Menopause is a critical stage for women in so many ways. The changes that your body and metabolism undergo have varying consequences from person to person. Some symptoms of menopause can affect your personal life, your job, your relationships, and your happiness with yourself. There are an endless number of topics that are discussed on this subject, but how to deal with menopause usually isn’t one of them. Did you know that what you eat through menopause is actually very important? Find out more in today’s article.
Menopause: more than just the end of menstruation
While that is the official definition of this stage in life, the changes go much deeper. During this time, a woman begins to undergo different hormonal, psychological, and physical shifts. All of them have the same root cause: the decline in the production of estrogen, which triggers other effects that can alter your metabolism.
Some of the most common symptoms of menopause are:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Dry skin
- Changes in mood
- Loss of bone density
- Decreased libido
Nutritional needs while going through menopause
During this time, which can begin as early as 40 in some women, it’s important to think about some critical issues to avoid not getting enough nutrients, including:
CalciumThis is a vital mineral for bone health because it also helps muscles contract. Add more calcium to your diet during menopause to prevent osteoporosis. It’s believed that dairy products are the richest source of this mineral, but there is some controversy about this. Other more potent sources of calcium may be:
A deficiency of iron can cause anemia, among other problems. Some foods that provide iron are:
- Lean red meat
- Green leafy vegetables
Vitamin DThis important vitamin helps promote the absorption of calcium, and that’s why you should be sure you get plenty of it at any stage of your life. During menopause, it’s exactly this vitamin that will help balance your loss of calcium. In addition to adding certain foods to your diet, try to get at least 15 minutes of direct exposure to sunlight every day (but avoid the hours between 11 am and 3 pm). Some foods that contain a good amount of vitamin D are:
- Fish oil
Fiber is an important component of your diet because it helps improve your digestion and protects you from high cholesterol. During menopause, your hormonal changes can increase the risk of fat accumulating in your bloodstream. Foods that are high in fiber include:
- Whole grains
Tips for nutrition during menopause
Now you know what foods you need to include in your diet, but there are some additional tips we want to share with you today:
Choose whole grain cereals
This means unrefined flour, rice, and sugar. That way you’ll be adding more fiber to your diet.
Drink plenty of waterThis will help keep your body healthy and avoid fluid retention. The commonly cited amount is four to six large glasses a day, but that can vary depending on the season, your level of activity, and more. The minimum amount of water you should drink every day is 1.5 liters.
Avoid unhealthy foods
The right foods for menopause are the same as those for someone who wants to lead a healthier lifestyle – at any age. That’s why it’s a good idea to stop eating:
- Fatty meats
- Fast foods
- Fried foods
- Ice cream
- Salty foods
- Cured meats and sausages
- Canned food
Eat more vegetable-based foodsThis can help reduce the symptoms of menopause. Some fruit and vegetable products actually cause the body to respond as if they contained estrogen. Among the most nutritious options are:
- Sweet potatoes
More tips for menopause
In addition to keeping a healthy diet and incorporating particular foods for menopause, it’s a good idea to:
- Exercise two or three times a week, whether at home, in a park, or at the gym.
- Practice deep relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
- Keep stress levels low, whether they’re triggered by work or personal problems.
- Keep the temperature in your home at 70° F, no matter what the season.
- Try to dress in layers to keep from suffering when you have hot flashes or take a sudden chill.
- Walk at least 20 minutes a day. You can walk while you’re shopping, going to work, taking care of the dog, etc.
- Maintain an ideal body weight for your height and level of fitness.
- Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol (a glass of wine with meals is fine).
- Always try to maintain a positive attitude, remember to smile and enjoy every day.
- Seek therapy if you’re fighting depression or anxiety.
- Keep track of the changes that are happening in your body.
- Talk about your physical and emotional changes with a doctor or psychologist, as well as your family.
- Remember that this is a stage of life that all women go through. It’s normal and natural.
- Don’t stop doing what you love, whether it’s school, work, travel, cooking, etc.