The Menopause Diet: Can diet help you cope with menopause symptoms?
Hot flushes? Night sweats? Weight gain? Tired and crabby all the time? Not in the mood for sex? Can diet make a difference to your menopause symptoms? Click here to read on……
Many women going through menopause or “the change” may experience these symptoms but each one experiences them differently. While some women may experience the occasional hot flush, others may struggle with a host of symptoms which include excessive weight gain, sweating, mood swings, insomnia, dry skin and even memory loss. Menopause brings about bodily changes that can be very frustrating, due to the decline in estrogen production and how it affects other hormones.
Menopausal women may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT), although more recently studies have suggested that HRT comes with an increased risk of cancer. Others may try a gentler option like natural herbal remedies for menopause. More and more women are looking for a holistic approach to menopausal health and recent studies have shown that what you eat or avoid eating has a significant impact on coping with menopause.
The Feelgood Health team takes a look whether you are eating right for menopause and how this will provide all-round physical and emotional wellbeing.
Here are foods that can help to ease menopausal symptoms.
- Protect and maintain bone health
Women going through menopause should up their intake of food sources of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium to keep their bones healthy and strong. Studies show that calcium, magnesium and vitamin D help to maintain bone health, prevent fractures and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Eat calcium-rich foods such as yoghurt, low-fat milk, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, salmon or sardines to protect your bone health.
Feelgood Tip: Boost your bone health by taking Solgar’s Ultimate Bone Support nutritional supplement for healthy bones and Solgar Extra Strength Glucosamine, Chondroitan & MSM for joint and cartilage health. These supplements for bone and cartilage health are available online from our website or from the Feelgood Health Shop in Westlake, Cape Town.
- Balance mood and anxiety
While we all experience mood swings, anxiety, irritability or depression at times, these symptoms can accelerate and during menopause can be very difficult to cope with. Make changes to your daily diet by increasing your intake of vitamins B and omega-3 fats. Include lean chicken and meat, lentils and whole grains which are vitamin-B rich foods. Oily fish such as tuna, sardines and salmon are rich in omega-3’s and help to balance your mood and mind.
Feelgood Tip: Use natural remedies such as the MindSoothe and PureCalm combo which treats symptoms of depression and anxiety. Both these remedies will help to balance your emotions and keep you calm and relaxed. Definitely, a must-have to keep in your handbag! As food supplements to up your daily Vitamin B and Omega Fatty Acids, try Solgar’s Megasorb Vitamin B Complex and Solgar’s Omega 3-6-9.
Essential oils can also be very helpful in soothing frazzled nerves and helping you to relax. Try pure organic essential oils of Clary Sage or Bergamot from Soil. Use these oils in a burner, or add a few drops to your bath to relax, de-stress and balance those out of whack hormones!
- Manage hot flashes
Hot flashes are definitely one of the most common complaints of menopause. Don’t worry! There are ways to reduce them by eating properly. Remove certain foods such as caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods that trigger and aggravate your hot flushes. Keep cool by hydrating yourself with plenty of water – add cucumber and mint for favour and sit back and enjoy this refreshing drink!
Feelgood Tip: Make a yummy smoothie by combining Superfood’s Maca which balances hormones with some plain yoghurt, berries, banana and a dollop of Crede’s Choc Nut butter! Together with this daily smoothie, add Feelgood Health’s MellowPause (a natural remedy which reduces hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms) as well as Dong Quai to balance your hormones.
- Reduce weight gain
Many women tend to gain weight during menopause and struggle to lose it. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! There are a few simple strategies that can help you to manage your weight. Start by eliminating sugar from your diet and watch your fat intake. Add complex carbs such as whole grains, whole wheat pasta, bread or rice to your daily diet. These fibre-rich foods will keep you fuller for longer and help to stave off hunger pangs.
Feelgood Tip: A dessert spoon of coconut oil per day can help to reduce weight significantly – try Crede’s Coconut Oil available from Feelgood Health’s online shop. A daily serving of Chia seeds is also helpful to guard against insulin resistance and help move that stubborn belly fat. (Superfood’s Chia seeds are available online or from the Feelgood Health shop). We also recommend EcoSlim, all-natural herbal weight loss remedy together with Detox Drops, a detox treatment to shed those extra pounds healthily and safely.
- Prevent dry skin
As you know your skin also takes quite a hard knock during menopause. You will notice how dry it suddenly becomes and all the lotions and creams you apply won’t be able to keep it moist and supple. Eat your skin healthy by including nuts, seeds and legumes into your salads, snacks and mealtimes.
Feelgood Tip: Keep your skin healthy and supple by supplementing with Solgar One a Day EPA/GLA: Omega 3 & 6 vitamins. Snack on goji berries (Superfood Goji Berries available from Feelgood Health’s online shop) or add to yoghurt, a smoothie or salad for youthful looking skin. Solgar’s Skin, Nails & Hair Supplement will also provide all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements you need to keep your skin healthy and beautiful!
Understanding what your body needs through food during this challenging phase in your life can make a huge difference in how you manage your menopausal symptoms. Choosing the right foods and avoiding those that trigger symptoms will help make menopause easier and free you up to enjoy this new stage of your life’s journey!