The menopause sneaks up on the best of us without much warning and can play havoc with our health. Whether menopause hits in your 40s or 50s you’ll be glad of all the help you can get, but you don’t need to turn to HRT in order to manage the symptoms and live well. We’ve created a handy menopause diet guide below showing you how eating and avoiding certain foods can make the menopause a whole lot more bearable.
There are many trigger foods to look out for and by avoiding these and supplementing your diet with the right vitamins and minerals the chances are that you’ll sail through your menopause without relying on synthetic HRT solutions.
Whilst HRT has been a lifeline used by many women over the last few years, studies are starting to show links to strokes, heart attack and breast cancer. That’s lead many to seek out viable and safe alternatives and many are turning to what they put into their bodies.
The menopause is responsible for a decrease in oestrogen which will explains hot flushes, mood swings, low libido, insomnia, memory loss, the feelings of depression and anxiety often experienced during this time. However, it’s been noticed that women in Japan experience fewer and less intense menopausal symptoms and one theory is because their diets contain a lot of soya protein.
Avoiding foods that trigger hot flushes and night sweats could help you escape these symptoms altogether. Stop drinking tea, coffee and alcohol especially at night and stop eating chocolate as these substances are notorious for causing hot flushes.
Avoid snacking on high sugar foods and choose fresh fruit and complex carbohydrates instead. These release energy slowly so you’ll avoid those peaks and troughs that are common when the menopause starts. Try some wholemeal rice and pasta instead of refined and bleached options.
Many people have experienced weight gain during the menopause and as we get older it’s true you need fewer calories. Try to eat a little less and eat complex carbs to give your metabolism a boost. You’ll find you burn body fat quicker as a result of these changes.
Depression and Irritability
Again, those complex carbohydrates come into play. In order to kick the depression from your life you need to raise your serotonin levels. This in turn will help to control your natural appetite and ensure you feel much better about yourself and are able to deal with life in general. Make sure you eat breakfast and eat little and often to help balance those blood sugar levels.
Fizzy drinks contain phosphates and these can prevent your body absorbing calcium and magnesium. These are essential minerals required for bone strength.
Dr Marilyn Glenville, a doctor specialising in menopausal health, suggests taking half a tablespoon of cider vinegar and honey in warm water up to three times a day to boost the absorption of calcium. You should also try to eat more alkaline foods including fruits, vegetables, seeds, yogurt and brazil nuts. You should also consider a calcium supplement such as our Bone Complex can also give your body all the support it needs.
In addition to the advice given above you should also aim to eat more phytoestrogens or plant oestrogens which help to keep your hormones in balance and that will block the intake of excess oestrogen which can also cause problems for some.
Increase you intake of phytoestrogens by eating more:
- soya milk and soya flour
- pumpkins seeds