Eating Your Way Through Menopause
Menopause is associated with issues like hot flashes, headaches, vaginal dryness, weight gain, mood fluctuations, cold hands and feet, forgetfulness and inability to concentrate. Menopause generally occurs around the age of 50, but today’s modern lifestyle, work-life imbalance, and stress have preceded menopause to start as early as 35-40 in women.
The hormonal imbalance starts during the pre-menopausal period, the pituitary gland increases secretion of follicle-stimulating hormones(FSH) and the luteinizing hormone. The fluctuation of hormones, specifically the decline in estrogen and progesterone is the root cause for menopause issues.
Keep calm, there are a whole lot of natural foods that you can include in your diet to assist your journey, graciously through menopause.
Foods High in Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are natural compounds occurring in plants. They are found in a spectrum of foods- Soybeans/soy foods, flax seeds, nuts, whole grains, apples, fennel, alfalfa. Phytoestrogens, though plant-based, function very similar to estrogen and to an extent serve as the main constituent for natural hormone replacement therapy.
Evidence proves that consuming soy foods (2/3 cups of soybeans daily) is effective in easing hot flashes and vaginal atrophy.
Go for the Cruciferous family
The best choices of vegetables for women going through menopause are broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, mustard and turnip greens. The cruciferous vegetables protects one from heart diseases. They are also filled with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and folic acid that supports bone health.
Bone up on calcium
Osteoporosis is a huge problem for most of the women during and after menopause. Women, whose bodies are calcium rich enter menopause with strong bones and are at lower risk of facing any bone ailments. But this is not the case in most women, so adequate calcium (about 1200mg) is needed to avert age-related bone loss and osteoporosis. Although dairy is the best choice, there are other options including dark leafy greens, bok choy, broccoli, almonds, sardines, salmon, sesame seeds and chia seeds.
Get your Vitamin D
Getting enough Vitamin D in the diet helps your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D protects your bones and aids handling mood swings during menopause. Fill your diet with vitamin D rich foods including eggs, yoghurt, salmon, mushroom and fortified milk.
Incorporating these foods into your diet helps you manage menopause better and gets you energized. Further, drink at least 2-3 litres of water, stay active, and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. All this will help you to stay in the best of your health and hit the right balance of hormones, as you age.