Hot flashes, mood swings, irritability, chills, night sweat, poor sleep, and weight gain are some of the symptoms of menopause. Your diet can play a huge role in managing symptoms relating to menopause.
Eat a variety of foods, including grain, legumes, pulses, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, milk, and milk products. Eating mindfully and in small portions can go a long way in managing menopause-related issues. Rice (brown rice), wheat, corn, millets- ragi, jowar, bajra, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and barley all provide energy, fiber and minerals that will keep you full for longer and manage weight.
Menopause is characterized by a decline in estrogen hormones. Low estrogen levels increase the risk for osteoporosis. Therefore, it’s important to consume nutrients that support bone health like calcium, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, and potassium.
Some women may also experience higher levels of bad cholesterol or LDL, which contributes to heart disease during menopause. So, it’s important to have a diet low in saturated fat, and high in fiber. Eat most of your calories for the breakfast, and lunch. In this way, the body is able to use them. Focus on a plant-based diet. Healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that help reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”), lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, and manage weight.
Many times we focus on roti and bread, and we skip the importance of dals and legumes; protein. To make your plate a balanced and healthy one, pair your rice with varieties of protein sources like besan, chana, chole, sprouts, rajma, soybean tofu, nuts, and seeds that boost estrogenic activities since there are low hormonal levels during menopause. In general, menopausal women consume less protein.
Orange, tangerines, and varieties of orange-colored fruits can help with progesterone levels during menopause and perimenopause stages.
We always relate testosterone to male well-being. This hormone is important for males and females for energy level, motivation, and cognitive function, and aids in bone health, sexual dysfunction, increased muscle mass, and body composition. In females, this hormone is important for down-regulating autoimmune diseases. Incorporating a diet high in zinc such as oats, tofu, nuts, beans, and foods such as pomegranate, fenugreek (methi), and ashwagandha to increase testosterone levels.
In general, healthy lifestyle choices play a role in reducing the risk of many health conditions during menopause. In order to manage blood glucose levels, removing processed sugar and carbohydrate play an important role. In addition to eating a variety of foods, exercise is as important as well in managing weight and regulating hormonal levels.