Diet during menopause

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Menopause brings uncomfortable and sometimes lasting effects on a woman’s body. Diet during menopause not only helps in managing the symptoms but also ensures health, happiness and productivity in the post menopausal period of life.

Contents

Why should I be aware of this?

Eating right can definitely ease the various discomforts of menopause including hot flushes, bloating, and mood swings. The menopause diet is all about achieving a balance by eating certain types of food while foregoing others. The right balance can alleviate most symptoms and make the individual simply feel better.

All about diet during menopause

Menopause, a natural part of ageing, is the end of a woman’s monthly menstrual periods. While some may have a smooth sail into menopause, others are distressed with severe symptoms.

During menopause, fluctuations in estrogen levels can cause symptoms like hot flushes (sudden intense waves of heat and sweating), night sweats, depression, anxiety, forgetfulness, headaches, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness or inflammation, infections, urinary incontinence, difficulty in concentrating, weight gain and skin and hair changes. Moreover, after menopause, a woman also faces a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis and heart disease. However, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help ease the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Diet

The diet recommended during menopause suggests higher intake of some food groups, limited intake of some foods and avoiding a few others. The diet should be rich in

Menopausal women should limit their intake of

Useful nutrients to include in the diet are

Foods that worsen the symptoms are

What can I do?

  • Studies have shown that soya foods not only help ease hot flushes but also protect against heart disease. Soya foods contain isoflavones, which have a weak estrogenic effect in the body. They can be included in the diet in the form of tofu, soya beans, soya beverages, soya nuts, and soya protein. Addition of even small amounts on a regular basis, like a few servings a week can be beneficial. Excessive consumption, particularly for those with a history of hormone related cancers, can be counter-productive.
  • Other foods that contain phyto-estrogens are flaxseeds, chickpeas and other legumes, and in lesser amounts in carrots, corn, apples and oats. These phyto-estrogens may help alleviate menopause-related symptoms like hot flushes and also protect against heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Restrict your intake of foods like: processed frozen entrees and processed cold cuts, canned soups, regular stock or bouillion, foods canned in salted water, salted nuts, ketchups, package sauce mixes, processed cheese, margarine, butter and salted nuts. Instead, use lemon juice, chili sauce, ginger, garlic or fresh herbs for flavor in place of sodium.

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References

  • With a pause: Indian Express
  • Foods to Restrict During Menopause
  • Menopause Diet
  • A Healthy Diet During Menopause