What Can I Do
A range of lifestyle changes can make symptoms more tolerable. Hormone replacement therapy can be used by many women to help control these symptoms, however some women cannot take HRT due to other health problems, whilst others choose not to. The decision to take HRT or not should be discussed with your doctor. For all women, diet and lifestyle changes can help with symptoms. This can include taking dietary supplement products.
The Best And Worst Foods To Eat After Menopause
From overwhelming hot flashes and sleepless night to worsening migraines and stubborn weight gain, menopause has the potential to deliver some discomfort. Fortunately, there are lifestyle choices you can make to help yourself feel well before, during, and after menopause. For example, sticking to a clean diet thats full of wholesome foods can help you stay energized and get the vitamins your body needs. Not sure what to eat as you age? No problem. In this video, were showing you the best and worst foods for women after menopause.
After age 50, most women need to consume more calcium. Snack on probiotic-rich yogurt to get more calcium in your dietjust 1 cup of lowfat yogurt contains up to 415 mg of calcium, one-third of your daily target. Plus, its best to get the bone-protecting mineral from foods instead of supplements. Double win.
Foods To Help With Weight Loss After Menopause
1. VEGETABLES, ESPECIALLY LEAFY GREENSWe all know that increasing our vegetable intake is important for weight loss after menopause, but did you know leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, arugula, and bok choy can also improve your bone health, boost your energy, and improve your mood? These superfoods are high in fibre, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins, and should be a staple in your daily eating plan.
2. HIGH FIBER FOODSConsuming adequate fiber is a great way to speed up weight loss after menopause. You should be eating at least 25 grams of fiber per day to reap the benefits. Fiber helps with your digestive health, disease prevention, weight control, and foods high in fiber help you feel full for longer. To increase your fiber, eat foods such as lentils, black beans, peas, broccoli, raspberries, pears and oatmeal.
3. BERRIESBerries are full of fibre and packed with antioxidants, which improve blood flow. Improved blood flow delivers oxygen to the muscles, making it easier for your body to burn fat. Berries also contain less sugar than most fruits, making them a great snack to help curb sugar cravings and aid in weight loss after menopause!
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Dealing With Weight Gain During Menopause
When estrogen levels decline in midlife, many women may have weight gain, despite no change in their day-to-day habits. During menopause you have to be that much more careful of what youre eating and drinking, says Dr. Mandal.
Some tips for managing body weight during menopause include:
- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Use portion control when adding the starches and proteins that complete your meal.
- Move your body daily whether you consider it exercise or just a walk. The more active you can stay, the better for weight control. Any physical activity counts, even housework and gardening.
- Reduce stress. The more stressed you are, the more difficult it will be to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. The stress hormone cortisol is highest when youre under duress, and its linked to heart disease,diabetes, and worsening menopause symptomsincluding weight gain.
- Prioritize sleep. If youre not sleeping well, which in itself is a symptom of menopause, it can impact hormone levels even further, explains Dr. Mandal. And it can make it much more difficult to lose weight. When youre sleep deprived, your body craves simple carbs to replenish low energy.
What To Limit In Your Diet
No one wants to be given a long list of foods they cant have, but lets face it: Not all foods do your body good. In general, saturated fats from meat and dairy products increase your risk for heart disease. Choose plant-based fats when you can.
Also limit highly refined carbs, such as white breads, pasta, and baked goods, to avoid blood sugar spikes and constant cravings. Substitution is an important factor here. For example, you can make it a habit to substitute whole grain brown rice for white rice.
Sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can exaggerate hormone symptoms, Angelone says, so limit these whenever possible.
As you enter perimenopause, there are a few things you can do to stay healthy and relieve symptoms:
- Quit smoking if you smoke cigarettes.
- Exercise regularly.
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Menopause Diet Plan What To Eat To Lose Weight During Menopause
Stick to unprocessed food where possible, says Dr Mukherjee. So, eat plenty of whole foods such as different coloured fruit and veg, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains such as bulgur wheat, quinoa, brown rice and whole oats. This is because processed foods cause weight gain and are not nutritionally balanced like wholefood is.
Beware of liquid diets as they have been processed by blending, warns Dr Mukherjee. Remember, wheat-based food are highly processed. Cutting those down or out of your diet can help with weight loss.
You can also try swapping pasta for legumes or wholegrains, and cakes and biscuits for nuts, seeds and dark chocolate.
