Menopause may be defined as the ceasing of the menstrual cycle. It is actually the normal part of women’s life. When menopause is not a disease it’s a condition in women then it doesn’t trigger some changes in a woman’s body. Low fertility, vaginal dryness, night sweats, urinary problems, disturbed sleep, hot flashes, emotional changes are some common signs and symptoms of menopause.
It becomes official 12 months after your last menstruation. However, the menopausal transition and symptoms might linger for several years (1 ).
Well, here we are going to discuss all the foods which are good for Menopause nutrition.
What are good menopause nutrition:
The hormone estrogen begins to drop throughout the transition to menopause and beyond, interrupting your regular cyclical rhythms of estrogen and progesterone (2 ).
Diet plays an important role during menopause. So you should take the right diet that will help you to prevent symptoms. You might be now wondering about what foods are good for Menopause nutrition.
Low estrogen levels have a detrimental influence on your metabolism, which can contribute to weight gain. These changes may also have an impact on your cholesterol levels and how your body digests carbohydrates (3 ).
Calcium as food for menopause
During menopause, there should be an increase in calcium amounts because deficiency or loss of estrogen can lead to bone loss. If you don’t take estrogen replacement then you should aim to take 1200 milligrams of calcium in a day. Some foods which can give you calcium are non-fatty yogurt, milk, and calcium supplements.
During this transition time, many women have symptoms like as hot flashes and difficulties sleeping (3 , 4 ).
Furthermore, hormonal fluctuations cause a decrease in bone density, which increases your risk of fracture (5 ).
The decrease in estrogen levels following menopause might increase the risk of fractures in women.
Milk, yogurt, and cheese provide calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K, all of which are necessary for bone health (6 , 7 ).
In a study of over 750 postmenopausal women, those who consumed more dairy and animal protein had stronger bone density than those who consumed less (8 ).
Dairy products may also aid in the improvement of sleep. Review research discovered that diets high in the amino acid glycine, which can be found in milk and cheese, encouraged deeper sleep in menopausal women (9 ).
In one research, women who consumed the most vitamin D and calcium — both of which are abundant in cheese and fortified milk — had a 17 percent lower chance of early menopause (10 ).
Vitamin D as Menopause nutrition
Vitamin D also plays a vital role in protecting the bone or bone loss during menopause. Moreover, Vitamin D also comes from the sun but according to experts, women should take vitamin D supplements in winter and non-sunny climates. Foods that are rich in vitamin D are fortified foods or fatty fish.
Flax seeds as food for menopause
Well, the best answer to your question about what foods are good for menopause? is to take more Flax seeds. They contain a high amount of fiber which is helpful for preventing constipation as well as heart disease. Flaxseeds also contain estrogens which can help you with some hormonal changes. Firstly, you have to grind the flax seeds after storing them in the refrigerator. So as to keep them non-toxic.
Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and anchovies, as well as seeds such as flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds, are high in omega-3 fatty acids (13 , 14 ).
Omega 3 for menopause
Foods high in omega 3 like salmon, spinach, navy beans, grass-fed beans, mustard seeds, walnuts are the foods that contain the best omega 3s. They are helpful to fight the mood swings which are experienced by women during menopause.
Women going through menopause may benefit from healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids.
A study of 483 menopausal women found that omega-3 supplementation reduced the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and nocturnal sweats (11 ).
Omega 3 fats are also beneficial for providing energy and healthy fats to menopausal women and are helpful for reducing bad cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases. Omega 3 fatty acid foods also reduce symptoms like hot flashes during menopause.
Almonds as food for menopause
Almonds are also considered a good food during menopause and act as nutritional support during menopause and act as the best source of healthy fat which is helpful for preventing the drying effects of low estrogen. This food is also rich in vitamin E complex riboflavin, manganese, copper, and magnesium also.
Related article: Menopause Definition, Symptoms, Treatment
Brain foods for menopause
Brain foods are taken to protect your mind in the later years. In addition, Brain foods include fatty fish, which contains a high amount of DHA and EPA and are proven helpful for improving your memory and reducing the risk of dementia. The green leafy vegetables are also beneficial for protecting memory as well as vision in the later years. Blueberries are taking for proper brain functioning.
Water as a drink for menopause
In order to avoid signs and symptoms of menopause women should take at least 8 glasses of water in a day. Water is helpful for bloating if you are unable to drink plain water then you can make flavored water from fruits and herbs but do not take stored bout flavored water as they are rich in artificial additives and sugar. Eat foods like cucumber and watermelon as they have enough amount of water content.
Carbohydrates rich (Whole grains)
Post and peri-menopausal wo0men who suffer from depression actually have low levels of serotonin than other women. So you can take carbohydrate-rich food which contains powerful nerve chemicals known as serotonin.
Whole grains are abundant in nutrients such as fiber and B vitamins including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid (15 ).
A high-whole-grain diet has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and early mortality (16 ).
Whole grains bagel toasted are topped with jam or 2 cups of popcorn can help you to boost your mood and serotonin levels.
According to a review, persons who ate three or more servings of whole grains per day had a 20–30% lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes than people who ate predominantly refined carbohydrates (17 ).
Vitamin B and protein as food for menopause
Vitamin B is beneficial for providing energy and regulating mood swings while as proteins are helpful for stabilizing blood sugar or mood swings during menopause. So you should take those foods which contain a high amount of protein and vitamin B.
Heart disease-fighting foods
Heart disease can be caused due to decrease in estrogen levels after menopause such diseases can be reduced by exercise and diet. Fresh foods, vegetables, legumes, non-fat milk products, whole grains, colorful fresh fruits are helpful for maintaining a lean figure and can be the best foods you can take during menopause (18 ).
Fruits and Vegetables
SUMMARY: Dairy products, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, phytoestrogen-rich meals, and high-quality protein sources may help alleviate certain menopausal symptoms.
Foods to Avoid During Menopause:
Avoiding certain foods may help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, weight gain, and insomnia.
Added sugars and refined carbohydrates
High blood sugar, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome have all been associated to an increased occurrence of hot flashes in menopausal women. (22 , 23 , 24 ).
Processed meals and added sugars have been shown to rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. The more processed a dish is, the greater its impact on blood sugar levels may be. (25 ).
Including US criteria, your sugar added usage will be less than 10% of your daily calories, which means that if you take a 2,000-calorie diet, your refined sugar intake will be less than 200 calories, or 50 grams (26 ).
Alcohol and Caffeine
Caffeine and alcohol have been demonstrated in studies to cause heat flashes in menopausal women (27 , 28 ).
Caffeine and alcohol use enhanced the intensity of hot flashes but not their frequency in one study of 196 menopausal women (29 ).
Another study, on the other hand, linked coffee use to a decreased prevalence of hot flashes (30 ).
As a result, it may be worthwhile to see whether reducing caffeine impacts your hot flashes.
Spiciest Foods & High-Salt Foods
Avoiding spicy meals is a popular tip for menopausal women. However, there is a scarcity of data to back this position.
One research of 896 menopausal women in Spain and South America looked at the relationship between lifestyle variables and hot flashes and found that spicy food intake was related to an increase in hot flashes (31 ).
Another study of 717 perimenopausal women in India found a link between hot flashes and spicy food consumption and anxiety levels. Researchers determined that hot flashes were more severe in women who had poor overall health (32 ).
Furthermore, the decrease in estrogen after menopause raises your chance of getting high blood pressure. Lowering your salt consumption may help reduce this risk.(44 )
SUMMARY: Avoiding processed carbohydrates, added sugars, alcohol, caffeine, spicy meals, and salty foods may help alleviate menopausal symptoms.