Menopause is a natural transition in every woman’s life, and even though it can’t be avoided, you can still apply some changes to your overall nutrition to ease certain symptoms that come along with it and maintain good health as you age.
Get enough calcium. To prevent osteoporosis, aim to get 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day by eating 2-4 servings of calcium-rich foods. Besides dairy products, calcium is found in broccoli, legumes, and fish with bones such as sardines and canned salmon.
Cut back on high-fat foods. Limit your daily consumption of fat to less than 35% of your total calories and avoid saturated fat that raises your cholesterol levels and increases your risk of heart disease. For that, try to avoid fatty meats and whole milk products, as well as foods that contain trans fats like vegetable oils and margarine.
Use sugar and salt in moderation. Consuming too much sodium can result in high blood pressure levels. Try to avoid smoked and processed foods which contain high levels of nitrates, an ingredient linked to cancer.
Eat fruits and vegetables. Make sure you get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day to get enough nutrients.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase the symptoms of menopause, so try to lose weight if needed. In addition, during menopause, you tend to pack on some kilos. Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian can help you identify your ideal body weight and provide you with a specialized diet plan to reach it and reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Avoid “trigger” foods. Spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol can increase the probability of getting hot flashes.
Relieve menopause symptoms. Some plant-based foods contain isoflavones (plant estrogens) which can work in the human body as a reduced form of estrogen and can possibly relieve symptoms of menopause like night sweats and hot flashes. Tofu and soy milk are good sources of isoflavones.
Get enough fiber. Adult women need around 21 grams of fiber per day; so make sure you eat a lot of foods high in fiber such as whole-grain cereals, pasta, and rice, as well as vegetables and fresh fruits.
Drink water. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily; this will help you avoid dryness that comes from menopause, and reduce the bloating that occurs from hormonal changes.
Get your dose of supplements. Consult with your doctor whether you should take Calcium and Vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk of getting osteoporosis.