Menopause is a time of transition marked by reduced levels of the hormone oestrogen, which can not only affect the body’s energy levels, but also bone and heart health. This phase of a woman’s life also brings with it some not pleasant symptoms like hot flushes, fatigue, weight gain, mood swings and dryness. However, adopting a healthy diet during this time can help reduce the effects of menopause.
Below are some foods that can help with menopause symptoms.
Foods Rich in Calcium
Calcium is crucial for bone strengthening and formation. However, as oestrogen levels diminish, calcium levels may also be compromised since oestrogen plays a role in the absorption of calcium in a woman’s body. Hence, it is very important to ensure you get plenty of calcium in your diet. Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk and cheese, fish with bones (sardine and canned salmon), as well as broccoli, legumes and calcium fortified juices.
Fibre Rich Foods
Fibre is an important part of the menopause diet, and it is recommended that at least 21 grams of fibre are taken daily. Fibre helps maintain a healthy cholesterol level and helps prevent weight gain. It also helps in digestion, reducing uncomfortable constipation. Foods rich in fibre include whole grains, bread and pasta from whole wheat, cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables. We suggest you eat small portions throughout the day to help reach the required amount.
Iron Rich Foods
Iron keeps your immune system strong. It also significantly reduces fatigue, which is a very common symptom during this period. This occurs because iron is used in the component that helps transport oxygen in the blood (haemoglobin). With enough oxygen being transported to all parts of the body, you will feel much more energetic throughout the day. The improved blood flow is also important in boosting the body’s immunity. An ideal menopause diet should contain a daily iron intake of 8 milligrams. Iron rich foods include lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, various nuts and enriched grains.
Soy contains isoflavones, which mimic oestrogen and can be a weaker form of oestrogen. For this reason, soy is an amazing addition to your diet. Soy is recommended for reducing hot flushes, as studies have shown that Asian women who eat more soy, experience fewer hot flushes than western women, who have less soy in their diets. Soy can be taken in the form of tofu and soy milk. Including a regular serving of soy in your diet, could be helpful in curbing the various effects of menopause.
Fruits and Veg
It’s important to ensure you eat at least three daily servings of fruits or vegetables to help keep your weight in check. Apart from being a refreshing snack, fruits also help supply you with natural sugars and contain a great variety of vitamins that help boost your immunity. Vegetables are rich in vitamins and fibre, which are necessary to help your body through this transition period and beyond.
A balanced and healthy diet is vital to boosting your immunity and ensuring your body is functioning and optimum levels all the time. Get a head start on menopause and look after your body from the inside out, starting today.