Menopause is a frightening word for women. This transition is a consequence of biological aging and accompanying signs and effects that can occur during the menopause years can significantly disrupt their daily activities and sense of well-being. The most common symptoms include hot flushes, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, impairment of memory and fatigue. Long term consequences can include a decline in libido, osteoporosis, heart disease, even dementia – all linked to reduced oestrogen levels. During menopause, many women experience increased anxiety and stress. During such time, only good nutrition and effective handling of stress can reduce certain conditions that may develop during and after menopause.
So eat your way to a happier and healthier menopause. Here’s how:
Eat foods that are high in phytoestrogens: During menopause, a woman’s estrogen production considerably decreases, so eating foods that are high in phytoestrogens, like soy products and flaxseeds, can act like estrogen. Drinking soymilk, eating soybeans, tempeh, and roasted soy nuts might help. You can also go for Flaxseeds as they contain lignans, another type of phytoestrogens that may help with hot flashes.
Calcium is a must: According to a report,it is recommended that women over age 50 should consume 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Calcium will increase your bone density and prevent osteoporosis. So include yogurts, cheese, broccoli, salmon in your diet and drink milk regularly.
Include carbohydrates in your diet: Eating carbohydrates can release tryptophan that helps produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that calms and relaxes people. Go for turkey, milk, eggs and fish. You can also try out cherries as it has melatonin which gives you a good night’s sleep.
Go for Vitamin-B: B-vitamins are known to stabilize moods, generate calmness and improve metabolism. Whole, unprocessed foods like lean meat and poultry, liver, whole grains and lentils are all rich in B vitamins. Other foods that have vitamin B are spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, asparagus and beets.
Have legumes, nuts and seeds: The nutrients and the oils in nuts and seeds may help prevent dry skin and normalise hormone levels. Foods such as pumpkin, sunflower, almonds contain these essential nutrients.
Switch to a fibre rich diet: Due to the fluctuating hormones, the digestive system slows down, so bloating becomes a common problem. Foods that can get rid of the bloat are asparagus, celery, watermelon, and berries. A diet that is high in fibre, such as lentils, legumes, fruits and whole cereals, pasta, rice, fresh fruits, and vegetables can improve digestion and decrease bloating.