Menopause is a natural phase just like many other biological changes in a woman’s body. Certain things about this cannot be controlled or changed but healthy eating habits along with certain food choices can help sail through this phase much easily. It can also help ease out unwelcome symptoms associated during or before menopause.
- Isoflavones: Include foods rich in isoflavones as they help relieve menopause symptoms. Soy, paneer or tofu and soy milk are good choices. They help reduce hot flashes and night sweats.
- Calcium: Focus on getting enough calcium as the calcium absorption lowers with decrease in estrogen. Including low fat dairy, fish with bones like salmon, sardines, dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, etc. daily will help boost the calcium intake.
- Iron: Iron plays an important role during this time. Lean red meat, eggs, nuts and enriched cereals are good choices for pumping up all the iron you need.
- Amino Acids: Make sure enough proteins from various sources especially containing amino acid tryptophan are consumed. You can find this amino acid in cottage cheese, oats, and legumes. This helps control irritability and depression.
- Water: Pay attention to your water intake. Vaginal dryness and dry skin are common complaints during this time and can easily be tackled by simply increasing your fluid intake. Concentrate on including nutrient dense fluids like buttermilk, fresh homemade juices and soups, fruit infused liquids etc.
- Fats: Control intake of saturated fats. This will help reduce the risk of heart diseases, foods to avoid would be whole milk and products, fatty meats, cheese. Also keep a check on baked foods as they can sneak in some trans fats in diet through margarine. Besides this inclusion of good fats in the form of fish, fish oil, flaxseeds will help prevent breast cancer.
- Sugar: Limit your salt and sugar intake. This will make sure your blood sugars and blood pressure can be kept in control. It will also ease out bloating if any.
- Caffeine: Try to avoid stimulating foods like too spicy and caffeine rich as they aggravate menopausal symptoms. You don’t have to cut them down totally but keep a control.
- Food Supplements: Some women may need to consider supplementation over and above healthy food choices especially calcium and vitamin D. This can be figured out in conjunction with your physician and nutritionist.
Whatever your menopause symptoms may be, these food strategies might just help ease them. Remember good nutrition and little lifestyle changes can manage menopause in a healthy manner without too much of medical or surgical intervention in most of the cases.
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