Diet for Menopause: Nutrients that Shouldn’t Be Left Out

April 28, 2019
When it comes to menopause, make sure your diet has foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. They should be rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C in order to help you to maintain your vitality and keep your bones healthy.

As the years go by, your energy will drop and your metabolism will slow down. This means that menopause has begun. Therefore, in today’s article, you can find out what diet for menopause would be most appropriate for you.

As of the age of 45, it’s normal to see an increase in body fat and water retention. Also, alterations of the thyroids are common, as well as the first signs of osteoporosis.

Due to this, it’s necessary for you to change your eating habits.

You Have Reached Menopause

Woman with hot flash

From the beginning of menopause, it’s essential that you take care of your habits and diet.

Between the age of 45 and 50, women stop menstruating due to the decrease of hormones called estrogen and progesterone.

However, the definitive diagnosis doesn’t take place until after 12 consecutive months of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). The most common symptoms at this stage are the following:

  • Hot flushes, hot flashes or night sweats
  • Alterations in sleep patterns and state of mind
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin and mucous
  • Accumulation of fat in the hips and belly
  • Thinning of the bones
  • Reduction of the libido
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Weak bones due to the change of homeostatic regulation of calcium
  • Mood swings

Also, menopause can also affect your health in other ways. Therefore, your diet plays a key role.

Weight Gain

It’s scientifically proven that there is a direct link between weight gain and a decrease in estrogen.

Women going through menopause tend to accumulate fat around the belly, waist, and hips, which predisposes them to cardiovascular diseases.

Likewise, there is less interest in physical activity, which causes the fatty tissue to increase and the lean tissue to decrease.

This leads to the loss of muscle mass and weight gain. In turn, as the years go by, a lack of exercise and the decline in sex hormones are elements that worsen your state of health.

The absence of estrogen causes the body to be less productive at burning fats, which is why they tend to store them in the abdominal area.

Read this article, too: 7 Factors That May Cause Early Menopause

What is the Best Diet for Menopause?

Vegetables are good for a diet for menopause

Vegetables and fresh foods are a good basis for a diet during menopause.

In order to optimize the nutritional quality in your meals, a menopause diet should be slightly hypo-caloric, diverse, and based on fresh foods that are in season.

Below, you can find out about the diet regime you must follow to relieve the symptoms at this stage:

Breakfast Recommendations

You must eat breakfast during the first hour after getting out of bed.

You should avoid fruit juices because they’re very rich in sugars such as fructose, which promote the buildup of fat. It’s better to eat a piece of fruit raw.

Also, don’t forget to include cheese, eggs or lean meat in your breakfast. Protein is essential.

Don’t Mix Starches

Don’t combine starches (carbohydrates compounds of starch) within the same meal. This will increase the glycemic content in your meal, which will promote the release of insulin and will get you to accumulate fat more quickly.

Avoid the following starches: pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, among others. Also, don’t mix corn, bananas, pumpkin or beets in your meals.

Check out this article, too: 5 Alternative Uses for Corn Starch that You Are Going to Love

Minerals Are Your Allies

Woman holding an electric fan
In a diet for menopause, you shouldn’t leave out calcium.

Don’t leave calcium out your diet for menopause. In fact, it’s essential for your bone health. You can get it from dairy products, legumes, and seeds. Likewise, sardines, oysters, algae, prawns, almonds and broccoli all contain calcium.

In addition, a proper intake of magnesium and zinc are ideal at the time your body absorbs calcium, either for your bones or digestive tract. In order to maintain optimal levels of these minerals, it’s recommended to consume seeds, algae, wheat bran, and fresh cheese.

Also, phosphorus binds to magnesium and calcium, which maintains bone consistency. With that said, don’t forget to include sunflower seeds, germ and bran, tahini, low-fat cheese, soy, and its derivatives into your diet.

More Minerals

Iron also is another essential mineral, and you can get it from anchovies, sardines, red meat, liver, whole grains, legumes, among other foods.

You should know that in order to assimilate iron better, you should get it from salads seasoned with lemon juice or vinegar. Also with foods that contain vitamin C, such as tomato, pepper crude, kiwi or citrus fruits.

In addition, foods rich in boron should not be left out of your diet. This mineral helps maintain your bone health in optimal condition and it collaborates in metabolizing magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. In order to consume the correct doses, you should add broccoli, parsley, cabbage, mushrooms, peas, lettuce, watercress and green beans to your meals.

Finally, check with your doctor if you have any questions regarding your diet for menopause. They will walk you through the best tips.

  • Feliciano, T. (2018). Menopausia y riesgo cardiovascular. Revista de la Federación Centroamericana de Obstetricia y Ginecología2011(16).
  • Lugones Botell, M. (2001). Osteoporosis en la menopausia: Prevención y estrategias terapéuticas actuales. Revista Cubana de Obstetricia y Ginecología27(3), 199-204.
  • Riquelme Castillo, A. V. (2018). Efectos de intervención con dieta rica en omega 3 en mujeres en la menopausia.