Foods To Eat During The Menopausal Transition
At midlife, eating well may help reduce menopausal symptoms. So the question is – what does eating well at midlife entail?
We’re always told that good diet and lifestyle habits are the foundations of a healthy life, and with research showing that eating well may help reduce some menopausal symptoms – there is a lot on the line. Yet with so many different diets and tips out there, it can get quite daunting.
A great place to start is by being thoughtful about what you eat and then consciously adding a few of these 5 foods to your weekly shopping lists or favorite meals:
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Eat Foods Rich In Calcium And Vitamin D:
The changes in hormones may lead to weak bones. Hence, increasing the intake of calcium and vitamin D, also for the latter’s better absorption is important to rule out the risk of osteoporosis. Include foods like yogurt, milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, tofu and beans. For vitamin D, you can also soak in the morning sun for 15-20 minutes or so, wearing light clothes for letting the sun rays in. Alternatively, you can opt for supplements under expert’s supervision
Foods To Eat During Menopause
A menopause diet plan involves a few key steps:
The following foods can help strengthen bones and relieve menopause symptoms:
If you find you cant take in enough of these nutrients through a healthy diet alone, a calcium and magnesium supplement may be beneficial during this time as well, says Best.
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Clearing Up The Confusion Of Soy
When it comes to menopause and diet, a particularly important food group is the phytoestrogens. And the most well-known member of the group is soy.
Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella says many people mistakenly believe that eating phytoestrogens and soy can have harmful effects on their hormonal health.
Theres a lot of misinformation online and a lot of confusion in the general population about the safety of soy with regards to breast cancer and breast cancer risk, says Ms Villella.
However, the research overall has shown that eating whole soy foods such as tofu and tempeh in amounts similar to traditional Asian diets is safe.
And its not only safe, the research also shows that eating soy in this way actually reduces the risk of breast cancer especially if consumed regularly before puberty and does not increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence in breast cancer survivors.
Dont Forget To Eat Food High In Vitamins
Many of the B vitamins along with vitamin C are important for happy, healthy moods:
- Foods containing vitamins B6: Legumes, green and leafy vegetables, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, nuts and fruit.
- Foods containing vitamin B3: Fish, poultry, eggs, wholegrain breads, nuts and mushrooms.
- Foods high in vitamin C: Many fruits including oranges, melons and strawberries, and veggies including broccoli, sweet potato and spinach.
References available on request.
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Foods Can Have A Direct Impact On How You Feel
It probably wont surprise you to learn that the foods you eat during all stages of menopause can have a direct impact on how you feel. From hot flashes to mood swings and weak bones to dizzy spells, diet can have a direct impact on your menopause symptoms. So, instead of popping a pill from your doctor or focusing on the things you cant change, here are some proactive changes you can make in your diet and lifestyle to help you age with grace and work through this transition more smoothly!
Why Your Diet Should Shift During Perimenopause
Estrogen has an important role in every single system in the body, Leon explains. For that reason, your nutritional needs may also change. For example, estrogen is a bone-preserving hormone, and so the loss of estrogen causes bone loss, notes the National Osteoporosis Foundation. In this case, there are certain nutrients you want to make sure youre getting enough of to keep your skeleton strong. In other circumstances, certain foods may help you manage the symptoms of perimenopause.
Perimenopause is the perfect time to start paying attention to your health. The things you could get away with when you were younger, such as poor diet habits, start to catch up with you now, says Leon. And that doesnt mean that all the focus is on your weight. In fact, focusing too much on weight often leads to maladaptive eating habits that affect your health in significant ways.
Leon notes that 15 percent of midlife women meet the criteria for an eating disorder, and a big part of this is triggered by chronic dieting and restrictive eating habits. Overall, eating a balanced diet, along with lifestyle changes that make good eating habits easier to stick with, such as practicing stress management, adequate sleep, and strength training, are vital for keeping you well. That umbrella approach to your health can keep you out of the yo-yo diet cycle that can be so damaging.
Hot Foods: Hot Flashes
If youre really suffering from hot flashes, dont have anything related to hot foods, such as hot soups, too frequently, he says. You might want to choose a side salad instead of soup for an appetizer, for example. Snacking on refrigerated veggies and fruits or sipping on chilled water can help keep hot flashes down.
