Hot flashes, mood swings and sleep disturbances are among the symptoms that have been associated with menopause, a time when estrogen levels decrease and menstruation stops. When menopause begins you are also likely to experience other symptoms that can be alleviated by including certain foods in your diet.
Menopause and nutrition
Menopause symptoms vary from woman to woman. Every body is different, so a decrease in estrogen levels makes sense for every woman to experience different symptoms.
Dietary choices during this period seem to affect the symptoms of menopause. “There is no proper menopause diet, although the Mediterranean diet, which is based on the consumption of vegetables, is said to be beneficial for the occasion,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Ward on eatingwell.com. The Mediterranean diet includes foods of high nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, herbs, spices, nuts and generally foods with good fats, such as olive oil.
The best foods that will relieve you from the symptoms of menopause
“Fish and especially the fatties such as salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and at the same time contain good quality protein, vitamins and minerals” says the expert. People who include fish in their diet have fewer hot flashes, reports 2019 research published in Climacteric. Dr Ward also states: “Some research shows that people who eat fish frequently show fewer symptoms of depression, which women entering menopause often have to deal with”.
What yogurt is rich in protein and calcium. A study in the Endocrine Society states that 1 in 2 women who are in menopause will develop osteoporosis, so yogurt is a food that will provide the body with calcium and strengthen bone health. Additionally, a 2020 review of research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reports that a diet that includes dairy products can improve sleep quality.
Beans are an excellent source of plant protein, fiber and a range of micronutrients. “Black beans, chickpeas and other legumes are high in fibre, which helps regulate blood glucose levels and can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes,” says Dr Ward. At this point, we should mention that according to research, menopause can be a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.
Beans are also rich in the amino acid tryptophan and magnesium, which have been linked to improving mood and enhancing mental well-being, notes research published in 2019 in BMC Psychology.
Nuts contain protein, fiber and antioxidants. “Although nuts are high in fat, eating them can actually help you manage your weight, because nuts induce satiety and can help reduce food cravings,” says the expert. Each nut has its own health benefits.
Soy contains phytoestrogens and may also provide relief from menopausal symptoms. You can include products made from soy in your diet or use soy in recipes for cool smoothies.
With information from eatingwell.com