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Menopause Diet, Nutrition
Menopause is a period of both physical and emotional experiences in a woman’s life as she comes to terms with the end of her reproductive phase and the various symptoms associated with menopause such as mood swings, hot flushes, anxiety, and fatigue.
Though the cessation of menstruation is a natural phenomenon, women need to make appropriate changes to their menopause diet, taking into account the resulting altered hormone balance and the risk of osteoporosis following the onset of menopause. A diet menu for menopausal women should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to provide the vital nutrients required for a healthy body. Phytoestrogens, present in plant food, are natural remedies for menopause, compensating for the decreased production of the female hormone estrogen.
Breakfast in a menopause diet plan should include a vitamin fortified fruit juice, low-fat milk, which is calcium fortified, a few nuts, and whole wheat bread toast or whole grain breakfast cereal. Snacks of dry fruits and nuts with a glass of fresh juice can ward off mid-morning hunger pangs.
The list of foods to eat during menopause includes all types of vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes. These menopause foods, with juices and soups, and at least eight glasses of water through the day, ensure that the body remains healthy and hydrated, keeping the skin supple and firm. You can also follow this diet chart for menopause
Foods To Avoid:
High fat dairy products like butter and cheese, red meat, lard, and high cholesterol vegetable oils figure prominently in the list of foods to avoid with menopause as the risk of heart disease increases in women after menopause. Alcohol and caffeine come under the category of foods that affect menopause because they can worsen menopause related problems like insomnia, water retention and bloating, anxiety, and irritability. Phosphorus in aerated drinks and colas can even indirectly cause loss of calcium from the bones. Eliminating processed foods, refined grains, and animal fat from the diet will help to maintain a healthy lifestyle and ideal body weight.
Hot flushes and night sweats are the most uncomfortable of menopausal symptoms experienced by a majority of women. Consuming vitamin E for menopause as supplements of up to 400 IU is known to reduce these symptoms, though the effect may be felt only 8 weeks after the start of the regime. Usually, vitamin E supplements are combined with vitamin C because it aids in the better absorption of vitamin E and also boosts the body’s immune system. Calcium supplements are more easily absorbed by the body when taken with 500 mg magnesium and vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D for menopause is often prescribed because it helps reduce mood swings, anxiety, and insomnia. Vitamin B for menopause may be helpful particularly for those who undergo hormone replacement therapy. For those with problems of insomnia and irritability, vitamin B6 for menopause is the best as it helps in the production of serotonin, the happy hormone. Many women are advised to regularly take vitamin B complex for menopause symptoms as all the B vitamins work together to promote physical and mental wellbeing. Vitamins for menopause are an important part of coping with menopause related conditions like vaginal dryness and water retention as they help regulate the function of the liver, adrenal glands, and keep the skin supple and elastic. Do consult a doctor before beginning on any supplement regime.
Nutrition for menopausal women is all about making the right choices of food—from cooking fats to grains and cereals and meat. Choosing healthy cooking oils and lean meats or sea food ensures that cholesterol levels are maintained even with lower estrogen levels in the body. Eating at least eight servings of fresh fruits and vegetables through the day gives the body the essential nutrients it needs to function at its best. Boron, found in fruits like pears and peaches, and in seeds and nuts, helps to raise estrogen levels in women and also helps to prevent osteoporosis. Nutrition therapy for menopause focuses on food choices that alleviate troublesome symptoms and set a realistic diet plan that is easy to follow in everyday life. Menopause nutrition tips urge women to eat healthy food that is wholesome and fresh and to avoid fast food, fried food, processed food, and red meat.
Supplements for menopause may include vitamin supplements for menopause as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iodine. Herbal supplements for menopausal women such as red clover, isoflovane supplements, black cohosh, ginseng, and evening primrose oil may help to manage the symptoms associated with menopause. Do consult your doctor for more advice.
Apart from black cohosh, natural herbs for menopause include milk thistle and agnus castus as they help regulate hormonal balance. Dandelion root, licorice root, and false unicorn root are also herbs for menopause that have been used over centuries. Extracts from sage, St. John’s Wort, and raspberry plants have also been found to be helpful. Chinese herbs for menopause include dang gui and zhi mu or anemarrhena, which is said to be better than black cohosh for hot flashes.
Symptoms, Causes, Treatment For Menopause
Menopause is a naturally occurring condition signaling the end of a woman’s ability to bear children, and hence, there are no menopause causes. This is part of the natural aging process in a woman’s life and may occur anytime between the ages of 40 and 60.
Menopause treatment essentially involves alleviating the symptoms of menopause. Some options include:
Since it is a natural process in the transition of a woman’s body from the reproductive phase, there is no need to prevent menopause. However, some women opt for menopause prevention to extend their reproductive cycle and to keep the symptoms at bay. Hormone replacement therapy is the only way to prevent or push back the occurrence of menopause.
After the age of 40, when a woman’s menstrual history indicates the absence of periods over 12 months, menopause diagnosis can be made after ruling the absence of any other medical condition which could cause the cessation of periods.
|Submitted on January 16, 2014|