Manage Your Menopause Through Diet

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

Menopause and Diet

Menopause is the time of life when a woman’s menstrual cycle comes to an end. This also entails lower hormonal levels, which result in a wide range of menopause symptoms. These symptoms can make life difficult for a woman, making it hard for her to relate to people close to her and carry on with her normal daily activities. The diet that a woman follows can have an impact on the menopause symptoms she experiences. If she follows a strictly healthy diet recommended for her condition, she could reduce* the severity of her menopause symptoms significantly. This, of course, has to be coupled with a lifestyle overhaul that includes a daily exercise program.

Food and The Menopause

The food that a woman consumes throughout her life can impact how well she manages during her menopause years. Certain foods have no nutritional value and could actually aggravate the symptoms and risks of menopause. Some of these foods are discussed below. Other foods, however, help the body to manage menopause symptoms and give the woman a better* quality of life. These are also discussed later in this article. A woman should start on a healthy diet much earlier than menopause so that her body already has all the nutrients it needs in order to fight any menopause symptoms. If, however, a woman drastically changes her diet to a healthy one after she already experiences menopause symptoms, she will still see a marked reduction* in her symptoms.

How Diet Affects Menopause Symptoms?

A woman’s diet does not really cause menopause symptoms, as these are directly linked to the lower levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. However, a poor diet can make the symptoms more severe than they would have been with a healthy diet. For example, a high intake of sugar and salt can aggravate hot flashes and night sweats. It can also increase* high blood pressure.

Which Foods to Avoid on a Menopause Diet?

One of the biggest concerns for menopausal women is weight gain. Research studies report that women gain anywhere between 8 and 15 pounds during the first two years of menopause, and most of this weight is deposited in the midsection. In order to avoid this speedy weight gain, a woman should cut out as much fat from her diet as possible, taking care that fat comprises less* than 20% of her daily food intake. Sugar is also another weight gain culprit, and a high intake can also aggravate fatigue. Caffeine can contribute to sleep problems and hot flashes, while alcohol and caffeine aggravate fatigue and moodiness.

What Kind Of Diet to Follow During Menopause?

During menopause, a woman has to be very particular about what she eats. She can no longer snack on a slice of cake whenever the mood strikes her. She also can no longer have daily sundowners as alcohol could aggravate her menopausal symptoms. Furthermore, she has to choose how she cooks her food, because fried foods have to be lessened. Fatty cuts of meat also have to be cut out from her diet. Basically, if a woman has not been particular about her diet, then she needs to completely change what she has been eating and how it has been cooked.

What is a Good Diet For Menopausal Women?

A good diet for women in menopause has to include fruits and vegetables. A daily intake of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will help a woman manage severe menopause symptoms. This is because these foods are rich in phytoestrogens, which help the body replace the lower levels of estrogen. A woman should also include a variety of beans and legumes in her daily diet. These nutrient-rich foods provide many health benefits, including slowing down the absorption of glucose. This lowers the appetite and helps a woman eat less* than she would have eaten otherwise. The result is weight loss* and more energy. A good substitute for caffeine and alcohol is water and fruit juice. Water helps the kidneys work better* in flushing out impurities from the body, while most fruit juices still contain a large number of nutrients. Make sure to buy unsweetened fruit juice as some have high levels of sugar in them.

Menopause Diet Plans

There are a variety of menopause diet plans available online. All these provide specific meals and recipes for a period of time. When starting out on one of these diet plans, information may be required which will help the system customise a diet according to your specific needs. Questions like your age, menopause symptoms, your weight and height, need to lose* or maintain current weight and your activity levels (i.e. exercise) will be asked.

Managing Menopause With a Healthy Diet

One of the most effective ways of managing menopause is through a healthy diet. This diet will avoid or lessen foods that aggravate menopause symptoms and risks, and increase* the intake of foods that combat menopause symptoms and overall health. In order to be effective, this diet has to include a regular, vigorous exercise plan.

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Author

Expert Author : Lisiana Carter (Consumer Health Digest)

Lisiana Carter has been a freelance health writer for over ten years having written books, blogs and articles. She is the author of a number of websites and teaches people how to enter the freelance writing field.