Hi, this is Lena. There are certain stages in the life of a woman that are more important than others. Two of the most important are when you get your first period and when you stop having it altogether. Your period is a great indicator of how your body is functioning and can tell you what changes your body is going through. Meanwhile, the start of menopause marks the end of your period and the beginning of a new life chapter. These changes can often be difficult and painful for most females, which is why it’s advisable to find the right way to deal with them. Nutrition during menopause can help make the transition smoother, easier, and less painful.
1. Eat more phytoestrogens
Foods that are high in phytoestrogens can help you balance the hormones in your body. Plant compounds can mimic the effects of estrogen, thus effectively keeping your hormones in check.
One of the benefits of doing so is the reduced risk of experiencing hot flashes. Examples of foods high in phytoestrogens are:
- Sesame seeds
Diets high in this kind of foods have even been associated with low cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Night sweats were also a rare occurrence.
Though there is an ongoing debate about whether soy is actually good for you, evidence shows that this kind of nutrition during menopause is healthier for you than supplements of processed foods. That’s a good reason to avoid soy protein and stick to organic sources as much as possible instead.
2. Nutrition during menopause: Maintain a healthy weight
Gaining weight during menopause is very common. A mixture of factors explain the extra pounds during this life stage, including:
- Changing hormones
- Lifestyle you lead
You can also expect to gain some excess body fat, especially around the waist. Unfortunately, this development increases your risk of developing heart diseases and diabetes.
That’s why your nutrition during menopause has to revolve around low-fat foods with lots of nutrients in them, such as fish. Cut out empty carbs too, and stay away from sugar whenever possible. Give your body healthy fuel that it can turn into something good, instead of just giving it something it can turn into more fat.
3. Avoid trigger foods
Hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings are all common for menopause. They can all be triggered by certain foods, too. It’s even more likely this will happen if you consume those foods at night. You may not be happy to hear this, but alcohol, caffeine, and sugary and spicy foods can all trigger the symptoms mentioned above.
The best way to avoid triggers is to keep a symptom diary. You’ll notice which foods trigger your menopause symptoms because you’ll be writing them down, and this can help you avoid those foods entirely. You may have to cut out or reduce some pleasures out of your life, but it will surely be worth your health.
4. Talk to an expert about nutrition during menopause
If you have trouble coming up with your own nutrition plan and sticking to it, perhaps you could even go to a nutrition and wellbeing clinic. These places offer a variety of solutions for women in all life stages and all issues.
It can be hard to fully understand nourishment and change your dietary habits when you’re used to one certain thing, for sure. It can also be very difficult to figure out what your body needs right now and what the best ways to support your menopause are.
By seeking professional help, you’re not leaving anything up to chance. Your health will be in the hands of someone who has years of experience and knows exactly what they’re doing. They’ll come up with a dietary plan that suits you just right to get the necessary nutrients. Thus, your physical and mental health has the opportunity to improve from here.
5. Increase your calcium and vitamin D intake
Because of the hormonal changes women experience during menopause, their bones may weaken. If left to themselves, it can even increase the risk of osteoporosis. Both calcium and vitamin D link to better bone health, which is why they must be irreplaceable parts of your diet. For proper nutrition during menopause, try to eat more dairy, such as:
While kale, collard greens, and spinach may not sound tasty, but they’re rich in calcium too. If you’re a picky eater, you can always make a smoothie that contains all of these ingredients and have your cup of health that way.
As for vitamin D, great sources are oily fish, eggs, and cod liver oil. Of course, sunlight is a natural source of this important vitamin too.
Nutrition during menopause matters
You don’t have to suffer inconceivable pain just because your body is entering another phase in its life. Your diet can be the thing that saves you from a world of pain, moodiness, and other common symptoms.
Menopause is often regarded as one of the most difficult periods in a woman’s life due to all the physical and mental changes. But, with the right nutrition during menopause, you can still feel like your authentic self.
About today’s writer
Lena Hemsworth is a lifestyle blogger, foodie, and lover of a good book. She is an everlasting enthusiast who believes that there is nothing better than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee.
22 thoughts on “Your supportive guide to nutrition during menopause”
I love how you always give such useful tips, Christy!
Lena’s guest post is great, for sure! Thanks for appreciating the value of these posts, Kally xx
Great article Lena and Christy. From one who’s been there, and wrote a book about it. Carbs must be cut down at menopause in order to not gain weight. Been there, lol. :) xx
I am glad that you liked it… :)
Lena covered a lot here and you’re sharing even more in the pages of your book, Debby. You’re helping many women!
Thank you dear Christy <3
Thank you Lena & Christy!
To absorb calcium into our bones we need a cocktail of Vitamin D, Calcium & Vitamin C. Any 2 without the third is moot.
I went through at 36, and I know. My bones are stable, now, but were disappearing.
The value of getting these nutrients, naturally, as you have described here, is important.
Calcium supplements may increase risk of heart disease/attacks.
I agree, the value of these nutrients are very important for our health. And as I said, if you can’t eat it you can drink it… smoothie style… :)
That was early, Resa! The suggestions are very helpful, thanks!
Always be your own best health advocate! Great article, Christy. Vegans or anyone who has experienced estrogen positive breast cancer need to stay up to date on what to include or avoid. It’s always such a complicated puzzle, and often involves conflicting studies, but entirely doable with some effort.
The body really is so complicated – It seems like the mind-body connections are endless… Dear Mary Jo, your support means a lot to me. xx
Very informative and very practical advice. The link to natural menopause relief didn’t work for me.
Thanks for the heads up and it’s now fixed!
My pleasure Christy!
Good encouragement for those heading that way! It will get better. Healthy eating is important even more as you get older.
That’s true about healthy food choices becoming more important – You’re right on the mark with that comment!
Another inspiring & informative article. Thanks Christy!
You always teach me something new! Dr. D :)))
Oh wow, that’s one heck of a compliment, thanks Dr. D!!