Menopause is an inevitable phenomenon in any woman’s life that marks the end of menstruation. In general, menopause occurs in women who are 51 years of age or older. This natural condition is often accompanied by a host of unpleasant symptoms that can take a serious toll on the quality of one’s life. Some of the commonly experienced menopausal symptoms are hot flashes, mood swings, sleep problems, fatigue, and vaginal dryness.
Good nutrition plays a vital role during menopause and can help get relief from the symptoms and also promote overall health in the years following menopause. Listed below are a few food options that one can eat during menopause to cope with the symptoms and associated complications.
Iron is a vital mineral that has powerful properties essential for women during and after menopause. One should aim for 3 servings of foods packed with iron to promote overall health. Also, iron is essential to ward off medical conditions like anemia. Including food items like nuts, eggs, vegetables (spinach, kale), and fish in the diet to ensure the daily iron requirements are met is advisable.
The onset of menopause often leads to estrogen deficiency that increases the risk of heart diseases. As per the findings, an increase in the intake of dietary fiber can help lower the risk of heart disease in women. Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is found in abundance in many food items such as fruits, beans, legumes, bread, grains, breakfast cereal, and pasta. One should consume at least 21 grams of fiber per day to prevent menopause from putting them at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
During menopause, women experience a sharp decrease in the levels of estrogen, a hormone that plays a vital role in bone health. Low estrogen levels increase the risk of osteoporosis, a chronic bone disease. By increasing the dietary intake of calcium, one can improve bone density and lower the risk of bone-weakening conditions. Include food items replete with calcium in the diet to ensure that the daily intake of calcium is 1200 milligrams. Some food items such as milk, yogurt, fish, lentils, cheese, and broccoli are excellent sources of calcium.
Isoflavones are plant-derived compounds found in soybeans. Research has shown that a high intake of dietary isoflavones can help ease the symptoms associated with menopause. Studies and trials were conducted to determine the efficacy of isoflavones in combating menopause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleep problems. It was concluded that dietary isoflavones could be effective in tackling the acute symptoms of menopause. Making soybeans a part of the diet is a good idea to get relief from troubling symptoms.
Mood swings and depression are extremely common symptoms among women going through menopause. These conditions can adversely affect an individual’s quality of life. However, with the help of mood-boosting herbs, one can combat menopausal mood swings and transition into the new phase without much difficulty. Herbs like ginseng and St. John’s wort can help tackle these unpleasant symptoms. Also, research has shown that these herbal remedies can be effective in reducing hot flashes that occur during menopause.