Menopause- That not-so-eagerly anticipated, but inevitable time in a woman’s life when estrogen and progesterone hormones take a downward dive and those hot flashes sneak up! Some menopause symptoms are just bothersome, such as hot flashes and dry skin. Other changes related to menopause can lead to long-term women’s health problems, from bone loss to high cholesterol. Following the optimal menopause diet can help to reduce or even prevent menopause symptoms and protect you from illnesses, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Following are the best foods for menopause:
Soy compounds, called isoflavones, mimic estrogen in the body. Studies of the benefits of soy for women in menopause focus on women in Asia, who get their soy from food. If you want to try soy, eat edamame, tofu, and other soy foods as much as possible instead of processed foods like soy burgers.
Your calcium needs go up after age 50, from 1,000 milligrams per day to 1,200 mg. If you have a cup of low-fat milk, one latte, and one 8-ounce yogurt, you’re getting around 1,100 mg calcium. This means you need to take only an additional 100 mg of supplements a day- less than one caplet’s worth to make up the difference. If you’re eating dairy, choose low-fat products.
Getting enough vitamin D is also critical for protecting your bones during menopause. Vitamin D comes from the sun, but many experts say it’s vital for women’s health to take a vitamin D supplement to ensure you’re getting enough, especially in winter and in non-sunny climates. If you’re not getting enough calcium from food, talk to your doctor about a supplement that contains calcium and vitamin D, as D helps you absorb calcium.
Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and enriched grain products. The recommended dietary allowance for iron in older women is 8 milligrams a day. Iron supplements (and that includes multivitamins with iron) are generally not recommended for women after menopause unless your doctor prescribes them.
Some whole grains, such as steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and brown rice, provide B vitamins which help boost energy, manage stress, and keep the digestive system functioning during menopause. Folic acid and fibre, also found in whole grains, help lower risk for cardiovascular disease, which rises after menopause.
VITAMIN B AND OMEGA-3 FATS
Up your intake of B vitamins and omega-3 fats. We all experience mood swings from time to time, but during menopause these swings can seem worse and more difficult to handle. Not getting enough B vitamins and omega-3s may contribute to depression. Whole, unprocessed foods like lean meat and poultry, liver, whole grains and lentils are all rich in B vitamins. oily fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), flaxseeds and/or flaxseed oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acid.
Most of us need to work hard not to gain weight during and after menopause. Gaining weight during and after menopause can increase your risk for heart disease and some forms of cancer. Fortunately, eating fibre-rich foods can help. Aim to eat between 25 and 35 grams of fibre each day. The best sources of fibre include whole grains like quinoa , barley and air-popped popcorn. You can also get fibre from lentils, fruits (apples and raspberries ) and veggies (spinach).
- Have at least 1 1/2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables each day.
- Use the package label information to help yourself make the best choices for a healthy lifestyle.
- As a general rule, drink eight glasses of water every day. That fulfills the daily requirement for most healthy adults.
- If you’re overweight, cut down on portion sizes and eat fewer foods that are high in fat. Don’t skip meals, though.