they also play a significant role in lowering blood pressure compared to a control group. They also reported reduced hot flashes, better sleep, and low rates.3
Foods to Avoid During Menopause
Highly processed carbohydrates and added sugar foods
High blood sugar and metabolic syndrome have been linked to increased frequencies in hot flashes among menopause women. Study shows that highly processed foods are a great source of high blood sugar. Therefore, limiting yourself from highly processed foods and added sugar such as baked beans and white bread can reduce the frequency of hot flashes during this stage.2
Alcohol and caffeine
Research indicates that alcohol and caffeine can increase the severity of hot flashes among certain women undergoing menopause. In this case, it is essential to determine if your body responds negatively or positively to the two beverages’ intake.2
Spicy and high salt foods
A survey conducted in South America indicated that a high intake of spicy food can promotes increased incidences of hot flashes. On the other hand, high salt intake is associated with reduced bone density, especially among postmenopausal women. Further, a decline in estrogen opens a new window to various health problems, such as an increased risk of developing high blood pressure.2
When the menopause stage is inevitable, we do not have to suffer. If you are experiencing severe symptoms associated with postmenopausal, increased intake of foods rich in protein, healthy fats, whole grain, among others, can strike a hormonal balance and reduce the severity of these symptoms.
While intake of a balanced diet is recommended, foods such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy and high salt intake can worsen the situation. The bottom line, optimal nutrition intake for postmenopausal women, is essential.
1. Traci, C. & Johnson, MD. Menopause and Good Nutrition.2020. https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/staying-healthy-through-good-nuitrition. Accessed March 10, 2021.
2. Groves, M. Menopause Diet: How What You Eat Affects Your Symptoms. 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/menopause-diet. Accessed March 10, 2021.
3. Wicks, L. The 12 Best Foods to Eat During Menopause. 2019. https://www.cookinglight.com/nutrition-101/best-foods-for-menopause-diet. Accessed March 10, 2021.