Look For Foods High In Omega
Shapiro recommends oily fish like salmon, which she says may help battle the mood swings many women experience during menopause. This is thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain. Mackerel, sardines, and cod are also good options. Omega-3 fats are also very helpful to provide energy and healthy fats for the menopausal woman and they help reduce LDL and lower the risk of heart disease. Goldberg recommends that women at greater risk of heart disease after menopause discuss taking a fish oil or omega-3 supplement with their physicians. One study, she says, found that taking EPA reduced the frequency of hot flashes in menopausal women. Along with salmon, these are the best omega-3 superfoods.
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Avoid Consuming Too Many:
Beans, which can cause gas to build up.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, which are all foods that increase the retention of gas. Gas retention causes the stomach to bloat.
Fast food & salty foods should be avoided as much as possible. Salt causes our bodies to retain more water which increases bloating. Instead of seasoning foods with salt, use a little black pepper.
Coffee or any caffeine product might result in bloating because they over-excite the digestive tract and can cause more gases to build up.
Dairy products will sometimes cause bloating because of lactose intolerance. Try cutting down on milk and cheese and see if that makes a difference to your body.
Foods To Help Menopause Symptoms
Plant-based foods that have isoflavones work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. For this reason, soy may help relieve menopause symptoms, although research results are unclear. Some may help lower cholesterol levels and have been suggested to relieve hot flashes and night sweats. Isoflavones can be found in foods such as tofu and soy milk.
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What Causes Hot Flashes
In a nutshell, “hot flashes are thought to be the result of changes in a part of the brain, called the hypothalamus, that regulates body temperature,” explains Val Schonberg, M.S., R.D., a dietitian and certified menopause practitioner. “Likely triggered by hormone fluctuations, the hypothalamus mistakenly senses that a woman’s body temperature is too warm and thus starts a chain of events to cool the body down.” Hot flashes don’t cause any serious health issues, but they can be extremely annoying and uncomfortable.
Get Your Free Best Foods For The Menopause And Perimenopause Nutrient Checklist Now
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Do you find it confusing that there is so much contradictory information about nutrition during the menopause?
I designed this eating for health menopause diet checklist, so that you dont have to hunt for reliable information on nutrition during the menopause. Instead you will have all the best foods for the menopause hand in an accessible format, to help you eat for health during the perimenopause.
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Why Am I Gaining Weight
Weight gain during menopause is often considered part of menopause itself, but it is mostly due to a decline in metabolic rate how well your body burns energy associated with aging. The good news? You can work around these changes.
- Stay physically active.
- Eat lean meat and keep portion size to the palm of your hand.
- Increase half of your plate to non-starchy vegetables.
- Consider increasing plant-based meals.
- Try not to skip meals.
- Avoid spicy foods.
Foods To Avoid In Menopause
Cutting back on your sugar intake is a good idea at any age, but during perimenopause and menopause, its especially important. As estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, the cells in our bodies become more resistant to insulin. That means they have to work extra hard to maintain healthy blood sugar. Many women experience rising blood sugar levels during this time, which increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
And, if youre using Hormone Replacement Therapy , insulin resistance can make it less effective. Blood sugar spikes can also cause mood swings and energy fluctuations, so try to cut it out as much as possible.
Refined carbs, like white bread, white pasta, and most baked goods, can cause spikes in your blood sugar, lead to unhealthy weight gain, and cause constant cravings. Substitute refined carbs for whole grains, such as brown rice instead of white, and enjoy them in moderation.
Bad fats, like refined cooking oils and fatty meats, can raise your cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Choose healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil instead.
Soy is rich in phytoestrogens, so it can be valuable for reducing some menopausal symptoms and help to keep your bones strong. It could also lower the risk of breast cancer. The key is to avoid highly processed types of soy and choose fermented soy such as miso and tempeh instead.
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Sweet Foods Worsen Menopause Symptoms
This study has shown the possibility of a link between hot flashes in menopause and increased insulin resistance and, as a result, increased risk of cardiovascular disease. So, it is important to control your sugar intake at the age of menopause. Maintaining steady blood sugar levels will help you find relief from weight gain and will also help reduce fatigue because you will not experience sudden spikes in blood sugar from cakes and cookies. Increasing your fiber intake and adding the right blend of probiotics for women in perimenopause and menopause can help curve your craving for sugar.
During menopause, your hormones fluctuate. Because of that, you might have more sugar cravings than before. But eating refined sugars will only make your situation worse. It might worsen your mood swings and also lead to more hormonal imbalance. If you are craving sugars during the day, how about eating a small fruit instead? Fruits contain natural sugars and will make perfect snacks for avoiding weight gain and giving you the energy to carry you through the day.