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Tips for Eating Better During Menopause
From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List
Are there foods I should eat during menopause to help me be healthier?
At every stage of life, it is important to have a balanced diet so your body receives the nutrition it needs to be healthy and well. What you eat can be especially important during
when your body needs a little extra TLC. Certain foods can help lessen the impact of menopause and protect your overall health. Creating a diet plan that includes nutritious foods is essential to feeling your best.
By adding some of these below recommendations to your diet, you can really make a big and positive difference to your menopausal experience. Remember, you also need plenty of water
, so be sure to drink several glasses per day.
Decreased estrogen production weakens your bones so to keep them strong, adding a calcium supplement (along with magnesium) and natural food sources is key. Dairy products, like milk, cheese, and yogurt, are obvious sources of calcium, but there are other foods you can choose from too. Dark, leafy vegetables (kale, spinach), broccoli, and legumes are rich in calcium. Fish with bones, including salmon and sardines, are great sources. You can also get calcium from fortified products like orange juice, some cereals, and enriched breads. It’s a good idea to read labels so you can monitor the calorie and sugar content of the foods you choose.
Fiber can help manage your weight, decrease cholesterol, and balance your blood sugar, all of which helps lessen your risks for heart disease. Fiber-rich foods include whole grains – think brown rice, wheat pasta, oatmeal, and barley. Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are also high in fiber, as are fruits like apples, pears, and figs. Coconut, popcorn (hold the butter), nuts, and flax seeds are good sources of fiber along with many vegetables, including spinach, turnips, Brussel sprouts, and okra. Also try lentils, legumes, and peas!
For women in menopause, it’s best to get iron from a dietary source. Taking iron in supplement form could cause iron toxicity because without menstruation your body has no way of reducing its iron level naturally. Instead of relying on a supplement or vitamin for the iron your body needs, choose iron-rich foods. These can include lean meats, seafood, beans, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, and iron-rich cereals and grains. Unless you have significant anemia, you can skip the liver and onions!
You need some fat in your diet, but it’s key to choose good fats. Since weight gain can be an issue during menopause, replacing bad fats with better choices is especially important. Rather than vegetable oil or butter, try canola or olive oils. Avocados are high in fat, but are also nutritionally valuable when eaten in moderation. Dark chocolate is another surprisingly high fat food that’s good in small portions. You can also get good fats from nuts, eggs, cheese, and fatty fish.
If you are dealing with annoying menopause symptoms like hot flashes, adding some soy to your diet might help decrease them. Try tofu, soybeans, or soy milk.
Fruits and Vegetables
Besides being packed with nutrients, fruits and veggies can help with weight control, cholesterol, and blood sugar. You’ll be less likely to reach for high fat or sugary snacks if you are full from healthier alternatives. With so many to choose from, you can mix and match, keeping your diet fresh and interesting. And with the change of each season, you’ll have a new variety every few months!
If you are starting to see the signs of menopause - hot flashes, night sweats, brain fog
, and fatigue - sit down with your doctor and talk about your options and your diet. Together you can decide on the ideal weight, daily calorie intake, and exercise plan that’s right for you.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
03-26-2016 - 03:14 PM
SHARING IS CARING
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