Are you, or is someone you know struggling with menopause symptoms? Did you know that if you eat the right foods you can ease those symptoms, or even relieve them entirely?
In this post I’ll explain why your diet is important to keep you healthy during the menopause. And I’ll give you the low-down on key foods and nutrients that will boost your overall health and help relieve your symptoms – so you can feel your best, most radiant self.
Why is diet so important during the menopause?
Menopause is a transition in a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle comes to an end. During the menopause, your body produces less of the hormone oestrogen. This leads to symptoms like hot flushes, sleeping problems, mood swings and dry skin. Reduced oestrogen can also cause weight gain and increase your risk of certain illnesses like osteoporosis and heart disease.
But studies have shown that certain nutrients can help relieve menopausal symptoms and prevent health problems associated with this stage of life. In fact, in countries like Japan where diet is very different from the typical western foods, women report having almost no menopausal symptoms at all! So what are the nutrients you need more of to stay healthy and feel great? Read on for a list of the best foods to eat during the menopause – and the foods to avoid:
Calcium is a nutrient that’s essential for healthy bones: it builds bone mass and keeps them strong. Because hormone changes can weaken your bones during menopause, it’s recommended that you eat and drink two to four servings of calcium-rich foods a day.
Dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium. It’s also found in sardines, broccoli and green leafy vegetables.
As a bonus, dairy foods could also improve your sleep patterns, which can suffer during the menopause. Milk and cheese are high in the amino acid glycine which is thought to promote deep sleep in menopausal women.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so it’s another nutrient that’s important for healthy bones. Your body naturally makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but during the menopause it’s recommended you eat foods to increase your vitamin D intake – especially when the sun is in short supply! Foods with plenty of vitamin D include salmon, mushrooms, fortified margarine and cereals, and eggs.