What is menopause?
Menopause is a natural phase in every woman’s life when her menstrual cycles come to an end. It is generally confirmed when you do not get your periods for 12 months. However it depends on person to person, the transition and menopause symptoms can sometimes last for several years.
Menopause is linked with many undesirable symptoms and increased risk of certain diseases. Your diet and lifestyle can help you deal with those symptoms.
What are the menopause symptoms?
During the menopause transition, the estrogen and progesterone levels in your body start to decline. This negatively impacts your metabolism, cholesterol levels and even the way your body digests carbs. These symptoms may lead to an unforeseen weight gain. Many women also experience hot flashes while sleeping, dryness in the vagina, low libido (low interest in sex), sore breasts, disturbed sleep, leaky urinary bladder, mood swings and fatigue. Your bone density decreases leading to increased risk of fractures
In this article we will tell you some of the foods you could eat to help you deal with menopause symptoms.
Milk, yogurt and cheese contain calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and vitamins D and K — all of which are essential for bone health. Dairy may also help improve sleep. There is evidence that foods high in the amino acid glycine — found in milk and cheese, for example — promoted deeper sleep in menopausal women
Furthermore, dairy consumption is also linked to a decreased risk of premature menopause in women, which occurs before the age of 45.
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, may benefit women dealing with hot flashes during menopause. The study linked with this was inconclusive but there were some positive records. It is still worth a try. Foods highest in omega-3 fatty acids include seeds like flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts and hemp seeds.
Whole grains are high in nutrients, including fiber and B vitamins. A diet high in whole grains has been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, cancer and premature death.
Researchers have found that people who ate three or more servings of whole grains per day had a 20–30% lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, compared to people who ate mostly refined carbs. Ideally around 5 gms of whole grain fiber per 2000 calories would help you reduce the risk of heart diseases by 17%.
Whole-grain foods include brown rice, whole-wheat bread, barley, quinoa, Khorasan wheat and rye.
This one is a no brainer. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, fiber and antioxidants. A study those eating more vegetables, fruit, fiber and soy experienced a 19% reduction in hot flashes compared to the control group. The reduction was attributed to the healthier diet and weight loss .Cruciferous vegetables may be especially helpful for postmenopausal women. In one study, eating broccoli decreased levels of a type of estrogen linked to breast cancer, while increasing levels of an estrogen type that protects against breast cancer. Dark berries may also benefit women going through menopause.
In an eight-week study in 91 middle-aged women, those who took 200 mg of grape seed extract supplements daily experienced fewer hot flashes, better sleep and lower rates of depression, compared to a control group.
Phytoestrogens are compounds in foods that act as weak estrogens in your body. While there has been some controversy on including these in the diet, the most recent research suggests they may benefit health — especially for women going through menopause. Foods that naturally contain phytoestrogens include soybeans, chickpeas, peanuts, flax seeds, barley, grapes, berries, plums, green and black tea.
The decline in estrogen from menopause is linked to decreased muscle mass and bone strength. For this reason, women going through menopause should eat more protein. In a recent study of postmenopausal women, those taking 5 grams of collagen peptides daily had significantly better bone mineral density compared to those taking a placebo powder
Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. Foods high on protein include eggs, legumes and dairy products. Additionally, you can add protein powders to smoothies or baked goods. Check out &Me Women’s Protein!
The average Age of PeriMenopause is 41 years, when the estrogen levels in the body start declining. Sometimes we start seeing the onset of menopause symptoms at 40, others it happens later. But in either case we need to start preparing our bodies with the right nutrition Starting 40 for menopause!