Menopause brings about major physical changes that impact a woman’s psychological state as well. A lot has been written and spoken about menopause—about how it changes a woman’s body and makes her more vulnerable to certain ailments among other things. Most of the factors focus primarily on the unfavorable changes that occur in a woman’s life, and this makes them less receptive to the upcoming years. However, the menopausal journey isn’t as horrid as it is made out to be, and the same rule applies as always for their well being— eat right and exercise.
Certain foods ease women into this period and ensure that they stay healthy and happy during the process. During menopause, the hormone estrogen declines and this impacts metabolism and cholesterol levels. It even affects how a woman’s body digests carbs. So, the need of the hour is to make dietary changes and include the best foods to eat during menopause. They are as follows:
The benefits of cruciferous vegetables are numerous, and these are a sensible food choice for women during their menopause. A study found that broccoli has positive impacts on estrogen levels—it increases the estrogen responsible for lowering the risk of breast cancer. Moreover, broccoli is rich in calcium which is good for strengthening bones. The fiber content in this vegetable prevents bloating and weight gain.
Menopause is characterized by a steady decline in estrogen levels, which increases women’s risk of fractures. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, are rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins D and K, all of which are vital for bone health. Studies state that women who consume more dairy and animal protein in their postmenopausal period have improved bone density than those who consumed less. Moreover, dairy products contain amino acids that are known to improve sleep quality in menopausal women.
Whole eggs are a rich source of iron and vitamin D, which are nutrients most women are deficient in. Consuming whole eggs is known to reduce cholesterol levels, the risk of developing heart disease, and even weight gain. Contrary to popular notions, there’s no harm in consuming whole eggs as they contain more nutrients than egg whites. Women going through menopause are at risk of increasing cholesterol levels and weight gain. Whole eggs keep both these at bay.
Fiber plays an integral role in keeping the gut healthy and prevents bloating and weight gain. Adding whole grains, vegetables, and fruit to the diet is essential as these are an excellent source of fiber. Fibrous foods are known to lower cholesterol, prevent constipation, and lower blood glucose—all these being major health concerns associated with menopause. Oatmeal is rich in fiber and keeps one satiated for a long period. This prevents overeating and promotes digestive health.
Healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids are quite beneficial for women going through menopause. Studies have indicated that women in their menopausal period witnessed a decreased frequency of hot flashes and a steady decline in the severity of night sweats after taking omega-3 supplements. It is advisable to add foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and anchovies. Even flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds can be added to the diet.
Though menopause is something every woman has to go through at some point in her life, eating the right foods can make this process easier.